About Stella & Staff

 Stella is a Graduate of OCAD University in Toronto, Ontario receiving a BFA double major in Photography and Drawing & Painting in 2010. Stella also received a certificate from George Brown College in the field of Graphic Design in 2007. Since then she has participated in multiple Group and Solo shows throughout her art career.


Stella has spent the last 8 years teaching adults and children how to create unique works of art. Before that she was a private art dealer with one of the world’s largest privately owned art galleries. Throughout her career she has learned one very important thing about collecting and creating artwork: That it’s not about anyone else! Art is personal. Whether making or collecting, the artwork is meant to challenge and make you feel deeply. It doesn’t matter if it makes you happy, sad, frustrated, or confused, as long as you are feeling, it’s a successful artistic endeavor.

“In regards to teaching, I am merely a facilitator, offering guidance and tools. Everyone will learn at their own pace and bring their own journey and stories into their creations. I am there to help guide you in the best way to depict those ideas. Your hands are your tools and they take time to strengthen.” Stella Pagani

Why Incorporate Live Music Into some of your classes and camp?

“Why not! I am so lucky to have Mat sit in some of our classes and play to our groups. We have been working together for almost 8 years and people love it. It helps calm and relieve any stress about doing something different and new. They get to sing along to favorite songs and it brings a beautiful energy to the group!”

Stella’s painting and commissions

Stella’s mixed-media work often focuses on travel and personal/found objects. Their relation to memories invoke evolution of character and soul between the past and present. Often awakening feelings of nostalgia, her paintings incorporate a blurred overtone, text, photo, collage, and paint. A keen love for the objects and places that she has personally experienced and documented, helps to play out a dream-like sequence of memories, allowing the viewer to get lost in her work.

To view more of Stella’s art work or commission your very own piece please visit:

www.thepaintedphotograph.com  or see link- Stellas painting gallery

Vortex Staff & pets!

A lot of what we do at Vortex takes team work, although you might not always see the team, Stella has a lot of amazing support from great friends and family! Here are some of the staff and pets you will see around the studio!

Meet Mathew Falvai

Singer and guitar player at select Vortex Studio workshops & camps, Stella’s partner and in-house emergency contact.

Mathew has toured the world with music and is happy to now call Wakefield home. He loves almost every style and era of music and prides himself on connecting with any crowd and accentuating the atmosphere. Mathew has also worked extensively with “The Boys and Girls Club in Vancouver island” and now with vortex during kids camps and classes. He is frequently popping in to camp to help when needed, play some music and fill the room with laughter. Mathew is also a familiar adult always in house available if there is ever an emergency. To book Mathew for a music gig find him at @mathewfalavimusic mathewfalvai@gmail.com

Meet Angelica Pagani & Indy – Summer camp support and art teacher

Angelica is one of our amazing camp counsellors! She is kind, thoughtful, knowledgeable and funny! Angelica has a BFA from Concordia in Art History and brings a great spin to all of our camp days. Angelica also brings Indy! Her extremely sweet, gentle, and shy mini Australian Shepherd. Indy loves coming to camp but mostly watches from afar under a table until it’s outside-time when she is more than happy to play fetch.

Meet Momma Sue & Zoozoo –  In-house amazing woman 

How can we not give Momma Sue recognition. Momma Sue is Stella’s mom who is frequently seen around Vortex doing… mom things like.. cleaning, filling in for sick staff, helping small children finish art projects, feeding the dogs and sooooo much more! Momma Sue also lives 3 minutes away so if there ever was an emergency she is also on call.

Zoozoo! Zoo is Picasso’s birth sister and Sue’s dog. She is frequently seen at Vortex camps and classes in weird costumes and outfits. She is the more cuddly sister. Zoo is overjoyed to lay around in kid’s arms, giving cuddles and kisses until it’s time for them to get back to work. Zoo is Hypoallergenic.

Meet Evie Dimmock- Vortex’s youngest team member and AMAZING social media manager!  

Evie is by far the funniest member of our team! This teen will have you laughing all day with her quick witty jokes. Evie worked her way into our hearts quickly as she was one of Vortex’s first regular students. Since then we have watched her grow into one of the most knowledgable and fearless artists. For her young age we can’t believe how she knows more about where all our supplies are, how to make our social media “Super cool” and is the first to jump in when a student needs help with a project. You will often see Evie at summer camp helping with hundreds of different things, in the studio sorting supplies and all over @vortexstudio instagram being… Evie.

The Vortex studio summer camp team! 

Is growing every year. For 2022 we expect to have 5 full time summer camp councillors. Our camp manager Britney and 12 Jr volunteers ( camp councillors in training) We are always delighted with the amazing summer team we get of unbelivable humans. We have lots of staff coming back year after year and couldn’t be happier about it. They are all wonderful role models for the children and extremely responsible.


 Mat & Stella pets have become their extremely spoiled fur babies! They each have their own personality but are all VERY affectionate and child friendly. We would never ever let an animal around a child in the studio that is unsafe.

Picasso – 10 pound princess

Picasso is often found dressed up in some silly outfit, looking for tummy rubs and a toy thrown. We adopted Picasso as a 2 month old puppy and she has been surrounded by kids and animals ever since. She’s hypo-allergenic like her sister zoo zoo.

Old Man Leonardo Da Vinci- 20 pound tabby

Leo is extremely affectionate. He loves meeting new people and will immediately ask for a cuddle. He’s very gentle, but not a spring chicken, and will often nap during class.

Birdie White- Feisty black cat

Birdie is our most unique animal. She LOVES art supplies and being a part of the action. She’s often found attentively watching kids draw or playing with the dog. Birdie is a feisty character with a sweet spirit.

Dolly Parton the diva white poodle 

Dolly is our newest addition. She came to us in early 2020 and has quickly become a vortex fan favourite. She is a rescue toy poodle from a puppy mill. This momma has had over 7 litters in 8 years so she is pretty delicate and has a bit of a waddle but so much spunk. She is the sweetest little thing and loves a good cuddle.


Please note: The cats are not hypo-allergenic. Please let us know of allergies. The cats are often moved to momma Sue’s house down the road for Summer Camp


To view more work -> http://www.thepaintedphotograph.com