Melissa graduated in 1998 with a degree in Fine Arts and Painting from the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Ga outside of Atlanta. She is originally from Wisconsin but has lived in the South since the age of seven. She currently lives in Villa Rica, near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Chad Buckner (also an art school graduate) and their three children, Astin, Anders, and Adair. She paints daily at her home studio.
Melissa's love of art began in childhood around the age of 4. She was encouraged by her parents and was fortunate to receive artistic ability from both sides of her family. Melissa knew early on that art would be a career for her. Today, Melissa continues to be driven by her passion for art. She travels throughout the country for her commissioned portraits and her paintings are in collections across the country and in Europe. Melissa has won numerous awards including, placing second in a prestigious competition juried by the country's most well known portrait artist, Everett Raymond Kinstler. She is also a Member of Merit with the Portrait Society of Atlanta. Among her important commissions is a portrait of Georgia's longest residing Speaker of the House, Tom Murphy.
Melissa is a well-rounded artist who loves to paint landscapes and still-lifes, and other gallery work. This love for painting shines through in her portrait work. Melissa says, "I want to do more with a portrait than just create a likeness, I strive to create a beautiful work of art, admired for it's beauty and merit. I am honored and humbled by the gift God has given me, and am so grateful to share this with all my wonderful clients. I am in awe at all the unique perspectives we each have and how we use the gifts we are given. I am inspired and enlivened by their works daily. I believe our world becomes what we choose to see! It is my hope that my portraits and paintings convey the absolute beauty I see everywhere!!!"