Melissa Ghiglieri was born in Medford, Oregon and an art class at the age of nine  sparked her interest in drawing.  She enjoyed sketching people, and took several art  classes at the community college before starting high school.  Although she had a flair  for art, the desire to become a surgeon led her to pursue a biochemistry degree, first at  St. Olaf College, then California Baptist University.  After three and a half years of  pre­ medical studies, Melissa took a break from school and spent six months in Africa.  During that time she realized her true passion was art.  When she returned home, she  studied at Southern Oregon University and earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Studio  Art.  During her time at SOU, her focus was on oil painting.    

Numerous trips to Africa and Europe have influenced her outlook on the world and  expanded her vision for art.  After a five month school of photojournalism in South  Africa, Melissa discovered an aptitude for photography.  She uses her artistic vision to  create her own reference photos for paintings.  When commissioned for a portrait, she  prefers to photograph the subject herself, to capture the desired angle, lighting, and  mood, rather than work from an existing picture.     After primarily painting people for several years, Melissa expanded her work to include  first horses, then dogs.  She now prefers one of the three subjects, but also occasionally  paints other animals such as foxes, bears, whales, and birds, as well an occasional  local landscape.    

Melissa’s work is currently represented at Life Art Gallery in Medford, OR, Indulge in  Medford, OR, Free Association in Jacksonville, OR, and 1650 Gallery in Los Angeles, CA