Melissa Cole was born in Oregon and raised in London, Hong Kong, and India. She graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Zoology. She has spent time working in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic in environmental education, as a dive guide in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, and as a naturalist guide in Baja, Mexico. She has written over 30 children’s natural history books and travels with her husband Brandon, who is a wildlife photographer specializing in marine life.
Melissa has always dabbled in art, but has spent the last fifteen years fully devoted to it. She is strongly influenced by ethnic designs, which she sees in her travels abroad. Inspired by native artists worldwide, who use bright colors and intricate patterns to bring life to their paintings and carvings, she strives to capture, in her own unique way, that same raw energy in her work. “You’ll find lots of dots, and a distinct border in each of my pieces. I find patterns in everything, from Indian saris and Indonesian batiks to Mexican rugs and South African tiles.” It is always nature that draws her in.
Her work is found in galleries ranging from Stephan Fine Arts in Anchorage, Alaska to The Wild Side Gallery in Key West, Florida. Please see a complete list of galleries below.