(1963 - present)
Krystii Melaine is passionate about life and about art. “I’m fascinated by the appearance and behaviour of all living things, and by the process of expressing what I see in oil paint on canvas. Light, colour, and form inspire my work, and the subtle gestures of people and wildlife provide an endless source of new ideas to explore. To capture the essence of a wild creature or the personality of a friend and to share the wonders of life with others – this is what I live for!”
Born in the Australian town of Bairnsdale, Victoria, Krystii Melaine spent much of her childhood observing the wild birds and animals in the forests surrounding her home. Announcing at the age of four that she was going to be an artist, Krystii won her first art competition at seven. By the age of fourteen, she was selling paintings and accepting commissions.
Following studies in painting, drawing, photography and graphic design, Krystii set up her own fashion design company, and in the following years she developed it into one of the largest bridal-wear companies in Australia. A large staff manufactured her seasonal collections which were sold to outlets around Australia and New Zealand, while exclusive designs were sold through her own retail store in Adelaide.
Krystii’s elegant, sculptural gowns were also shown in Paris and London. A burning desire to return to painting led Krystii to five years of study in traditional tonal realism and the oil-painting techniques of the old masters with the renowned Australian artist, Graham Moore. Drawing on Moore’s 80 years of artistic experience provided her with a strong background in portraiture, still life and landscape painting. Her passion for wildlife and fascination for people became the major inspirations for her paintings and Krystii is now recognised as one of Australia’s premier fine artists.
Her work is rapidly gaining recognition around the world, and is regularly exhibited in major art museums and world class exhibitions across North America. Travelling widely in search of her favourite subjects, Krystii combines field observations with research to gain understanding of the wildlife she encounters. Regular travels to the American West and time spent with cowboy friends have led to her more recent exploration of the life of modern working cowboys.
Through sketches and studies, her initial inspiration develops into a composition that expresses the visual and emotional impact of her experience with each creature or friend. Krystii develops her images with several layers of oil paint on canvas, absorbed by her subject and revelling in the paint itself. “I love the feel of oil paint, whether mixing intense colours or subtle tones, pushing around thick impasto or applying the thinnest of washes, laying down loose brushstrokes or fine details.” Working in a realistic style, Krystii combines accurate details with a soft, slightly loose application of paint.
Her bold compositions project the amazing power of life with strength and conviction. Krystii also paints traditional portraits and still lifes using the methods of the old masters, where larger brushes and a direct approach portray the essence of the subject directly from life. Her skill in capturing an accurate likeness in a strong, painterly style has led to many official portraits for the Australian Army, Navy and Air Force, and commissions for museum collections, corporate and private clients around the world.