Updated: Apr 18

At the end of a 14-day quarantine after rushing back from Mexico in March 2020, I was eager to go back to my studio. I was able to work safely thanks to the large space I have to myself. But life at Complexe Canal Lachine was quiet without meeting fellow artists in the restaurant downstairs or enjoying short chats filling water bottle at the fountain. I missed the social contact. This is about the time I discovered artist Gillian Lee Smith browsing portrait photos on Pinterest. I was immediately attracted to her unique expression and mark making and enthused by the online workshops she offered. I first booked Drawn to Expression followed by Portrait, Your Art, Your Way, two four-week programs. The content of the workshops is rich and abundant and the many 20 minutes video demo Gillian filmed led me on a path of exploration and experimentation

In early 2021, I was fortunate to be counted as one of Gillian’s mentee on a 9-month long program Building a Body of Work. More on that experience learning to Build a Body of Work in the next post.

Photo biosmall.jpg

Michèle Atkinson is a Canadian contemporary artist. Her artwork is inspired by her family's ancestors and her strong connection to their long roots.  Through her paintings, she explores the ebb and flow of absence and presence from memories of repeated stories, old photos and heirlooms. 

Her love of textures was born from creating designer sweaters with the rich curly coats of the sheep and angora goats she raised on her farm. Michèle studied at the Visual Art Centre in Montreal and has since had solos shows and participated in group exhibitions in Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City and Baie Saint-Paul.  Her work has been shown in international Art Fairs in the United States, England and Hong Kong as well as being in private collections in Canada, the United States and Europe.

Originally from Quebec City Michèle graduated with a BA in translation from Université de Montréal.  She lives and works in Montreal, and maintains a summer studio in Vermont.