This lady is truly a cultural creative. In addition to creating as a painter, her artistic soul finds expression in pottery poetry and interior design. But her creativity doesn’t stop there. She has been known to use credit cards and toothbrushes as artistic tools and leaves and sand as media to create texture in her paintings. She is always experimenting and learning new techniques.


Her study of art and design is evident in her process which includes many layers of paint and glazes creating beautiful luminosity. Her analytic eye enables her to paint realism while her artistic soul expresses itself in impressionism. Rarely are artists skilled at both.


Emily immigrated to Canada as a child from war-torn Poland and grew up surrounded by the lakes and trees of Manitoba. Today she is still inspired by patterns she sees in nature here in Canada and wherever she travels. Reflecting on what creating and surrounding herself with art means to her, she states:

“Enjoying meaningful art carries us out of our time to a state of mind of the largeness of time and space. In moments of crisis art is there to keep us alive.”


Emily is the co- founder and president of the Passionate Painters Art Group.

See more of her work on her new website :

One of my first experiences in the visual arts came in 1988 when I took an art

class from a well-known Calgary artist and instructor. At that time, I enjoyed using
coloured pencils to create drawings on paper. From the instruction I received, I
learned to appreciate the various aspects of creating my own art and having it
become a lifelong passion.

As an independent artist, I later discovered the joy of painting in Acrylics and I
furthered my artistic skills. My approach to my work varies, prompting me to seek
out new painting techniques and applying them to my created pieces.

It’s no secret that among other subjects that I like to paint, flowers are my most favorite. With petals that are free flowing and colourful, no two are alike. They allow me the opportunity to experiment with different design elements to create a beautiful image on canvas. This is the primary attraction for me.


I have always had a special fondness for photorealism and classical period paintings. In my own work, using photo references or painting from life, I strive for accurate and detailed depictions in my subjects by creating what they look like in nature or in my surroundings.

   You can see more of my work on my website





I was the kind of kid who lived in their imagination more than in the real world. My favourite solitary activity was drawing. I spent hours at it right up until the time I went to Mount Royal University to study Interior Design. Do you know how much drawing that involves? Mostly technical drawing with a bit of water colour thrown in for architectural rendering.


Somehow in that process, drawing stopped being fun for me. The only drawing I did

was for my design clients for more than 20 years. In a strange twist, I ended up publishing a non-fiction book that was successful enough that I had no time for my design practise.


A few months after my abrupt career change I began to really miss creating and I joined a painting collective. My first day I didn’t even know how to hold a paintbrush but only a few months later I was selling paintings.



“Painting has become my therapy and my passion. I can’t imagine my life without it. Some people are just born to create!” ~ Donna Carter


Ray Swirsky is one of the newest members of the Passionate Painters. He is a true cultural creative. In addition to painting with oils, he creates by writing and has written and published several mystery thriller novels. 



Ray brings that sense of mystery and drama to the canvas by contrasting lights with darks, neutrals with pure colour and realism with abstraction.


Inspired by the paintings and artistic impulses of a friend one evening at a dinner party, Ray began his own art career only three days later by taking his first class. 


Forever grateful for this turn his life has taken Ray says, “Painting has taught me to see the world differently, in colours, shapes, shadows and compositions.”


About his ceative process Ray says,  “When I'm painting I only think about my subject and my canvas and how to set down what I see onto the canvas.”

Diana Harris is almost certainly the most versatile of the Passionate Painters. She moves effortlessly from oil to acrylic, realism to abstraction. Whatever style she tackles, she does it with incredible focus and determination. An insatiable learner, she is always taking at least one class or workshop at a time.



Inspired by the great Impressionist painters, the Group of Seven, and many local Canadian artists, she strives to display movement, and explore color in her work. She is drawn towards bold colors and texture.





Formerly a critical care nurse, she volunteered for Wings of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation for nine years, working closely with jewelry designers to coordinate the jewelry fundraising campaign.




Over the years she has exhibited her art in a number of exhibitions, contributed many paintings to fundraising events, and has sold many paintings to private collectors. 



“Art is my story, my existence, my love. It drives my passion and feeds my soul.  I create for the love of art.”  

Jacqueline is relatively new member of the Passionate Painters. Primarily a self-taught artist, she is known affectionately by her family as the Pyjama Painter since she is often drawn into her home studio even before getting dressed for the day. She credits her youngest of 3 sons, for her inspiration and desire to paint, which came after watching him create a large mural in downtown Calgary.

Partnering with wildlife photographers in recent months has afforded her the  challenge of capturing on canvas, the emotion, spirit and soul of her subjects through her interpretation of these images.



Jacqueline says, "Creativity has been with me since I was a young person. Whether I was sewing, gardening, or cooking ... I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t creating. I have been painting for nearly seven years now, and have truly found my “Joie de Vivre”!

As co-founder and first president of the Passionate Painters Art Group, Louise  can't remember a time when she wasn't intrigued with the creation of art. In 1993 she began to paint in watercolour but later exchanged that medium for the bold, unapolagetic tools of acrylic, mixed media and collage.


She is drawn to a wide variety of subject matter including abstract, landscape and florals. Her passion for gardening and quilting inform her art which includes both organic and geometric shapes.


"Creating art gives me a reason to get out of bed in the mornings and fills my days with the joy of creating, a sense if acconplishment, and gives me something to strive for- to improve as a painter."


Louise is the owner of Leading Edge Art Workshops which has afforded her the opportunity to study with many internationally known artists. She is also an avid photographer, and uses her own photographs as inspriration for her paintings.



Louise says,"I am an experimental artist...I am the most excited and engaged in my work when I don't know what the outcome will be. I love to play...and let the painting tell me what to do next."

Sylvie's artistic development was nurtured and encouraged by her family as she grew up in Montreal. Although she considered a career as a race car driver or a dancer, she instead went the academic route, earning a Ph D in geology. In case that sounds boring to you, you should know it opened the door to great adventure, travel and exploration which has profoundly influenced her art.

"These environments allowed me to reconnect with nature and observe beauty though colour harmonies, textures and shapes which stimulated the development of my artistic styles and ideals."

She doesn't feel that art should have to be explained. She believes it is more interesting and honest to allow the viewer to bring thier personal interpretation to the experience.


"Creating art brings me into a space that feels harmonious. it is probably while I am painting that I feel the most connected with myself and my surroundings. It is a different and wonderful way to learn about life and the world that complements my science background. It also opens a door to become a better human being."


By Donna Carter