Melissa Leslie is thought provoking Artist, Author, Health Advocate and Entrepreneur. A persistent brand builder, Melissa is internationally known for her fine art reflecting musical inspirations and deeply symbolic works depicting spiritual thought processes, experiences and revelations. She has dedicated over two decades defining her craft through oil paint, fashion design, graphic design, film, photography and showing all along the west coast in galleries and art events.
In 2004, Melissa attended the Academy of Art in San Francisco and in 2005, she began showing and doing live art in galleries and clubs. During her time in San Francisco, her experiences there led to one of her well known pieces, “City of Hendrix” in 2005.
During her time in Orange County in 2007-2009 she began creating works reflecting her love of the ocean and jazz with multimedia pieces that sold almost as soon as she created them. While in Laguna Beach, Dana Point and other beach cities, she discovered her passion for healthy living, recipe development and her life journey to help others reach healing and healthy lifestyles.
In 2010 her husband and fellow artist, Daniel Quinones, started online magazine, MLoveizm Magazine. She also focused on the action sports and fashion industry creating multiple clothing lines from her years working with and creating all store buys for mainstream brands. Major brands have also taken notice of her talent and collaborated in a myriad of signature series projects such as Hart and Huntington, Sullen, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, Metal Mulisha, Carey Hart etc. That year she began painting ‘Heaven, Earth and the In-Betweens’ a body of personal experiences reflecting heart break, regret, false power and a shift in her trajectory.
Leslie took account for all her years developing her craft and began defining her why in 2014. With a heart to raise a higher conscience to those around her, Melissa created her own personal signature brand, Sticky Rice, with the heart, substance and practicality for sustainability to restore women and children brought out of human trafficking. Her hopes is to raise their own sense of value, identity and purpose and magnify the powerful voices they have to those who may still be ‘voiceless’.
Her children have reignited her passion to instill identity and value as foundational building blocks through writing and watercolor illustrations continuing the Sticky Rice brand through whimsical storytelling with substance in her first children’s book “Princesses With Purpose”.
Her current art work series include Icon pieces and Mermaid and Ocean Art, mixed media works which include genuine mother of pearl & 24K gold.
My subject matter ranges from mystical mermaids to iconic figures throughout history. Striking and vibrant, my work leaves an impression of fluidity and movement yet entices the viewer to stop and gaze for time unaccounted for. I begin with large free-flowing movements and tighten up as I lace the piece meticulously with materials. The multilayered depth provides space to collect your thoughts while exploring the incandescent glow that embodies the subject matter and permeates into every corner.
After I give the atmosphere through loose brush strokes using bright and bold oil paint, I begin to distinguish light and solidify the composition. I embellish with materials such as pearlescent mica, 24k gold, glitter, mother of pearl and finish with a glossy coat of reflective resin. Depending on the piece I may give it several layers to play with light, shadows and various mediums.
I find I create this work more and more for a world caught by the nets of anxiety and consumed with busyness. These pieces are my way to appreciate the simplicity of color therapy. These creations are a place where what naturally happens when you create an environment where the elements could create an unknown outcome while using what is known through my life experimenting with various mediums and expressions. Windows represent you and I reaching out, the acid washed cities represent the decaying world around us, the bold outlines are the pulse that connects us. And lastly these canvases are there to preserve and honor iconic artists and legends that lived amongst us.