Jaclyn May 

Photo by Melissa Strzelec.

 Jaclyn was born in North Bay, Ontario and raised in Kelowna, British Columbia. Her father is a hobby wildlife artist, so her introduction in art began at a very early age and her love of drawing grew instantly. Some of her earliest memories include sitting at a small picnic table drawing with jumbo crayons on newsprint. As a child she would routinely sit with her pencils and try to sketch out Disney characters watched on TV. Throughout her school years she spent her spare time writing and illustrating her own stories and comic books to share with friends.  

She began a career in insurance in her early twenties and only used art as a means of relaxation after a day at the office. She would get together with friends for art nights and sketch out detailed drawings of animals. Completely self taught, using pastels, ink, and pencils, Jaclyn would create various pieces for her closest friends and family. This led into commissioned works of colourful portraits of her friends' deceased pets as a way to cheer them up. She developed an interest in watercolour painting and began painting birds to hone her skills. Many of her pieces have been gifted to close friends and family going through difficult times and have even inspired tattoos.  

Her signature style is brightly coloured abstract watercolour paintings with one particular image as a focal point. She loves to draw all kinds of animals (most favourites include octopuses, owls, rabbits and birds), flowers, anatomical hearts, animal skeletons, skulls, mermaids, and other mythical creatures.  

Jaclyn began designing and painting murals for nurseries in her spare time in 2014. She finds it incredibly thrilling to work on a larger scale. To date, she has painted four murals. 

 In 2017, Jaclyn successfully exhibited 8 pieces at the Downtown Kelowna Library through the Artscape program. One of her pieces, “Quin at Kal Lake” was selected to be permanently displayed with in the new Interior Health Authority building on Doyle Avenue, Kelowna. In addition to numerous pieces sold, her piece “Beaming” was one of six selected for Okanagan Pride Society’s Call to Artists for Spectrum, to be displayed at the Alternator Gallery August 2017. Throughout 2017 Jaclyn has sold prior completed work as well as commissioned pieces of art for personal collections. This year alone she has donated pieces to Art on The Line, Funtastic, Capri Boys & Girls Golf Tournament, Run for the Cure, and Paws it Forward.