Meet Melissa! We are so excited to introduce y'all to another fabulous talent that is joining the Well + Wonder team Melissa Gerard from sunny Florida! Melissa was raised in Atlanta, GA and graduated from the University of Georgia. She currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband and two small children. Influences of Southern landscapes and coasts appear often in her work, along with details of her many travels and experiences as a Navy wife. ⁠​When not making art, you can find Melissa rearranging her living room or sipping a cocktail with friends on the porch.⁠ Her summer-inspired collection is coming to our gallery TOMORROW and we could not be more excited! Until then, step inside Melissa's studio and read a little bit more about the woman behind the collage then set your alarms for tomorrow at 12pm to shop her summer-inspired debut collection!

What is currently on your nightstand?

A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towels. I adored this book when I first read it years ago and after watching the series decided I was due for a reread. 

Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?

There are so many artists who influence my work but the biggest would have to be my mother. She is incredibly talented in so many facets of her life, from her garden to cuisine and beyond. She has always been one to work with her hands in some capacity and watching the beauty she created around me growing up is something that has informed my life and work in more ways than I can probably even know.

Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?

My childhood was exactly what any kid could hope for. I grew up in a neighborhood of kids and we played the summer days away with freedom and joy. It was like growing up with dozens of brothers and sisters! The familial relationship between us was cemented when a tornado tore through our neighborhood destroying damaging most of our homes when I was 12. It was a trying time but the beautiful relationships that came out of that destruction are truly special.

If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?

That’s a tough one but I’d have to say my speaker! Music informs my art so much and makes the act of creating even more fun. 

What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.

Well, a couple weeks ago my family and I moved to the Atlanta area from Jacksonville, FL after living there for quite a few years. We still have boxes in some rooms but hands down my favorite room here in our new house is our back porch. It is my refuge and I love starting my day out there enjoying my coffee while watching the deer, bunnies and birds wake up.

What is your biggest score online?

A beautiful French armoire! Thank you, Facebook Marketplace.

What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?

The world of art can be overwhelming but buying through a collective is like having someone sift through and hand pick the best pieces just for you. I’ll take quality over quantity any day! And if you’re new to buying original art, don't be intimidated. Buy what you love, not what you think you should love.

If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?

I studied abroad in London one summer during college and wandering in and out of museums was a favorite activity of mine. The British museum was a real standout — I loved seeing the Rosetta Stone and all the incredible antiquities I had studied throughout the years in real life. It was incredible. And now that I have kids, the Natural History Museums have become a family favorite.

What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special?

I sure love a good hotel but the standout for me is the Hotel Locarno in Rome. I was fortunate to be able to meet my husband there for a quick getaway while he was deployed to Italy one year so it holds a special place in my heart. But the location, the courtyard, the rooftop terrace… perfection.

If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?

All of them, just depends on the day!

I can never get on a plane without….

Excitement! I love to travel which is good since I am married to an airline pilot. Headphones are a close second.

How did you get into the world of art?

I have always loved to paint — in school I took every art class I could and out of school I painted for fun.While we were active duty in the Navy we moved SO many times and each relocation brought a house with different decorating needs. It was too costly to redecorate each move so I started making my own art for my walls and that evolved over the years to become my business. 

What do you do to relax?

I am happiest exploring our big and beautiful world with my family, finding new inspiration at every turn, and gaining a deeper appreciation for this amazing planet and the people around us. Hiking in National Parks or enjoying a cocktail under an umbrella on the beach (research!), I am equally happy and recharged. There is something magical in experiencing the natural world that fills our souls and allows us to be more authentically ourselves.

When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?

After traveling definitely. Or under a tight deadline! 

Prediction for the Color of 2025?

A warm, sunny yellow

What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?

99% of the time I’d have to say a good dinner and a movie. But every once in a while I’ll take a night of dancing!

Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.

One of my first fringe umbrellas I made was for my daughter in her favorite colors, all of which she helped me paint. It hangs in her room still and the memory of us creating it together brings me so much joy.

One piece of advice for buying original art?

Art is 100% emotional, there is no room for logic! If a piece speaks to you in that “ache in your belly” kind of way then it was meant for you and it will never be something you regret owning.