Inspired by the raw beauty of nature, the art of Michelle Pilon consists mainly of trees, wildlife and domestic animals. Growing up within Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, she took every opportunity to take in the near-by countryside. Michelle discovered her talent and passion for drawing at an early age, sketching almost everything in sight. As a teen, she attended a number of art classes and workshops through Gail Adams School of Art, where her realism skills rapidly improved, and here, she was introduced to the Pastel medium.
"I love the layering ability of Pastel, how when applied onto suede mat board, allows for creating a realistic look of "softness" to the fur coat of the animal."
Michelle’s work has won many ribbons and awards, throughout her earlier years, at exhibits such as the Saskatoon Prairieland Fine Art Competition and the Reflections of Nature Wildlife Art Show, earning Best of Show, as well as the opportunity to judge the junior level in 1998.
Along with starting a family, Michelle also worked as a Graphic Artist for a local Screen Printing company from 1990 – 1998.
In 1999, she released her first two sets of Limited Edition Prints of her pastel paintings, "Northern Pride" and "Family Outing".
Desire for change and new opportunity, brought Michelle and her young family to Calgary, Alberta for the turn of 2000. After completing her Certification for Sculpted Nails, she started building a clientele. This new business venture turned into an incredible source of advertising for her artwork, creating more of a demand in her custom pet portraits.
In 2001, Michelle released her second two sets of Limited Edition Prints of her pastel paintings, "Afternoon Nap" and "My Girl".
In 2004, Michelle and her family (now separated) relocated to Okotoks, Alberta. Her nail clientele grew to full time, which became a primary focus along with raising her two children and adjusting to a new lifestyle.
In 2010, Michelle was back at the "drawing board", and released her first set of Limited Edition Giclée reproductions on canvas, of her pastel painting, "The Forgotten Path". She was also invited into the Artist Window at the Calgary Stampede Western Art Showcase.
To add diversity to her portfolio, Michelle decided to experiment more with Acrylics and Oils, painting in more of a "looser" style. With her love and appreciation of horses, she made this an exciting new subject focus, which has led to many commissioned equine portraits.
In 2014, Michelle was invited to exhibit her work at Spruce Meadows Masters' International horse jumping tournament.
2016 was Michelle's first time exhibiting at the Canadian Finals Rodeo, held in Edmonton, Alberta.
In 2017, four of Michelle's paintings were chosen to display at The Calgary Stampede Western Art Showcase.
Michelle also started "Martinis & Masterpieces", which hosts public and private Paint & Sip parties. Upcoming events are posted via Michelle Pilon Art on Facebook.
With both children now grown into self-sufficient young adults, Michelle has more free time to enjoy some other creative interests. Such as experiencing background acting for film and television, and renewing her love of dancing!
In 2015, Michelle's painting "Dedicated Dreams" won the Spruce Meadows 40th Anniversary Commemorative Poster Competition.