Professional News, Artist Statement, and Artist Biography

PROFESSIONAL NEWS: 

  • I am happy to be one of the featured artists in Local Color Gallery’s “Color Theory” 4th Anniversary art show. I will have ten paintings on exhibit, which will run the month of April, 2019, in my hometown of Fayetteville, AR. Here is a link to the Gallery’s Social Media Event for this Show.

  • I am pleased to announce that two of my art pieces, “Cloud Burst” (Aquatic Portraiture Gallery) and “Elizabeth’s Moonbeams” (both in the Aquatic Portraiture gallery) have been juried into the Courage Kenny Foundation’s “Art of Possibilities” Art Show & Sale in Minneapolis, MN. The Art Show will run from April 25, 2019 - May 17, 2019.

  • It was wonderful to learn that my painting “Carnation Party” (Nature Gallery) has been juried into the “Women in Art” Exhibition by Las Laguna Gallery in Laguna Beach, California. The “Women in Art” exhibit will run the month of March, 2019.

  • It was a pleasure to find out that my painting “Candy Canes” (Abstract Art Gallery) was juried into the online Third Annual “Colors” Competition by Fusion Art gallery in Palm Springs. The “Colors” exhibit will run the month of February, 2019.

  • I am pleased to have learned that my fish paintings “Cavern” (Nature Gallery) and “Water Freedom” (Nature Gallery) have been juried into the art show “Menagerie - Wild & Wonderful” by The Contemporary Art Exchange gallery in Washington, NC. The exhibit will run in February, 2019, in conjunction with the 23rd Annual Wildlife Arts Festival.

  • I am honored to have my painting “Autumn Leaves” (Nature Gallery) selected by the Open Journal of Arts & Letters to illustrate the wonderful short story “Wishing Birds” by Debra Groves Harman. The link to the story is: http://ojalart.com/literary-arts/short-story-debra-groves-hartmans-wishing-birds/

  • I am happy to have been named “Artist of the Month” for January, 2019 by the Dysautonomia Support Network. Here is a link to their blog article: https://www.dysautonomiasupport.org/single-post/2019/01/11/Artist-of-the-Month--Melissa-M

  • I feel honored that my art piece, “Flora & Fauna” (Aquatic Portrait Gallery) has been selected in December, 2018 for an Award by a panel of judges in the EveryLife Foundation’s 2018 Rare Artist contest. This was in the Adult Digital Art/Photography category. The Rare Artist contest is one entered by artists who have (or are associated with people who have) rare diseases which, by the fact of being rare, are often overlooked by medical researchers, medical providers, and medical funding. The purpose of it is to raise awareness. My rare, neurological disease is Dysautonomia and is discussed more at length in the bio section below.

  • I am glad to learn that my art piece titled “A Mad Tea Party” (Aquatic Portrait Gallery) has been juried into the Small Works Art Exhibit hosted by Stage Eighteen Gallery. The exhibit will run from December 2018 - February 2019.

  • I am happy to have been interviewed about my art by the Dysautonomia Support Network. My art would not exist except for having become physically disabled by this neurological disorder. My message to anyone facing Life Challenges of any type is “Never give up hope”. Here is a link to that October, 2018 interview: https://www.dysautonomiasupport.org/single-post/2018/10/10/When-Art-Opens-Doors

  • I have illustrated a short story for the September 2018 Issue of the Mensa Bulletin magazine. I enjoyed reading it very much and hope my illustration has done it justice. (See Commercial Work Gallery)

  • I am pleased to announce that my art piece titled "Water Freedom" (Nature Gallery) has been juried into the 2018 ANA Regional Art Show.

  • I am likewise pleased to share that my art pieces titled "Elizabeth's Moonbeams" (Aquatic Portrait Gallery) and “A Soft Landing” (Abstract Art Gallery) will be included in the Winter 2018-19 issue of Studio Visit magazine, a series of juried artist books produced by the publishers of New American Paintings. Studio Visit is a platform for artists to introduce their work to an audience of art world professionals on a national scale (2000 art galleries and art curators). The Winter volumes (nos. 43 and 44) were jurored by Francine Weiss PhD, Senior Curator at the Newport Art Museum ( https://francineweiss.weebly.com ). Over 1000 individuals entered the competition and I was one of 350 artists who have been invited to participate.

Elizabeth's Moonbeams  This is a portrait one of my daughters, so it has special sentimental value to me. I created it by taking an underwater photograph of her and then later painting upon it. By the way, someone has to really, really like you to pose for photographs for you underwater.

Elizabeth's Moonbeams

This is a portrait one of my daughters, so it has special sentimental value to me. I created it by taking an underwater photograph of her and then later painting upon it. By the way, someone has to really, really like you to pose for photographs for you underwater.

ARTIST STATEMENT

Melissa Milton enjoys layering many transparent colors on top of one another as a way to suggest new colors and shapes to the viewer.

She paints using conductive paintbrushes and styluses on an electronic touchscreen. Most art pieces are entirely painted whereas others originate from digital photographs she takes and then later paints upon. She oftentimes takes photographs of people underwater because she finds the resultant light effects and shapes to be beautiful. She also enjoys taking photographs of colored liquids unfolding through water, as the effects can vary from serene to explosive.

Melissa prefers digital art for very pragmatic reasons: She is disabled and typically paints lying down. Unlike with wet paint, when one uses digital paint there is no way to spill the liquids. After a digital painting is completed, it is printed out on fine art cotton rag paper, archival quality photo paper, or canvas. Canvases are then stretched onto wooden frames and varnished.

Water is a major influence in Melissa’s artwork because although she can only stand for about five minutes on land, she can stand for hours in the low gravity environment of water. She therefore spends time in water every day. This heavily influences her artwork. It explains a recurring artistic theme of people, animals, or objects gliding about almost weightlessly. A fluidity in the painting style itself frequently appears in her artwork.

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

Melissa Ellen Milton

Melissa Milton is a former attorney who began creating art late in life after becoming disabled by a neurological disorder. She mostly paints while lying down due to physical limits with standing up and sitting up. The neurological disorder, Dysautonomia (subtype NCS), basically involves one's nervous system giving incorrect instructions to one's body, especially the circulatory system. The body’s circulatory system no longer copes well with the effects of gravity. This has not only heavily influenced her art, it has been the very reason for its existence. 

Although she is limited in her movements on land, Melissa moves about quite well in the low gravity environment of water. She therefore spends a lot of time in water. The daily hours spent moving about freely in water have played a large role in influencing her art. Water is her freedom. The figures or objects in her artwork often glide about effortlessly with water’s weightlessness and fluidity. The paint layers are themselves often translucent like water. 

The daily time spent in water has also led to her taking up underwater photography. The inspiration for this occurred one evening while she was admiring the way the pool lights danced around upon and inside of the water . It occurred to her that underwater photographs of people might be very beautiful, especially if taken at night. She began photographing people underwater and then later painting upon those photographs. She also photographs colored liquids moving about in clear water. The results often resemble vibrantly colored clouds.

Melissa creates art mainly because she enjoys doing so. She also enjoys listening to other people’s reactions to and interpretations of what she creates. Her third pleasure from creating her art has come from various people expressing to her that it has made them feel hopeful. She has been pleasantly surprised to learn that creating her her art has served as an inspiration to some people because it makes them feel that they may also transform their own life challenges into something positive. 

Melissa realizes that if she had not become physically disabled, her art would not exist. Her medical problems run in the family, so she feels they are probably inherited and thus painting is what she was apparently meant to do this at this time in her life. She is having a lot of fun creating the artwork and hopes you find enjoyment in it as well.