About Me - Melissa Burness

Cliché as it sounds nature is my inspiration. There is a deeper reason than physical beauty. Nature does not care if you are having a bad hair day, if your socks match, or if you are wearing a designer label. Nature unconditionally accepts. My true inspiration flourishes from the inner beauty of their society.

Raised in a tremendously dysfunctional family, I sought out refuge in the woods. It is the one place that I feel safe and accepted. No matter what negativity occurring in my life Mother Nature blankets my soul with tranquility. It is the one place I feel unconditional love and acceptance.

I received a camera as a present at the age of twelve. A cute Bugs Bunny camera I wish I had today. I am dating myself, but it was a 110 with the old square flash bulbs. After taking my first set of photos, I caught a severe case of shutterbug. I spent all my allowance on film and developing. I was addicted to capturing and immortalizing that split second of time. That split second is unique… the lighting, landscape and subject will never look identical as life is ever changing.

What I discovered as I viewed other photographs is not only is the scene constantly changing, but also, depending on who is taking the photograph the perspective is also quite different. We could both be looking at the same flower but see it in a completely different viewpoint.

While most young girls would be playing with Barbie dolls, I would be following a stream in the middle of the woods hoping that I would find a bunny or turtle and follow him on his day’s journey. As I got older while most girls were reading Teen Beat I would be looking at the amazing photography in National Geographic. Yep, I was a misfit all right but a misfit in my absolute heaven in the middle of the woods somewhere, losing track of time and the hustle and bustle of the human world.

In the 1980’s, when I became a mother I began scrapbooking to create a record of my children’s lives. One day while cropping some photos, my perspective changed. As several cuts of the same photo lay haphazardly on the table, I saw a kaleidoscope. If I could just mirror image (flip the negative over during developing) this would create a kaleidoscope image of sorts. That is where it all began. Back then in the dark ages…..I would trim these images with an Exacto knife and tape them together on the back. They were beautiful, but left a nasty seam. After a couple of decades past and PC’s became a standard electronic in the home, I finally found a way to do this digitally and create a seamless image. My library of photographs and kaleidoscopes grew. It was time to take the leap and sell my work, thus the beginning of Melbe Creations.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has now designated the beloved Monarch Butterfly as an endangered species! I have been nurturing these precious souls for years. I do not use pesticides in my yard or anywhere for that matter, I grow 3 types of milkweed all over my property and I encourage dandelions, clover and other wildflowers on my property. I also grow several flowers for our precious pollinators!