Melinda fell in love with the world of art at an early age. She vividly remembers as a four-year-old how beautiful it was when, while sponge painting, the red and yellow when mixed together made orange. With pencil and sketchbook in hand, she continued to enjoy creating images on paper as the years went by.
When Melinda was 15 she began painting in transparent watercolor. Working in a tight, dry brush style, she would continue to build a body of work with this medium for the next thirty years.
She had always dreamed of being a published artist. She realized this dream when she signed with a publisher in the home show art industry in 1994. One of her first assignments was to create a painting that was to be called "Three Generations". It was to include an African American Grandmother, mother and granddaughter sitting on the front steps of a church reading the bible.
Finding just the right trio, she asked them to visit the local costume shop, giving the shop owner the instructions to dress them in "period" clothing. Melinda purposely did not detail which period. “I have found that if I control things a little less and allow God to make some choices....great things can happen".
Norman Rockwell had a big influence on her and she fully expected the ladies to show up in clothing from the 30's. She was quite surprised when they showed up in Victorian clothing.
Sales of the canvas reproduction that was produced from this painting were extremely successful. Thus began a series of paintings from this time period. This body of work did very well in the home show industry, eventually being licensed and distributed internationally.
Early during this period in 1995, Melinda and her family moved from California to North Carolina. She no longer had access to that costume shop and, out of necessity, found herself sewing the clothing that her models would wear. The vast majority of clothing (even many of the stuffed dolls) that appear in her paintings were created by the artist.
At the turn of the century she decided to experiment with heat set oils. The advantage of being able to immediately dry the paint so that she could paint in transparent layers without waiting has allowed her to paint more quickly and efficiently. Melinda continues today to work at honing her craft, grateful for the gift that she has been given.