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Backroads and Beyond

Backroads and Beyond

Artworks by Michelle Austen.

February 18 - March 17

Winchester Galleries looks forward to displaying works by Calgary artist Michelle Austen in our next exhibition, Backroads and Beyond, which features a collection of plein-air paintings inspired by Austen’s travels on the backroads of British Columbia and Alberta. Working en plein air allows Austen to capture the essence of the Canadian landscapes she depicts in her paintings. She aims to create colourful pieces that reflect her inner self and play on our emotions.

Austen fell in love with painting at a young age with the help of one of her art teachers who helped her realize her passion for art. Over the course of her career, Austen’s works have been featured in many solo exhibitions including Ranchmen’s Club Annual Emerging Artist Event, Calgary Stampede Annual Western Showcase, and Leighton Art Centre.

In addition to having her works showcased in numerous exhibitions and owned by companies and private collectors, Austen dedicates much of her time to instructing both youth and adult art classes in Calgary.


Artist Statement

"This exhibition of paintings is a result of several plein air painting trips and hikes that I experienced over a few years in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. The paintings represent moments in time and place that inspired me to capture the beauty and character of particularly memorable locations. 

From May to November, I’d head out of the city for the great outdoors toward the prairies and mountains with my paint box, road snacks and faithful art dog, Cooper. I am always excited to drive to somewhere new… to experience a road I’ve never driven down before. It sparks my curiosity about what’s around the bend, over the hill and, through the trees. This ensures l take notice of subtle atmospheric changes, leaves dancing in the wind, the fragrance of wildflowers, the sounds of birds chirping and, the soft ground under foot. Finding a memorable location is the first step in creating a painting. It allows me to receive inspiration... to look, listen, smell, to feel. It’s the Backroads and Beyond that ignites my senses, stirs my soul and, allows me to be in the moment.

I hope this collection of artwork inspires you to occasionally stray off the beaten path, get curious, breathe deeply and, expand your horizons… "

In creative spirit,

Michelle Austen


To join our Zoom artist talk with Michelle Austen on Saturday, February 27 at 3:00 pm, please follow the link below:


Lake O'Hara Morning Calm
oil on canvas
36 x 48 inches