Being a Renaissance woman comes naturally to Rebecca Meloy. Art and creation are woven into the fabric of her day-to-day life, and after more than 40 years of calling Bellingham home, she has plenty to show for her efforts. 

“It dovetails with life, you know,” says Meloy. “I’m not a starving artist and I’m not on the cutting edge. It’s just that I keep making art, and I keep finding venues and sharing my art.” 

Creative history 

Artistically, Meloy is perhaps best known for her paintings, which evoke the rich nature of the Pacific Northwest as well as her Scandinavian ancestry. In 2004, she held a one-woman show at Seattle’s Nordic Heritage Museum. The work shown was created during an art residency at the Nelimarkka Museum in Alajarvi, Finland.  

Meloy continues to attend residencies and participate in shows to this day, most recently having exhibited her rural-inspired paintings locally at Old Town Cafe. 

Bellingham residents might also be familiar with her work via Meloy & Company Gallery, which she owned and operated for eight years. She produced more than 100 art shows during this time, and several shows featured international artists from countries such as Peru and Finland.  

For 17 years, Meloy also nurtured up-and-coming artists through summertime art camps in her personal garden. 

“I mean, these folks are now adults and have kids,” she recalls. “They still keep in touch with me, and they really appreciate what we did. We had a lot of fun back then.” 

Beyond the canvas 

Hailing from rural Oregon, Meloy’s world was colored by the bountiful nature of the Pacific Northwest from a young age. She grew up working with plants and harvesting crops and on a small farm in the Willamette Valley.  

Tree motifs frequently appear in her work; her father planted thousands of them during his lifetime, and she notes with a laugh that they are both “tree people.” From linocuts to soft pastels to oils, dreamlike tree imagery is a mainstay in Meloy’s art. However, an appreciation for nature wasn’t the only thing she gained from her father.  

In addition to being an artist, Meloy is a licensed and bonded carpenter, sole proprietor, and handywoman. She studied building construction at Bellingham Technical College and enjoys working on projects, designing fences, and helping others troubleshoot home improvement projects. 

“My dad was a master carpenter,” Meloy explains. “I watched him from a very young age and it was just natural for me to just, you know, start fixing things up.” 

She is also a talented gardener, having attended a garden design course at the University of British Columbia. In addition to carpentry, Meloy helps clients create and maintain their gardens. Being a sole proprietor gives her a great deal of professional independence, and she says there’s joy to be found in both the creativity and the solitude that her trades require. 


Speaking with Meloy, I got the sense that it’s rare for her not to have a project or two in the wings. Beyond client work, she’s currently laying down the groundwork to build a bathhouse in the middle of her garden. She also runs a bed and breakfast out of the upstairs of her home. 

Meloy’s son is a talented photographer and musician, so creativity clearly runs in the family. During COVID-19, the two took on perhaps the most daunting task of all: Sorting and photographing her prolific archives in order to update her website. The resulting photographs were to create greeting cards, which can now be purchased at local shops such as the Gardens at Padden Creek. 

Meloy’s talent is undeniable, and curious readers can view her work at From paintings to prints and even photographs, the site is an open invitation to become fully immersed in her world. 

“I’m kind of a private person. I’m not very social, but I read a lot, and I seem to have a good hand for making art,” says Meloy. “That’s just how it is.”