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Local artist to hold reception


By Mickie Jackson

  Melissa Jackson is not only an artist but also an animal activist. The Stockbridge watercolor artist will be featured at a reception on November 2 at Gallery… in the Grove, as part of the Visual Artists Collective monthly artist’s exposition, and a portion of the sales from her artwork will benefit Lifeline Animal Project. Jackson is an animal lover and avid outdoorsman who hikes and camps, while keeping her camera close at hand to provide inspiration for future work.

Watercolor artist Melissa Jackson will be the featured artist at the Gallery ... in the Grove on Nov. 2. Photo by Mickie Jackson

  “Mother Nature and human nature provide an endless array of ideas that speak to my heart,” said Jackson.

  Jackson attributes her love of arts and crafts from an early age to both her mother and grandmother who crocheted and cooked. Growing up in upstate New York, she and her brother made Christmas and birthday gifts for family and friends.

  “My mother had this big trunk on our enclosed front porch. My brother and I would go out there and just look through the scraps and things and we would make stuff,” said Jackson.

  Even though she continued a wide variety of crafting, it was not until after the birth of her third child that she began to narrow down her field of interest to painting. Jackson said she began selling her little craft items in a nearby consignment store. Although she did not make them at the time, she saw that the small wooden painted objects used in country decorating sold best. Her love of painting was born while mastering the craft.

  “I bought a scroll saw but was afraid to take it out of the box for months; I was just petrified of it,” she remembered. “And then I started cutting my own little pieces and painting, little cutesy things. That’s when my actual painting began.”

  As her love of decorative painting developed, she would use acrylic paint on many different materials. When she and her family moved to McDonough in 1997, she placed her work in a shop on the Square.

  “I was just practicing. I would paint on anything that didn’t move. I painted on dried okra, ornaments, and spoons,” said Jackson.

  When her children became school age, she started a mural and faux finish company with a friend, but found that she did not enjoy the large scale work.

  “It was a good experience but it just wasn’t for me,” Jackson said.

  She began to experiment with other mediums, including oil and watercolor, after joining the Society of Decorative Artists, and for five years attended conventions and classes financed by funds generated from her crafts. Ultimately, Jackson’s love of watercolors replaced all other mediums and she uses them in a very detailed manner that produces paintings that look like drawings.

  “I mostly paint at my kitchen table. I’ve got bay windows in there and I can look out in my back yard; I’ve got birdfeeders on my deck and my dogs and the squirrels and it’s wooded behind there,” she said.

  Among Jackson’s works, which will be on display at the reception, will be “Camera Shy,” a painting of her father’s dog, Daisy, who was adopted from a shelter and is now 16 years old. She said the painting was done from a photograph, and shows Daisy hiding in grass because she did not like to have her picture taken.

  The public is invited to view Jackson’s art at the reception on Saturday, Nov. 2 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Gallery …in the Grove, 3846 Hwy. 42, Locust Grove, and also on Fine Art America’s website. In addition to part of the sales going to LifeLine Animal Project, there will be a raffle, in which all of the proceeds will go to LifeLine. The winner of the drawing will win a framed print of their choice. To RSVP for the event or for more information, email her at



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