Myfanwy Pavelic's paintings and drawings capture an intimate sense of the people and landscapes she portrayed. She extended her abilities to look beyond the surface of her subjects to identify the emotion and ethereal substance beneath their surfaces. Inspired by music, literature, people, life and nature, Pavelic's output was prolific.

She was born in Victoria in 1916. At the age of 8 she met the influential artist Emily Carr. Carr invited Pavelic, who was at the young age of 15, to show her drawings in an exhibition at Carr's Peoples' Gallery. The two artists corresponded until Carr's death in 1945. Their relationship assisted Pavelic in realizing her artistic potential.

Besides visual art, Pavelic had another love: music. In 1932 she began formal music education in Montreal and later at the University of British Columbia. Unfortunately, health problems prevented her from becoming a concert pianist; she ended up focusing on drawing and painting.

The bustling art scene of New York captured Pavelic's attention during the 1960s, so she worked there for a few years while still spending the summers in Victoria. Despite the wide range of experimentation at the time, such as Minimalism, Abstract Expressionism and Conceptual Art, it was portraiture and realism that would hold primary importance for Pavelic. Her interest in abstraction and minimalism influenced her formal use of colour. She combined simple shapes and loose colours to create her realistic impressions. In 1968, she experimented with collage and the reduction of complex images into simplified shapes. Her mixture of collage and realism created pieces that developed a deep sense of space through differing abstract and textured planes while still retaining the realistic image. Patricia Bovey explains Pavelic's work as follows: "In her work she always searched for a simplification. The abstractions assisted her in conveying depth, complexity and full character of her subject with simplicity. Despite her interest in achieving that simplicity, however, she never became an "abstract" artist. After her exploration, she determined, 'Abstraction was too empty for me; it didn't say anything to me.'" (Bovey p.25). Pavelic's combination of abstraction and realism is evident in her work Silent and Far Away (1977) as displayed in the exhibition, 'Unity of Movement'. By simplifying an image of the body into planar relationships with natural palette hues, Pavelic suggests a landscape through body imagery. Through such work, Pavelic links the physical and emotional elements of the human body with landscapes by evoking an introspective mood through colour and integrating the figure as a subtle land-like form.

During the 1970s Pavelic became part of a significant group of Victoria artists, the Limners. These artists, including Maxwell Bates, Robin Skelton, Herbert Siebner, Richard Ciccimarra, Karl Spreitz and Nita Forest, devoted their artistic pursuits to conveying a sense of human nature through physical, emotional and spiritual elements of people. In words, photographs, paintings, and drawings they related different emotional, mental and physical states of themselves and of friends. Pavelic focused on portraiture accepting commissions for such subjects as Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, fellow Limners and numerous other people who have shaped Victoria's cultural life. During the 70's and 80's her portrait work developed into a series called Relationships. The Maltwood Museum holds many of these pieces including portraits of Robin and Alison Skelton, Walter Dexter, Pat Martin Bates, Helga Grove, Leroy Jenson, Myfanwy with husband Niki and daughter Tessa, and many others.

Myfanwy and Niki Pavelic settled in Saanich on Vancouver Island. During her time here, Pavelic has turned periodically to look at the land that surrounds her to convey a sense of place. Her landscape pieces show her emphasis on formal properties of shadow, composition, line and shape as shown in her works Fallen Log (1963), Rock Forms and Snowy Woods (1997). Her sketches and paintings of her environment in Saanich, relate a sense of the area and the emotional impact of solitude and wildness.

The University of Victoria Art Collections holds many of Pavelic's pieces which are available for viewing. Myfanwy Pavelic was a highly respected Canadian artist who has produced a vast body of work that conveys the people and landscape of the Greater Victoria area.

Myfanwy Pavelic died on May 7, 2007.