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Melissa Blythe Knowles is an English artist, educator, and photographer known for her exploration of the connection between creativity, health, and the natural world. She currently resides in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, where she actively promotes creativity in schools and healthcare environments.

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For years, I had the privilege of studying with the late John Diamond, M.D., whose holistic approach to health and life combines a wide array of medical, creative, cultural, spiritual, and philosophical practices that resonate deeply within me. I am passionate about bringing creativity and health into educational, healthcare, and natural settings. Dr. Diamond had a profound impact on my understanding of health and combined with my background in education, arts-in-health, visual anthropology, and mindful and therapeutic photography, gave me a unique perspective on healing and personal growth. I work in Martha's Vineyard, New England, and the Hudson Valley region of New York.

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Garden & Plant Photography

Gardens hold a special place in our lives. They are not just a collection of plants, but rather, living, breathing art, where the elements of nature dance in a tapestry of colors and textures that delight the senses. There is something inherently beautiful about the way they evolve over time, and the lessons they offer us open a doorway into culture and healthy living. Personally, I find solace in nature, and as a photographer, with each picture, I hope to inspire a sense of wonder, imagination, and tranquility.

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Family Photography

Since moving to Martha's Vineyard in 2017, my mission as a family photographer has been to create inclusive photography experiences for families, using my camera as a tool for hope and healing. I am dedicated to ensuring that my services are accessible to those who may not typically have the means, whether through grants, partnerships with non-profits, or other avenues. I have a specific interest in working with families experiencing health and other life challenges in natural, home, and healthcare settings. During our sessions, I'll guide you to moments of connection through gentle and loose posing, leaving space for those real moments to reveal themselves. My hope is that you'll feel more connected to those you hold close after our time together.

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Visual Storytelling

"Storytellers are the custodians of human history, the recorders of the human experience, the voice of the human soul."

As a visual storyteller, I keep my eyes open to the story potential in day-to-day events. My task, not to simply record or replicate an event exactly, but to find the core of the experience. Giving form to those moments of the human experience, often those simple moments that go unnoticed is, for me, a spiritual path that can focus our  attention on promoting the health of people and planet. 

I've collaborated on cause-driven efforts such as ending child labor, ensuring food equity and housing security, and championing conservation, creativity, and education.

Creative Approaches to Health Education

Creative Approaches to Health and Wellness Education helps students at Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School to cultivate a holistic approach to well-being, embracing a diverse range of activities, choices, and lifestyles that nurture physical, intellectual, emotional, social, environmental, creative, and spiritual health. By integrating these interconnected dimensions, this field of education encourages individuals to take an active role in their own well-being and positively impact their community and environment.

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Visual Meditation

Join me in exploring the calming practice of visual meditation, perfect for those who appreciate quiet moments and the beauty of nature. Through mindful photography techniques we will come to frame those moments of stillness and beauty, and focus on elements that draw you in and evoke a sense of peace and harmony.

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Therapeutic Photography

Each moment in our daily lives sends out its own subtle signals. With all that's going on in the world, especially when we are experiencing challenges in our own daily lives, it can feel like trying to to tune into thousands of radio news stations all at once. No one can process all that information, and we are often left feeling overwhelmed. 

The practice of therapeutic photography involves purposeful image creation and introspection to slow down, focus on what is meaningful to us, and fuel our creative spirit to help us bring energy and attention to where it is needed. There's an unparalleled clarity that comes from the act of crafting a new picture. Through actively curating and contemplating photos, often complemented by creative writing, we can find new ways of looking, and clarify our focus to perceive the nuances in our daily lives more vividly.

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First Aid Fine Art

I find solace in creating and connecting with nature, especially during difficult moments. I wanted to share this gift of creativity and healing with others going through their own struggles which is how the First Aid Fine Art kits came to be. Each kit contains three beautiful 6" by 6" nature photo cards, carefully printed  hand on high-quality matte paper. Nature has an incredible ability to help us heal, but it's not always easy to access when you're stuck in a hospital setting. That's where the First Aid Fine Arts kits come in - they bring the beauty of the outdoors indoors. Each card is blank on the reverse, encouraging you to write heartfelt messages to your loved ones, as well as with your medical team. Small by design, each card is easy to keep nearby, whether it's on a bedside table, a hospital tray, or in a pocket, so that you can always find a momentof respite, beauty, and connection, no matter where you are.

Creative House Calls

The Creative House Calls initiative is a personalized creative service that allows individuals to enjoy a variety of artistic activities in the comfort of their own home. Tailored for residents of nursing homes and independent living communities, this initiative seeks to provide easy access to creative experiences and alleviate feelings of social isolation. Through engagement in these activities, participants can improve their mental and emotional well-being, reduce stress and anxiety, and enhance their overall sense of happiness and fulfillment.

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Pop-Ups & Exhibits

Art is a powerful form of medicine that I bring into community, educational, and healthcare settings through pop-ups, exhibits, and art donations. Each carefully crafted piece, from those that encourage meditation and contemplation to those that deliver messages of fairness, human connection, and healing, is designed to spark curiosity, creativity, and imagination.

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