Hello! My name is Jaqui Michells, and I am an artist who is currently living and working in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
A little bit about my background. I was born in London, England, and lived there until I was 7 1/2 years old, when my father was transferred to Canada. We lived in the suburbs of Montreal, Quebec, and I stayed there until 2000, when I moved here.
I got started in art when I was very young. For as long as I can remember, I told my parents, and anyone else who would listen, that I wanted to be an artist.
My artistic story starts as follows, in a funny story that was told to me by my mother. I would have been too young to remember it, so I am relying on her memory of the incident.
At 5 years old, I attended kindergarden at a very strict school in England. They had a school nurse on staff, so you had to be really sick before they would call home. Either that, or very, very naughty.
At that age I was still shy enough to be hiding behind my parents legs. So, when the school called home to tell my mother that she needed to go and see them about me, there was no question in her mind that I had to be deathly ill, because there was no way I had been that naughty! Off she raced to the school, expecting to find me at deaths door.
When she arrived, she was told to go and see the head mistress (oh, this must be bad!). The head mistress sat her down and proceeded to pull out a drawing, and asked my mother to look at it. She explained that the drawing was done by another child in my class. My mother looked at it, and said, "It's a stick man, running."
"That's right," said the head mistress, "now, look at this drawing done by your daughter." She handed over another drawing, and my mother looked at it and replied, "It's another stick man, running"
"Yes, but don't you see the talent in this one!" The head mistress exclaimed, and proceeded to tell my mother, that she ought to get me into an art school, because I had definite talent.
I am sure relief flooded my mother, and after she got home, she and my father shared a good laugh about it. But, year after year, the teachers told her that I had talent, and I continued to say I wanted painting lessons. At first no one would take me because I was too young. At age 9 though, I did a drawing which amazed my mother, and she came home the next day and asked me, "Do you still want to take painting lessons?"
"Yes!" I replied
"Good, because I just signed you up."
So, here is a picture of my very first painting in oils (age 9), an exercise in perspective.