Michelina Williamson was born and raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. From a young age she developed a passion for art, but in her family, a career as an Artist was never viewed as a viable option. She instead moved to Toronto to pursue a career as a Pharmacy Assistant.
During her time in Toronto, Williamson became friends with some very creative thinking individuals. One of those friends was attending the prestigious Ontario College of Art. He offered to give Williamson a tour of the College.
“As soon as I stepped through the doors of OCA, I felt the creative energy and excitement of the place. I knew then that I wanted to be a part of it, to experience the freedom to explore and create all things Art.”
So began Williamson’s journey pursuing art as a career. She worked as a Pharmacy Assistant during the day and took art classes at night at OCA. Williamson’s years at OCA were ones of exploration, experimentation and growth. She expanded her knowledge of Art movements and Art Masters from the Renaissance through to the 20th Century. She also tried as many different mediums and techniques as she could in her studio classes. For example, she learned to weld and made a chair of steel and copper that she still has in her home today. She experimented with sound production and recorded an atmospheric sound track using found objects. She discovered the Film and Video department and fell in love. Literally. Her future husband, Paul Williamson, worked as a Re-recording sound engineer at a Post Production House in Toronto and performed the sound mix on her first experimental film.
“It was like a scene in a movie. I felt a chemistry between us, but I played it cool. After the mix Paul escorted me to the lobby. We lingered at the doors and then I left. I walked away into the sunshine thinking, oh well, I guess I was wrong about the chemistry. Suddenly I heard my name. I stopped, turned around and saw Paul running towards me. When he caught up to me, he asked if I’d like to get a coffee sometime. Smiling, I said yes.”
Williamson graduated from OCA’S New Media program in 1991. Soon after, she and Paul were married and started a family.
Through the growth of her family and the transition from stay at home Mom to part-time work, Williamson’s dream of becoming a full time Artist was ever present. When her children became more independent, she went back to her Alma Mater. In 2010 she graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree.
Emotion is at the essence of my paintings. It is the foundation, the core from which my art emerges, develops and manifests into a physical form. I find inspiration in the power and beauty of nature and I strive to portray emotion through landscape. I’m fortunate enough to live in Ontario, Canada which has so many lakes and natural parks. I don’t have to go far to find a scene that emotionally touches me and inspires me to paint. I work from sketches, photographs and memory to convey the emotion I felt in the moment."