“A Day in the Life” with Calgary Visual Artist Andrew Bellavie

Andrew Bellavie is inspired foremost by the landscapes of Western Canada. He believes painting directly from nature allows him as an artist to best distil the essence of the moment into a painting, to capture the feeling of the setting. To Andrew, the natural environment is rugged but at the same time fragile; dangerous, but at the same time, beautiful.

Andrew has been influenced by The Group of Seven and their contemporaries, primarily through their techniques and their references to nature. Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cezanne and Paul Henry are also some of the artists who have influenced Andrew’s painting. He is grateful to Dominik Modlinski, Sharon Lynn Williams and Charlie Easton for their mentorship and the many friendships made on his artistic journey.

Some of his favourite painting haunts are Kananaskis, Banff, Jasper, Northern Alberta, Vancouver Island, Bella Coola and Saskatchewan. He is inspired by places for different reasons: adventure, nature, history, mortality and often, the way the light hits a gnarled tree in his walking path.

Andrew’s artwork can be found in private collections in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, United Kingdom and the USA. He is an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and Calgary Sketch Club.

Andrew Bellavie
Enjoying some sketching and a break from hiking at Paget Peak in Yoho National Park. Photo by: Mary Bellavie
Andrew Bellavie
Downclimbing on limestone slabs in Kananaskis, painting gear astride. Photo by: Maureen Miller
Getting up close and personal while I’m painting ‘Western Larches’. Photo by: Mary Bellavie
Standing in the Bow River holding a completed painting of Castle Mountain, AB. Photo by: Mary Bellavie
Feeling inspired while sketching ‘Lost Lake’ near Bella Coola, BC. Photo by: Mary Bellavie
Proudly displaying artworks at a local art show in Calgary, AB.
Andrew Bellavie
Capturing the ‘feeling of the place’ in Spray Valley South of Canmore, AB. Photo by: Dominik Modlinski
Andrew Bellavie
Traversing the ice of Vermilion Lakes in Banff, AB. Photo by: Mary Bellavie


Which ’hood are you in?

Currently in Renfrew, overlooking Deerfoot Trail and Nose Creek Pathway in the heart of Calgary. Born and raised in Braeside, between Glenmore Reservoir and Fish Creek Park.

What do you do?

I’m an artist, scientist, husband, and father. I’m a self-taught painter and use keen observation to incorporate techniques from historic artists into my work, while still making each creation my own. My favourite way to experience the landscape is to visit in person and sketch a scene in oils on wood panels directly from nature. I feel that it’s an elegant way to capture the rawness of nature. I never paint ‘realistic’ and prefer to stylize or have the ‘feeling of the place’ in my work instead. Sometimes I describe my style of painting as folk art because it’s born of the land. I’m big on nostalgia, you know? One of my favourite projects was a collaboration with a musician to create an album cover, and I would love to do that again.

For fun, I like to go hiking & camping, but also, I like socializing with friends and an evening of karaoke or board games. I take immense pleasure in live music and live sports too. My daughter is 14 months old, so we spend as much time as possible together reading and playing.

What are you currently working on?

My work is cyclical, like the seasons: I paint outside in the summer and in the studio all winter. I always have several canvases on the go. Right now, I’m preparing for several art shows before the winter holidays and several more in 2024. That means photographing artwork, framing paintings, wiring frames, inventory, and promotion! I’ll be working on some commissioned paintings as well. I’m looking forward to next year and planning out some painting trips around the country, hoping to collaborate with other artists passionate about the place we live.

Where can we find your work?

Find me online and on Instagram. I participate in several art shows around Calgary each year. It is an absolute privilege to display my paintings at The Next Page bookstore in Inglewood.