Myfawnwy Pavelic was born Victoria in 1916. From a young age, she showed talent and a passion for the arts and dreamed of one day becoming a concert pianist, as music was her first artistic love. Unfortunately she was forced to stop playing at age 17 because she suffered a congenital disease that left her with injured wrists. It was
then that she turned her focus to painting and drawing, although had already shown recognizable talent in these disciplines for some time. At age 15 her mentor, the celebrated Victoria painter Emily Carr, arranged an exhibition of a collection of Pavelic’s works.
She travelled extensively throughout her life. She visited France, Italy, and lived in England for a time. As a teenager she even attended “Presentation at Court” as a debutante at Buckingham Palace. From 1943 to 1949 she spent most of the year in New York, and summers in Victoria. In 1944 she moved into the famous Algonquin Hotel, where she met her husband of nearly 50 years, Nikolai Pavelic, son of the former Prime Minister of Yugoslavia. But like many of the worldly Limner artists, she eventually chose to make Victoria her permanent home. She said about her home in Saanich, “the atmosphere that Spencerwood had for me… It influenced me because of what I felt in being here. I felt more whole here than I think I did anywhere else in the world.”
Pavelic had many well-known personalities sit for her including Pierre Elliot Trudeau, and her close friends, conductor Yehudi Menuhin, and actress Katherine Hepburn. She was a long-standing member of Victoria’s Limners artist group, considered one of the driving forces in the formation of a modern art scene in Victoria. Pavelic also painted many of the local places around her Saanich home, but it is her portraiture for which she is best known. The work in this exhibit combines body and landscape, her two main painting interests, in a single image.