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Melissa Stratton Pandina

Capturing the Heart of the Enchanted World

Magic is real, you just need the eyes to see it. Whether it's the notes of music that link you back into your ancestors, or the gust of wind enticing you to loosen the chains of gravity, these moments are enchanting. These are the times I capture in my work. I peel back the “what actually happened,” slip in a touch of myth and the mystic, and hopefully the viewer gets to experience the extraordinary world right below the surface.


In oil, or pen and ink watercolors, my work utilizes bright colors whether the images are in full sun or in chiaroscuro. Lately, I’ve been breaking the border to create a meeting space between the viewer and the subject's world. I have also been working on a series of puppets and masks based on old European folklore and practices.  This allows the fantastic to cross all the way out of its two dimensional space and into our world.


I graduated from MassArt with a degree in Illustration in 2003 and continued my education in the second cohort of the Community Mural Institute. Since then, I have sold painting internationally and domestically. It has been an honor to work with several publishers to contribute to calendars, magazines and  album covers. I have also created many pieces for public works projects. The largest have been the 5 story Adrian Ford mural in Fitchburg MA and  the 2600 square foot Gerena Mural in Springfield Ma. I’ve also done many private and corporate commissions. I was awarded the prestigious Saara Parker Painting Prize from the Fitchburg Musuem in 2023. I also have won first prize in Watercolors in NorthEastern Fineart Exabition,  Northampton Chalk Fest Lowe Art Chalk Festival  and Boston’s Arts Councils 19th amendment Poster contest. I have also had pieces shown in the Berkshire Museum, and the Fitchburg Museum.

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