Below we are sharing a biography of Melissa Harris, a wonderful and very talented artist here at Harvest Gold Gallery. This Biography was written by Melissa Harris herself.
|"Painting is my medicine…Through these decades of a sometimes erratic and ever-evolving life, painting had been the one constant. Relationships and homes have come and gone, but my paint box is always with me.”|
My passion for life is continually renewed by the joy & magic I experience as a result of my intention to open to the Goddess & Spirit. A connection to Mother Earth fuels my being & inspires imagery. My relationship to others also teaches me to keep my heart open to all I come in contact with. These connections and relationships are a catalyst for much of my recent artwork.”
EVER SINCE I CAN REMEMBER MY MOTHER WAS TELLING ME “YOU’RE TOO SENSITIVE” . I have had clairvoyant experiences all my life. When we were young we’d be riding along on a trip somewhere new and I would shout out that I had seen the scenery the night before in my dreams. I couldn’t understand why others didn’t “know” the same things that I automatically did. I began to feel different than others. I was also always drawing and painting. My parents fed me a constant supply of paints, crayons and paper to keep me quiet.My parents urged me to go to college for something I could make money at. In my first year of college I was most passionate about my art class, but discouraged by my parents. I decided to major in fashion design but every time the elevator went by the 3rd floor and I smelled the oil paint, I felt drawn. I got a BFA from Syracuse University in Painting and an MFA in painting from Queens College in the New York City area. During my years as a graduate student I was put on probation by the all male graduate committee. I was having a spiritual awakening and trying to paint the images that were coming through in my visions and dreams.
The graduate faculty committee was unhappy with my constant change of format and thought the images “hokey or corny”. The only one who understood was a woman on the faculty that was a practicing astrologer. We decided that I had to do what I had to do to graduate. I knew I could paint a portrait that would knock them out so I did. Problem was that I was really yearning to experiment more with “unknown” territory but that would have to be put on hold. I had blown away the faculty at the school Ii had attended before that with a life-size portrait of a friend so I did it again and finished grad school with a body of life size portraits. When I did the portraits I went into trance-like states and channeled the subject’s essence. The results were very powerful life size expressive portraits.
I had applied for a Fulbright grant to Paris and got my grant to go and paint in 1985. Right before I left I had an experience that was about to change my life forever. In about 1980 I had begun to learn to meditate and that had become part of my life as well as some astrological studies. The rest you can read about in my book. (The experience of getting the grant and the events around it are another magical story… To sum it up, I was able to manifest very quickly places to live. I was supposed to have a person or school that I was affiliated with to study painting in Paris but I didn’t . I know that my grant was a “cosmic gift” and that it , like most things was divinely guided. Only 2 painters received Fulbright scholarships in Painting for Paris that year and I was lucky enough to be one of them. It was an awesome experience for me to sit at a reception table at the American Embassy in Paris as part of a select group of Fulbright Scholars in all areas of expertise.When I got to Paris I was anxious to take up where I left off . I was living in a sort of dorm like situation on a floor with other musicians and artist with grants. In 1990 I birthed my publishing company, CREATRIX. It has been a long road with a lot of learning curves and without going into depth on my personal issues, I can see clearly how many aspects of myself have needed to learn from this entity I have created. The business has brought everything together for me and taught me good business skills. It is extremely fulfilling to listen to folks’ feedback on how the images or and writings have touched their lives.
I also teach classes that combine painting with meditation. Basically, we focus on learning to access one’s own personal visions and find a language in which to express them. I taught at the Open Center in New York City, Omega Institute in Upstate New York and privately. I love sharing in my students processes. I live in gratitude each day for the wonders of my life.On a personal level, I share my home with my fab four feline friends on 9 acres in the Catskill mountains of New York. Our land has wonderful meadows and a magical forest that back up to a reservoir. My former partner built my dream studio complete with a French door overlooking the meadow and forest as well as huge windows and skylights. I had a dream of a large light-filled studio for many years and it feels like a miracle to have manifested it after years of paying my dues in some very dark, dank and even toxic spaces. I feel it is an absolute MUST to know what our dreams are so that we can manifest them (as I say on my card “Spinning Your Dreams”).I feel strongly about the lack of respect for the earths’ resources that seems rampant at this time. For myself, I feel an obligation to live as simply as I can with an awareness of how each action is related to the next both in terms of how we can be as waste efficient as possible and also in terms of how we relate to others. It is my continuing practice to try and live fully in each moment, keeping in mind the desire for the best for all concerned.
We invite you to join us at Harvest Gold Gallery to view Melissas artwork and learn more about his adventures at our Gallery location on Rt 5 in Center Lovell, ME.