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Krystii Melaine

Born in Australia, Krystii Melaine was a quiet but determined child. Announcing at the age of four that she was going to be an artist, Krystii won her first art competition at seven and was selling paintings by the age of fourteen. Following university studies in drawing and graphic design, and in need of a“real job”, Krystii established her own fashion design company. By her early twenties she developed The House of Mystique into one of the largest bridal and evening-wear companies in Australia, and had shown her designs in Paris and London.

But a burning desire to return to her dream of being an artist led Krystii to leave fashion behind and undertake five years of atelier study in traditional tonal realism. She became a successful wildlife and portrait artist in Australia, but the market there was limited. A trip to the USA in 1998 opened opportunities to paint American wildlife and an international career was born. During ten years of commuting between countries, Krystii discovered a fascination with the American West and she began seeking out cowboys and Native Americans to paint. She has achieved great success in the USA with numerous museum and gallery exhibitions and many major awards.

In 2010, Krystii moved with her husband, author and historian Michael K. Cecil, from Australia to Spokane, Washington, to be closer to her favorite Western region and its people. This allowed her to do in-depth research including making and beading the clothing and equipment for her Native American paintings, and working with Native American models on location. This dedication to research and authenticity has led to her being recognized as one of the best Western artists working in the USA today.

Krystii also paints traditional portraits on commission. Her skill in capturing an accurate likeness while expressing the personality of the sitter in a strong, painterly style has led to numerous official and private portraits. The 25 paintings held in permanent museum collections in the USA and Australia include many Military and Native American portraits. The Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia, purchased a set of three life-sized, full-length portraits of Native Americans for their permanent collection- they own an earlier portrait and several smaller works also.


The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, Indiana, selected Krystii’s portrait of a Native American woman as winner of the Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award in 2018. The Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell, Montana, purchased her portrait of a Blackfeet man for their permanent collection in 2019 as the winner of the Van Kirke Nelson Hockaday Purchase Award.

Krystii is a Master Signature Member of the American Women Artists, and a member of the Portrait Society of America.

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