Color photograph headshot of Krystii MelaineBorn in Victoria, Australia, Krystii Melaine announced at age four that she was going to be an artist, won her first art competition at seven, and was selling paintings by the age of fourteen. Following University studies in painting and drawing, Krystii enjoyed a successful career as a fashion designer specializing in bridal and evening gowns.

Returning to her lifelong passion for painting, Krystii undertook five years of atelier study in traditional tonal realism focusing on portraiture. With her fascination for people and animals, Krystii found inspiration in the Native Americans, cowboys and wildlife of the American West. In 2010 she and her husband moved from Australia to Spokane, Washington, to be closer to her favorite Western subjects. Using the rich colors and tones of oil paint in a realistic, painterly style, Krystii portrays the people and animals who shaped the West in the past and who continue its traditions today. Through intimate portraits and wider narratives, she tells their stories and brings each individual to life on her canvas.

Krystii’s oil paintings are regularly featured in major museum exhibitions including Quest for the West at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Night of Artists at the Briscoe Western Art Museum, Masters of the American West at the Autry Museum of the American West, Cowgirl Up! at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum, and The Buffalo Bill Art Show at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. She has 21 paintings in museum collections, continues to win numerous awards, and features in many magazine articles.

Krystii is represented by Mountain Trails Galleries in Jackson, WY, Park City, UT, and Sedona, AZ, and The Broadmoor Galleries in Colorado Springs, CO. She is a Master Signature Member of the American Women Artists, and a member of the Portrait Society of America and the Oil Painters of America.

“As a portrait painter, I focus on the individual character of each person, and the beliefs that are an essential part of their story. This hunter has chosen the spirit of the owl as his medicine, using owl and eagle feathers on his horned bonnet. His bowcase and quiver are made from the hide of a mountain lion, adding more strength and stealth to his hunting prowess. By the light of a full moon, he will set out to provide food for his family. I have approached this large scale portrait with a more contemporary background and bold colors. He is a young man, full of life, with new clothing and equipment that has not yet faded from years of use. While historical Western paintings depict time-dulled ghosts from a distant past, I want my paintings to be alive and fresh, to give a feeling of the real person being right here, right now.

Krystii Melaine about "Owl Spirit Hunts The Blue Moon"