Friday Night with Michele Van Maurik – May 25

(Submitted by Ingrid Mueller)

From Van Gogh to O’Keefe, painting flowers has been a popular subject for centuries, and Michele Van Maurik has mastered the replication of nature’s magnificence.

The progeny of artistic Dutch parentage, Michele has been creating art since childhood and launched her artistic career as commercial artist and muralist.  However, her serious fine art career didn’t start until relatively recently in 2010.  Since then, she has blossomed into an internationally recognized oil painter, having been twice invited to represent Canada at the Societe Nationale de Beaux Art held at the Louvre. Her paintings Purple Rhapsody and Sundance were juried into the Artistes du Monde Cannes by Marina Picasso.

Her work has also been published in a number of international magazines including American Art Collector.

Having accomplished so much in so short a time, Michele came to our Friday Night Club with some very down to earth tips and tricks she uses in her studio that simply make her life easier, more efficient and productive. The following is a list of her top ten painting hacks:

  1. Magic Colour Palette Colour matching guide: Shows various pigments mixed with white and also darkened with black with cut out window.  Great for determining which pigment to use in your painting.
  2. Easel Brace: Make a simple easel brace using foam core and dollar store clamps.  Great for supporting a maul stick.
  3. Maul Stick: Purchase inexpensive dowel at a hardware store and make your own maul stick by putting a rubber stopper on the end.
  4. Plastic laptop cases from De Serres are an excellent alternative to a stay wet palette. Lightweight and portable, they keep paint fresh for several days.
  5. A music stand makes a great vertical palette stand.
  6. Grey Matters palette paper fits nicely inside the plastic laptop cases and comes with a colour wheel, greyscale and list of pigments printed on the cover.
  7. A mid tone grey pastel pencil is great for drawing on canvas, blends nicely away when paint is applied over top.
  8. Cotton swaps (Q-tips) are very useful when it comes to softening edges in a painting, also great for lifting colour.
  9. A partially rolled up towel makes a good brush rest.
  10. When viewing artwork or a painting with red glasses or red acetate, it helps eliminate the middle values and simplifies the shapes to determine the values in your painting.

Michele’s work is inspiring, as she works large and very smooth. Her passion is in detail, but not too much so as to prevent the viewer’s imagination.

A lovely evening with a great Canadian artist.

You can see more of her work at