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Portraits & Animals
Selections from the “Echoes” Series – Old & Abandoned Rural Buildings
Auburn Gallery of Fine Art, Gravenhurst, ON – Teresa McLaughlin, 705.812.0749
I have been a long-time fan and over the past years have collected a number of Michelle’s works.There is an understanding in Michelle’s work that goes beyond the surface beauty of her subjects. Her landscapes reflect and pull you into the power of the land, water and sky. They could be anywhere and yet somehow they are profoundly Canadian landscapes – stark beauty from a harsh environment; life in spite of the elements. Her rural scenes are all this with the human element intertwined. Michelle’s background ensures historical accuracy down to the subtle details yet captures the emotions of the setting. The feeling of abandonment is tempered by the experiences of the structures; you can almost feel the families whose lives passed through the walls. It makes the paintings that much more poignant knowing that so many will not remain for much longer. Yet for all their neglect, Michelle has shown the beauty of these buildings – the human elements of structure and detail, but also nature’s beauty creeping along the old bones. There is no hopelessness in Michelle’s rural scenes, rather they are a picture of strength fading gracefully into nature’s arms.
I am the proud owner of one of Michelle’s earlier works, (’52 Gibson) it’s magical and because I own over 20 guitars it has a special place in my heart. I see her as the next to be discovered and recognized Canadian artist of our times.
~ Gerri Hynes