After college, Pavey embarked on an independent painting trip to France for three months. She visited as many galleries and museums as she could, and also studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris. During this time she had the opportunity to see the works of painters she admired most, like Matisse, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Van Dongen, and Monet; her visit to the garden at Giverngy was a highlight of this educational journey, along with Van Gogh’s famous yellow house.
Following a return to Toronto, Pavey found a small studio on Richmond Street. A year later she purchased a studio on Lansdowne Avenue, and soon filled the space with antique furniture and paraphernalia, which she uses in her process of still life painting. Early on in her career, Pavey was offered formal representation by the Gustafsson Gallery in Yorkville, and later with Quan-Scheider and Gallery One. Her representation then extended across Canada to the Shayne Gallery in Montréal, the West End Gallery in both Edmonton and Victoria, and the Wallace Gallery in Calgary.
Europe continued to beckon, and Pavey would eventually return to visit Holland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. In 1993, she returned to the south of France and made her way to Antibes, where she stayed in the beautiful old Hotel Djoliba, a converted mansion. Here she rented a couple of rooms with a balcony, all overlooking Antibes and the Mediterranean. The house was filled with exquisite antiques and the stunning views provided endless ideas for her painting.
Amongst Pavey’s influences are her favorites artists, whose works so inspired her on that first trip to Paris. In particular, her first-hand viewing of Monet’s immense Water Lilies at Marmottan was a remarkable experience for her. Pavey is also attracted to the strength of German expressionist painter Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, as well as French painter Maurice de Vlaminck (1876 – 1958) and Dutch painter Kees van Dongen (1877 –1968), principal figures in the Fauve movement. The landscapes of Edvard Munch (1863 – 1944), a Norwegian painter and printmaker popularly known for his work The Scream, is also an influence.
Pavey is well known for her interior scenes and still life paintings, in which she uses fabrics, antiques, and glass to create interesting views of everyday objects. She aims to keep her colours fresh, and tries not to overwork her paintings in order to preserve their spontaneous energy. Pavey is also adept at portraiture. She prefers to paint subjects of her choice as opposed to formal commissions, so as to avoid feeling constrained by her subject’s expectations.
For the creation of her landscape paintings, Pavey trades in her studio in favour of painting en plein air; as photographs don’t accurately represent the colours and vibrancy of a live vista. Extensive travel throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Peru has provided much inspiration for the artist and aided in her preference for painting landscape on site.
Pavey’s paintings are held in collections around the world; notably her works can be found in the corporate collections of Dupont Canada Limited, Sony Canada Limited, Canaccord Capital, the former Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, and General Electric Canada.
Pavey is a member of the Ontario Society of Artists and the Royal Academy of Arts.