Born in Los Angeles, California in 1968, Melissa Marquardt has lived the majority of her life in southern California. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree with the emphasis in Visual Communications from California State University, Chico in 1991.

Melissa has always leaned towards being a creative. She is a self-taught artist who, only recently, started taking workshops and classes to expand her knowledge of techniques and processes. In the mid 1990s, Melissa painted residential murals and faux finishes. In 2002, she put the brushes down and worked almost exclusively as a freelance graphic designer allowing her to spend more time at home raising her two children with her husband Brett. Her focus in design was corporate identity, event branding and illustration in the fashion industry. In 2016, Melissa picked the brushes back up and has been creating contemporary abstract waterscapes and landscapes that have been very well received by collectors all over the United States.

Melissa is inspired by natural, earthy tones from the nature around her home in Leucadia, CA. From the rich blues and tans of the pacific coastline, vibrant gold and green grasses of the lagoons and estuaries, to the deep greens and golds of the hills and trails she frequents with her dog, Lily, she is continually engaged by her surroundings and the pallet nature has to offer. Melissa loves to explore the use of many thin, translucent layers, and subtle hits of metallic paint to create the unexpected results from one canvas to the next. She strives to create art to be complimentary to the space it lives in, and not to compete with its surroundings.

Artist Statement

I am an abstract artist whose intention is to create works that transport its viewers to a place of calm and serenity. I want my viewers to feel relaxed, and comfortable around my art. My work takes advantage of a neutral color pallet found in nature among my coastal surroundings in southern California. My vision is to create works that overpower viewers with a firm feeling of peace and tranquility. I never intend to paint a specific scene or place, but to allow an observer to use their own recollection or memory of a particular place or experience.