Melanie Conrad

About the Artist:

From the time I could hold a pencil I was drawing pictures of the outdoors.  My passion for the animal kingdom is apparent in my work, as my subject is almost exclusively wildlife.  As an undergraduate I studied monkey and ape behavior.  I did behavioral research on the bonobo population at the Cincinnati Zoo.  I later assisted in paleontology research in East Africa, and rendered pencil and ink illustrations of fossils under the auspices of the National Museums of Kenya in Nairobi.  My work has inspired art.  Today I work full time as an artist, indulging my passions for illustrations and the wild.  I am drawn to gouache as a medium for its versatility, grading from washes to opaque, and the brightness of the color it produces.  The natural world is full of color contrasts, and I strive to capture the interplay of light and darkness in my work.  I find inspiration everywhere I look.  In addition to selling paintings, I also work on commission.  I have experience painting children's murals, book illustrations, pet portraiture and cartooning.