C. Joy (Graham) McCallister, Canadian artist

I’m a Nova Scotia born artist and live in the village of Kirkfield in Ontario’s City of Kawartha Lakes.

Canada’s Maritimes and my love of dance, music, and nature have been major influences as to who I am and what inspires me. I like to see how these influences weave their way into my artwork with movement, rhythmn, and colour. I’m drawn to creating art with high impact.

I’m primarily self-taught with a few art classes to explore techniques and strengthen my skills. Acrylics and oils are my main mediums but I do use watercolours, pen and ink, linoprint, and scratchboard.

My preferred style is a combination of abstract realism and life stills, especially in conveying nature’s beautiful moments. I like to capture unexpected images in nature and life, the moments so many of us pass over quite easily. I tend to have a matter-of-fact and low-key attitude towards life and sense these traits also find their way into my art. For this reason I try to force myself outside my comfort zone because it always brings a renewed energy to my art with surprising and unexpected results. I find it breaks me away for a while from being low-key.

My experience with painting began in Ottawa in 1995 with the decorative arts where I became active on the Board of Directors of the Ottawa Valley Decorative Artists Guild as newsletter editor and annual show convenor. With sales very good at the annual shows, I branched out by making sales through a few home decor outlets.

In 2002 I was fortunate to attend a 5-day Painting Wildlife studio course taught by Canadian artist David Alexander Risk at the Haliburton School of Art & Design. This was a major milestone for me as I realized I was capable of taking art further. Life happens. Career and home priorities left me little time for making the transition to the finer arts  until retirement. David Risk remains a strong influence in my art.

In August 2016 everything David Risk taught me resurfaced when I attended Robert Bateman’s intense 4-day Passions & Practices non-studio course at the Haliburton School of Art & Design. This course gave me a refreshing shift of attitude and approach to my art. Packed full of tips, techniques, discussions, and teachings, this intense course represented another major milestone in my artistic endeavours. I’ve not looked back since.

I hope you enjoy viewing my work.

From the underpainting to the finished piece

At left you can see the underpainting as it was in progress for the final painting Into the Bush. At right is the final painting. To see more of my underpaintings, go to in my studio.