Mella Roman was born in 1963 and grew up in Bucharest, Romania. Her interest in painting started at the early age of 10, when her teachers noticed her talent and encouraged her to follow the artistic path. In 1988 she received her BFA from the Fine Arts Academy in Bucharest, and studied under the mentorship of Romanian artist Ion Salisteanu.
In 1992, Mella emigrated to Toronto, Canada along with her husband and her four year old daughter. Canada brought her hopes and aspirations back to life. She actively started participating in art shows and juried exhibitions, integrating herself in the Canadian art community. In 1996, she opened a co-operative art gallery along with nine Canadian artists - “Gallery 104” on Scollard St, Yorkville, Toronto.
Mella’s interests have always lied in reviving old techniques and giving them a contemporary twist. Exploring techniques like fresco in Byzantine art, oil and acrylic painting on wood, canvas and paper, she came across reverse painting on glass. The unique under glass effect retaining a curious depth, and offering light made her fall in love with this technique. She felt like she found her artistic language.
In 1997, she developed a technique of painting on the glass objects using gold and silver leaf and special glass colours that once it’s fired upon they become like porcelain. She started her company, Romans Fine Arts Inc., a business that specializes in artistic glass pieces that continues to this day. RFA created a hand-painted art glass collection in a unique style, offering a variety of functional and decorative items in a wide range of colours and sizes.
Driven by the philosophical idea behind the reason people started to decorate their pottery and house items in antiquity “food feeds the body and the art decoration feeds the spirit and soul”, she has successfully grown her business to the point where she supplies galleries and high end gift stores all over North America. Her hand-painted art glass is in private collection in Canada, USA, Australia and Europe.
In 2019, after relocating her family to Kleinburg, Ontario and 22 years of focusing on her RFA business, she started experimenting with the Reverse painting technique but this time on plexiglass. Her art work consists of overlapping two or three layers of plexiglass framed in a way that enables one to switch and alternate the layers to give the artwork a different look. An old technique routed throughout art history, but revived with a contemporary twist. In 2020, Mella opened Romans Fine Arts Gallery in Kleinburg, Ontario as an artistic hub and public space where she can exhibit her latest works as wells the works of other talented artists.