Deer Crossing
"Deer Crossing", acrylics on canvas, 8"x8" - 2021

My reference photo for Deer Crossing is a view from our cottage window. This spot is where the deer frequently cross our property. After a fresh snowfall, they made their own deer crossing sign, therefore my choice of title Deer Crossing.

The Woods oils C. Joy McCallister
"The Woods", oils on canvas, 7"x5" - 2018

PRIVATE COLLECTION – Painting small captured my imagination one day in 2003 when I saw a box of small canvases and frames on sale at my favourite art supplier. My career was in full swing back then and I wasn’t up to the challenge. I was confident I would do something with them one day so stashed the box away. The Woods was the first piece to rise from that box of small frames and canvases. I was inspired by small creations in oils by Joyce Washor.

My experience with oils was next to none, so I challenged myself to do this small piece in oils after encouragement and support from my friend Michèle D. Roussel. I had the pleasure of meeting Michèle at Robert Bateman’s 2016 course Passions and Practices in Haliburton and we have become good friends. We share and critique each other’s work and have stimulating conversations about art. Photo credit: Robert Roaldi,

"Ottawa's Mer Bleue Bog", acrylics on gallery birch panel, 10" x 8" - 2021

PRIVATE COLLECTION – “Ottawa’s Mer Bleue Bog”

Into the Bush C. Joy McCallister acrylics
"Into the Bush", acrylics on gallery canvas, 24"x18" - 2018

When we leave our cottage near Haliburton, my habit has always been to glance into the bush as I’m getting into the car. On this day, a small cluster of dried russet leaves caught my eye and I saw a painting. I knelt in the snow to capture this intimate view of nature often overlooked with our quick glances at nature.

Cold Winter Night C. Joy McCallister acrylics
"Cold Winter Night", acrylics on canvas, 16"x 8" - 2017

Cold Winter Night began life as an exercise in loosening-up. Ready to accept what happened, I chose colours appealing to my mood at the time and had some play time. The background revealed a down and moody day.

I kept it simple with non-descript trees. Painting without concern for success and without planning a colour scheme released me from bringing in details I can tend towards doing. My only thought was play and after completing Cold Winter Night, I made a commitment to do this more often. The pieces don’t always turn out, but then, that’s not the purpose of the exercise.

Furnace Falls, Irondale River C. Joy McCallister acrylics
"Furnace Falls, Irondale River", acrylics on canvas, 18"x24" - 2016

Where the Irondale River runs under Highway 503 in Haliburton County, a small rest stop area offers a path to the river’s edge and a calmness and serenity of place. The small but dynamic Furnace Falls fills the senses as shallow water cascades over large flat rocks. The colours of an autumn day  reward us with a stunning vista as we look upstream from the falls to where the river sneaks around a sharp bend before approaching the rocks. The water tumbles gently into a pool and with just one more large rock to navigate, the river calmly wends its way under the highway. Here are a few intersting websites. For the actual waterfalls, see  The Furnace Falls Waterfalls and for the ghost town Furnace Falls, see Furnace Falls – A Ghost Town

"Balancing Rock, Nova Scotia", acrylics on gallery canvas, 36"x12" - 2019

PRIVATE COLLECTION – “Balancing Rock” is a Nova Scotia coastal geological formation in Digby County. It’s located on the St. Mary’s Bay side of Long Island at the tip of Digby Neck. It’s a 9-metre high columnar stack of basalt rock that appears to be balancing. A view of the formation from water’s edge reveals half of it is actually attached to the base rock. It’s possible it’s been like this thousands, if not millions, of years. Water erosion caused many of the basalt formations along the coast of St. Mary’s Bay to tumble but this one stands fast. There’s a viewing platform at the end of a 2.5 km trail that takes just over an hour to walk.

Autumn Splash oils C. Joy McCallister
"Autumn Splash", oils on canvas, 18"x24" - 2018

Autumn Splash emerged from a one-day Kawartha Arts Network workshop painting alla prima with Lucy Manley. Doing this piece pushed me out of my comfort zone and was a rewarding experience. In the end, I was happy with what I achieved in capturing the feel of the scene in Lucy’s reference photo.