I was born in Kimberley, British Columbia, a charming little town nestled in the Purcell Mountains. I moved to Alberta at an early age to attend college and have remained in the Calgary area ever since.


As a great love of the outdoors I can often be found outside somewhere, maybe in the mountains hiking, or on some bike path through the river valley, camera always on hand and my recently purchased plein air easel not far away in my vehicle.


  My recent journey into the world of art has been an amazing and rewarding experience. My entire life I’ve spent on the other site of the art world looking in, watching artists, viewing galleries, enjoying what others have created, and always wanting to paint myself. And so it was that just over two years ago an artist friend challenged me to sign up for classes and where my painting career began.

   I have no formal education in the arts so it was opportune that I signed up for art classes with an instructor that taught art in a way that I could understand and grow. The concepts of how colour, value and intensity are key to creating any artwork but applying these concepts in practice is a much more difficult task than I ever understood it could be.

   For me, I find that paint-a-longs with my instructor have given me the biggest gains in improving how I work with the oils on the canvas to produce the colours I am after. The paint-a-longs teach how to evaluate the structure of the composition by breaking down the composition into a small limited number of pieces that are much easier to handle and then build upon. Add to this that only by mixing colours on the canvas can one achieve colours that don’t come out of a tube and much more imitate life. Mixing oils on canvas? A scary thought, but something I now look forward to as it allows me to create some of the neutral colours I used to struggle to achieve.

  Although I most like to paint landscapes, I am purposely challenging myself with every other painting by selecting a different subject matter with completely different lighting and composition to force myself to understand how to use my paints better and more efficiently, and will explain why my catalogue of work to date ranges from elephants to mountain scenes to a water bomber over a raging forest fire.

  My constant struggle is achieving the balance between value and intensity in some areas of my paintings during the process of creation while keeping it loose and painterly as my tendency is to move too quickly to detail thus freezing a section of my painting. I have many times had to undo, or back-out the detail, before I could move forward again. It doesn’t bother me when I do have to do over some of my work as I learn a great deal by going to far in one direction and having to backtrack.

   As an emerging artist, having only started painting just over two years ago, I have been fortunate to have had my artwork accepted into many juried competitions and exhibitions. I continue to work hard, trying to learn from each piece I create and I also watch and study other artists as there is much to learn understanding how other artists dealt with different lighting conditions, composition, subject matter and medium.



Current Galleries & Upcoming Exhibitions

2017 Gallery on the Alley

Red Deer, Alberta

Opening April 2017


2017 Alberta Society of Artists - Fire Exhibition (juried)
Artwork titled "Inferno"  
Edmonton Exhibition runs Jan 10th to Mar 1st 2017, Northern Jubilee Auditorium

Calgary Exhibition runs Apr 3rd to May 19th 2017, Southern Jubilee Auditorium

2017 Beacon Original Art - Art Exhibition and Sale (juried)

April 22nd - One Day Show
Riverside Community Centre

917 Centre Ave NE, Calgary AB

2017 Calgary Exhibition & Stampede Fine Art Auction (juried)

All art up for auction will be on display beginning July 5th until auction night July 13th

Two of my pieces titled "Serenity" and "Bow Valley Fire Sky" will be on auction

Awards and Accomplishments

2017 Pif Literary Magazine (online)
Artist Review,  Interview, and Gallery

April 2017 edition

2017 Federation of Canadian Artists (juried)

Achieved Active Member Status

2016 Midtown Mosaic Art Show (juried)
Calgary - Sept 30th to Oct 1st


2016 Calgary Stampede Western Art Auction (juried)
Artwork titled Canoe Day accepted into the 2016 fine art auction


2016 Calgary Stampede Creative Arts and Crafts Competition (juried)
Medium of Oil 
First Place
Piece submitted - Bow Valley Fire Sky


2016 Federation of Canadian Artists (juried)
Online exhibition - Limitless
July 2nd to Sept 30th
5 Pieces accepted


2015 Calgary Stampede Creative Arts and Crafts Competition (juried)

Medium of Oil - Landscapes

First Place

Piece submitted - Abalone Beach


2015 Calgary Stampede Creative Arts and Crafts Competition (juried)

All Mediums (landscape, floral, portrait, western themed) and All Categories (oils, acrylics, watercolours)

Second Place Overall Winner

Piece submitted - Abalone Beach

Seminars and Studies

2017 March 6th to 13th

Study in Plein Air Painting with artist Michael Downs

San Miguel, Mexico








Who is R E SWIRSKY ?

​r e swirsky