Hello, I’m Michelle.

I’m a painter and storyteller who captures the personal memories we have of our homes, gardens, and meaningful places. I create scenes that are expressively rich in mood, colour, and feeling. I currently work in gouache or acrylic. 

I live in the small village of Broad Cove on Nova Scotia’s South Shore and, so, often paint coastal landscapes. My home is a short walk from the Atlantic Ocean and I can frequently hear the sound of waves from my back garden!

I love to get to know new and familiar places by walking. I walk or run every day. I live a quiet and seasonal lifestyle with a woodstove for the cold months and a large outdoor porch for the warmer ones. I have a sunny, book and plant-filled home with a small studio in one of the upstairs bedrooms. In the winter, I can see a sliver of ocean through the treetops.

I have two indoor cats, and love to care for the wild birds and critters in the garden by hanging out feeders in winter and planting as many flowering, fruiting, and forage- or habitat-friendly plants as I can. I am creating a large garden that includes a veggie patch, perennial flowers, shrubs, trees, and many meandering paths connecting these outdoor ‘rooms’.

When I’m not painting, writing, or walking, I love to read, garden, sew, and bake sourdough bread. For several years, I grew natural dye colours on a small farm – and, before that, I lived in downtown Montréal and was part of a printmaking studio there.

Gardens are poems where you stroll with your hands in your pockets.

– Pierre Albert-Birot

Painting personal spaces & places…

I simply love painting personal stories. The spaces in which we live, work, and play are deeply personal and filled with unique and cherished memories…

Our spaces are part of our history and are filled with rich experiences of light, sound, weather, and memories of moments shared and people loved. Experiencing these places recreated in a painting not only captures a moment in time, it brings back a flood of associated feelings.

Rich mood, colour, & feeling…

When painting, I take myself back to the feeling of that place and do everything to hold onto it while painting. This creates a rich mood that is both evocative and true – not necessarily in the sense of literal accuracy, but in that the painting captures a truth of the experience.

Capturing this mood is about an intensity of feeling and, often, a richness of colour. The blue haze of night’s descent. The muted calm of a low fog. The warm glow of a house’s windows at night.

Look closely… be drawn in… allow yourself to be lead wherever each painting takes you.


I began drawing with soft pencils on smooth paper, moved to a combination of pen & watercolour. Having admired illustrators for many years who favoured gouache, it was the first opaque medium I tried. I fell instantly in love with the rich layers of colour I could achieve. I was completely hooked and gradually moved to painting only in gouache.

I am now adding in acrylic so that I can begin working at larger sizes, with more expressivity. I have also explored darkroom photography and printmaking (screenprinting in particular).

Each painting is shared as a gift and an invitation for you to be drawn in and find your own stories.

Yes, it’s a real place, but it’s a place of my imagination… and now yours, too.


Painted stories

I share most of my work under the brand name Painted Stories. There, you can find new collections of original artwork and prints as they are released. There is a blog filled with tools for navigating the creative process and finding creative flow, as well as glimpses into my own life and art practice.

For the most up-to-date and personal connection, you can join the Studio List to receive receive a thoughtful weekly letter filled with reflections on life as an artist, new paintings as they are created, and the stories behind the art. I regularly share behind-the-scenes in the studio, and works in progress in my weekly email letter, and it is THE first place to get access to new art.