My Story

Hi, I’m Michelle.

About - Michelle Darwin - Painted Stories

As a painter & storyteller, I love to create Painted Stories of the homes, gardens, and the natural landscape around me. Experiencing these spaces recreated in a painting not only captures a moment in time, it brings back a flood of associated feelings in a way that I find deeply fulfilling.

I fell in love with darkroom photography as a teenager. Before school, at lunch and often until the custodian came to clean at night, I could be found in the darkroom, fully immersed in my craft. People said they could always tell if I’d been in the darkroom that day – I was visibly happier. I loved the quiet space, the process of printmaking, working with my hands, and watching a carefully composed image appear before my eyes.

During university, I found that darkroom photography was becoming inaccessible and increasingly unrealistic – supplanted by digital. What to do instead? I spent years trying to fill the void as a web designer and developer for a magazine, at an agency, and finally as a freelancer. But something about the pace of technology and so much time spent staring at a screen felt uninspiring.

So, I spent all of my spare time devouring books and movies, cooking, and gardening, to find balance. I moved to Montreal where I lived for five years in a sunny, book-filled home. I created a home studio and started drawing regularly. I discovered, to my great amazement, that there were people who spent their lives listening to and telling stories. I was drawn to the idea of doing this through art. I started painting, and was able to create the immersive moods and worlds that are so captivating to me. I began to get that joyous darkroom feeling back.

This experience taught me not to sweep memories under the rug because some aspects are painful. Instead, celebrate and cherish your unique experiences as part of your history – part of who you are. Carry them with you. Feel grateful and filled with the good that came of these things.

I now live along the coast on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. I love getting out to experience and paint the natural landscape, towns, and homes nearby. I am currently creating new artwork to add to my print shop, as well as a collection of original paintings.

Many of my paintings are available as prints in my Etsy shop. I also offer Custom Paintings.