Muskoka’s Brush with
Fame & Fashion
Fashion Artist & Instagram Star Michelle Vella Captures Supermodels, Design Icons, and Contemporary Lake Life in Muskoka
By: Lori Knowles
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After her year of jetset travel, supermodels, and emerging Instagram fame, Vella is looking forward to Summer 2016 in Muskoka. Inspired by dock life at her friends’ Lake Jo cottage, the artist has launched a Lake Life series — arresting paintings rendered in bright reds, blues, greens and oranges. The Lake Life series depicts Vella’s idea of Muskoka’s social gatherings—dock parties, socializing under the sun, cruises in classic boats.
Painting on the dock
“The draw to Muskoka is my friends and being by the water,” Vella explains. “In my paintings I want to interpret the social aspects of Muskoka: friends and family together, enjoying lake life, sitting on the dock, regatta games, boating, golf, and the Muskoka social life.”
Vella considers this new series an addition to the niche, high-fashion caricatures she’s quickly become known for. Inspired by the work of Alex Katz — an abstract impressionist the Smithsonian once called a “pathtaking painter” — Vella will spend Summer 2016 mixing her big-eyed portraits with colourful landscapes that include birds, loons, lakes, islands, and inlets.
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