Artist Melissa Shelly

An example of fine art by Melissa Shelly

Photo of Melissa Shelly


“It has taken me a long time to come to the realization that, above all else, I am an artist. My career has been delayed because, like Francis Bacon, I’ve spent too long looking for a suitable and attention-sustaining subject,” says Melissa.
Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the artist enjoyed life in a wonderfully loving and small family. Spending summers in the mountains on a lake, the simple pleasures of nature captured her imagination and solidified her love and respect for the beauty of the natural world.
Melissa graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Psychology and Social Work. Unsure of how to express her voice, she moved to Manhattan and found work in a top-ten, international advertising agency in the media department. Obviously an ill fit, spending long hours crunching numbers in a dark office, she moved to the other side of the business and worked for large magazines and eventually at ABC-Capital Cities, Inc.  While sales offered more freedom, she reluctantly drudged through her days, not sure how to express her voice. This quest led her to study acting, initially at HB Studios and then with the late Fred Kareman of The Neighborhood Playhouse. She also studied dance, voice and on-camera classes and found work in television.
While she very much loved acting, making a comfortable living proved difficult, causing her to return to academia, earning several more advanced degrees in Psychology culminating in a PhD. She did extensive work in psychiatric hospitals, neuropsychological departments and other clinical settings in her effort to serve the marginalized.  Though having painted most of her life she had had little formal art training. It wasn’t until after the birth of her son did she start attending local art classes, most notably with Myron Barnstone of Barnstone Studios where she began learning the tenets of classical [...]

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