Diane Michelin

“Start and never stop trying.”

October, 2010

Diane Michelin is one of the world’s most renowned artists in the métier of fly fishing. She works in watercolor, and brings to life some of the most magnificent and profoundly beautiful fly fishing scenes found anywhere. Among her many awards is the prestigious, Trout Unlimited Canada 2009 Artist of the Year. Diane was born in Montreal and currently resides in Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Meet an extraordinary artist and adventurer.


1. What is your idea of adventure?

Adventure has to do with experiencing the unknown, having time to explore without an agenda.

2. What do you prefer: misadventure or adventure?

It’s hard to separate the two. Often one leads to the other. You tend to forget about your misadventures.

3. What came first your love of fly fishing or your love of art?

Fly fishing is relatively recent focus over the last 10 years. My artistic career has developed over a long time.

4. You studied at one of the most significant art schools in the world (Ecole des Beaux-Arts, in Paris), what was it like to go from Montreal to living in Paris?

At that time of my life, as a young impressionistic person, Paris was a dream destination immersed in such a wide range of cultural aspects. It was overwhelming to be in the art scene that is so rich historically. My best memories were to sit at LE CAFÉ DEA ARTS with all these artists coming from around the world wanting to express their own identity.

5. Did you come from a family who loved to fish?

My family had no interest in fishing, except an uncle that was always bringing his fresh fish each fall.

6. What factors in your childhood made you into an adventurous woman?

I was a heavy reader as a young person and dreamed of going beyond the norm. My parents encouraged me to stretch my boundaries and discover myself.

7. What inspires you to paint a particular scene?

First and foremost it is important for me to be there and feel the moment. I paint a variety of subject matter from still life to portrait to landscape but the common factor is “THIS is a painting!” Painting is like cooking: you know the ingredients and can taste the finished product during the process.

8. Is fly fishing an especially elegant and beautiful sport?

Fly fishing has a rhythm, the rhythm of the casting, the rhythm of the river or stream as it flows by. It’s this rhythm that enhances the elegance combined with the forms of the paraphernalia. Being connected individually to a natural setting is very similar to the painting experience.

9. Who is your favorite female artist and why?

I enjoy Carol Evans’ work. She is a Canadian west coast artist who works in watercolor and specializes in the scenery of the rugged shoreline. Her use of mist and light is exceptional and symbolizes life on the island.

10. Is it difficult being a female entrepreneurial artist? This is a field where males and females are generally equal. Beauty has no gender. I would suggest that artists in general are more creative than entrepreneurial and often struggle with the business side. Most successful artist have the support of a partner, art dealer or curator.

11. What words of wisdom would you give an inspiring female artist? Be yourself. Push the limits and boundaries.

What are your favorite words of advice from your mother? My mother always said “Tomorrow will be better” and to believe in myself.

13. Given the choice would you rather be painting or fishing? Fortunately at this time of my life I am able to enjoy both in equal doses. Since fly fishing and all of the related aspects is what I paint I can mix the passion with the work.

Where would you like to travel in the world?   I have had the opportunity to travel and search a great deal to define and refine myself. Currently long distant travel is less necessary as I have found my place in the world here on Vancouver Island.

15. What do you always pack in your suitcase? My suitcase always contains a few good books and the camera.

Your motto in life? Start and never stop trying.


Website:  www.dianemichelin.com
Check out our Supplies Tent and Diane’s February 2011 collaboration with Andes Drifters in Patagonia.  Mention Adventure Woman on your booking and receive a free signed print “Moment of Reflection” that won Diane “Artist of the Year.”