MYFANWY PAVELIC was born and raised on Vancouver Island. She had little formal art training, but at the age of 15 an exhibition was arranged for her by Canada's foremost West Coast painter, Emily Carr. Pavelic's love of music and talent as a musician attracted her to the career of a concert pianist but when a problem with her wrists barred further development in this field, she turned her creativity to drawing and painting.
For several years she spent part of each year in New York. Here she observed the changing climate of the international art world. She experimented with abstract expressionism but finally reaffirmed her commitment to her own evolving figurative style. She has worked in oil and acrylic and has successfully experimented with tissue collage. Charcoal, one of her favourite media, has been used for both prepatory sketches and finished drawings.
For most of her career, Pavelic focused on the human figure; she is renowned for her portrait paintings. Local and international personalities have come to her Saanich studio for sittings, from Maxwell Bates and her fellow artists of the Victoria "Limners" group, to former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
However, the music world remained a constant interest. Its creative personalities provided her with much subject matter for her paintings and sketches. These people included Mstislav Rostropovich, Paul Badura-Skoda, Glenn Gould, Jan Cherniavsky, Zara Nelsova, Ravi Shankar and her close friend, actress Katharine Hepburn. Pavelic's now well-known portrait of Yehudi Menuhin was commissioned by Lord Thompson for Fleet for Britain's National Portrait Gallery in 1984.
Pavelic was awarded the Order of Canada, was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy and held an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria.
She died in Victoria on May 7, 2007.
(1916 - 2007)