One World – that’s how artist Michelle Vyn sees her world and her art practice. She views life in all its diversity as entitled to equal respect and treatment. Through her creations, the artist brings a message of concern for all life, a need for humanity to acknowledge responsibility to care for the planet and for each other.
Before the age of five, Vyn (pronounced VINE) considered herself an artist having received constant encouragement from her mother, grandmother and then her teachers. During those childhood days in Komoka, Ontario, she taught herself to draw, her only art tools – paper and pencil, her subjects gleaned from nature. She was fascinated with animals and everything in the which to this day influences her art practice.
Once she discovered paint, a whole new world of colour opened to Michelle and helped her develop her impressionistic style. For many years painting has been primarily a hobby the artist fit into a busy schedule while homeschooling three children and then working at various jobs outside the home. However, in 2014, a painting called Phoenix Rising to New Life marked the beginning of her move into a career as a full-time artist.
Michelle works primarily with acrylic paint; however, she often incorporates paper and various mediums to build texture into her paintings. This is especially useful when creating rocks and wildlife. She considers herself a life-long learner and is always looking for new ways to express her love of fauna and flora. “I create while drawing upon my acquired knowledge and experience, but I seek whenever possible to paint intuitively, because too much careful planning can interfere with the creative outflow.”
“My art is my way of contributing to society,” Vyn says. “I want [my work] to have a message, not just create a pretty picture for a home.” In one example of this intentional messaging, Don’t Let Me Fade Away, addressing the endangered Barn Owl, Michelle has subtly painted the bark taking over the owl.
In addition, to painting, Michelle writes. Her children’s book for all ages, My Backyard is Full of Life, was inspired by her childhood days enjoying nature in her small-town backyard. Her current book project, Dive into Diversity – A Sea Turtle’s Plea, addresses neurodiversity and social acceptance of our differences.
This November, Vyn will exhibit a special collection at Partners Hall in Huntsville, entitled, One World – Land, Sea and Air. In years to come, she plans to do several shows around the theme, One World, to address changes in the earth and endangered species, in and beyond Muskoka.
At Michelle’s in-home gallery, Vine Art Gallery of Muskoka, you’ll find her paintings hung to provide buyers with an idea of what their purchase would look like in their own home or cottage. Appointments required; by phone or email. You can also view her work on her website and online store. In addition, many of the artist’s images can be purchased on a variety of home décor and wearable products through vendors accessible from her website.
Gallery address & contacts:
About the Author: Muskoka writer and visual artist Wendie Donabie paints pictures with words and flavours her creations with alliteration, similes and metaphors. When words won’t do the job, she turns to her easel and paints what stirs her heart and soul – most often her love of the natural world. Wendie has published work in magazines and in poetry and literary collections. At this time, she is working on a murder mystery set in a forested resort area somewhere in North America. Wendie is co-founder of Muskoka Authors Association, operates Heron’s Nest Studio Gallery and is one of the organizers of ARTrail Muskoka. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and www.WendieDonabie.com.