Melissa Hartley is a self taught artist, that studied graphic design and who has been working for the last 17 years in Publishing in Sydney and Edinburgh. In 2010 she decided to pick up the paint brush again and pursue her love of painting.

Her compositions feature darkly poetic female portraits against undefined backgrounds, in a void or dream-like state. These mystical portraits of women, almost haunting in their beauty, are seeped in the natural world, each work contains an element of the supernaturally surreal. They are contradictions within themselves, brought to sensual life through surrealistic icons & symbols. Each subject is attractive yet somehow disturbing.

She’s inspired by many things, but her paintings predominately draw on the sublime beauty of nature, old traditional craftsmanship, especially botanical illustrations of the past, and fashion photography.

Melissa desires to create images of beauty and mystery that allow the viewer to find their own personal significance in them, traversing emotions that reside deep within our own subconscious.

Melissa was a finalist in the 2014 Kilgour Art Prize and is proudly represented by
19 Karen Contemporary Artspace.