“A Day in the Life” with Calgary Visual Artist Anne McGilvary

Meet Anne McGilvary, a Canadian artist with roots that weave through Noranda, Quebec, and Sudbury, Ontario. Having called Calgary, Alberta, home for over 40 years, she is also the wonderful artist I proudly call my Mom.

Anne’s journey in art started early with a notable city award at the age of twelve and the sale of her first painting during high school. Her passion lies in capturing scenes that not only inspire but also prompt reflection. For example, her painting entitled, “The Sound of Silence”, metaphorically mimics a Simon & Garfunkel song that evokes a sense of contemplation, solitude, and introspection.

If I was asked to explain my Mom’s artwork in a single sentence, I would say that her art “Encourages you, the viewer, to take a moment to appreciate the subtle details of the world around you, such as the light and the shadows that dance throughout a meadow on a summer day”.

Methodical in her approach, Anne plans her paintings with detailed sketches in journals that are also filled with reference photos. She brings a sketchbook and her camera when she and my Dad go on day trips exploring favourite back roads in the mountains.

Working predominantly with acrylics, she crafts her pieces using gel and paste mediums. Her paintings are composed with delicate layers of glaze that gradually build up to reveal the finished pieces.

Dedicated to constant improvement, Anne often seeks guidance from professional artists through critiques and workshops, viewing art as a perpetual journey of growth.

Anne’s influence extends beyond canvases and exhibitions. She enjoys teaching art workshops and she has taken on the role of art mentor for all four of her grandchildren imparting the basics of creativity and expression. For my mom, it is sharing the beauty of the world, as she sees it, but for me, her artwork is a legacy, to be passed on through her brushstrokes and canvases.

Anne’s art can be found in collections across Canada and Internationally. Discover her captivating work at various art shows throughout the year. Details can be found at Anne McGilvary – Western Canadian Landscape Artist from Calgary, Alberta

-Written by Heather Anne McGilvary, her amazing daughter!

Anne McGilvary
Framing: Anne frames her art using custom-quality framing.
Anne McGilvary
Full Studio Shot: Anne’s studio functions well with great light and room to spare for storage.
Just Signed: A recently signed and framed piece entitled “Kananaskis Daybreak”.
Lale O’Hara Plein d’air: An amazing day painting at Sargent’s Point on Lake O’Hara.
Road to the Glacier: A trek towards Farnham Glacier. Anne adds fireweed images to many of her paintings.
Road to the Mine: A day trip along an old mining road to the top of MacDonald Creek.
Vales Greenhouse Art Show: The Vales Greenhouse Cultivation of Art Show. (2023)
Anne McGilvary
Waterton Park: A day of painting at the Waterton Wildflower Festival.
Wildflower Meadows: In search of wildflower photo references.


Which ’hood are you in?

I live on a small acreage in Rockyview County just west of the Calgary City limits. I have a studio above our garage and from my studio window, there is an amazing view of the distant mountains. We have local deer and moose that frequent our yard, and we enjoy a large variety of birds waterfowl throughout our community.

What do you do?

I am a ‘Landscape Artist”. My themes evolve around mountains, meadows, and wildflowers. I mainly paint in acrylics, but I have worked with every medium under the sun. I enjoy working on canvases that I texturize with gels and pastes. I glaze paint colours in layers with the ultimate goal of obtaining luminosity in my finished pieces. I enjoy plein d’air painting days but in general, I use the warmer months to collect sketches and photos that I use in my studio haven during the colder seasons.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on paintings for shows and events in 2024. It’s shaping up to be a busy and exciting year.

Where can we find your work?

I have been a member of the Route 22 Artist Collective and Gallery in Cochrane since it opened in 2020. Samples of my art hang there on a regular basis. Shows change every two months.

I have a solo show coming up for April at Framed on Fifth in Calgary. (Big thanks to Hannah White). This will be my third show in this great little gallery.

I am a member of the Calgary Chapter of The Federation of Canadian Artists. I plan to submit paintings for the Chapter’s spring and fall shows this year.

I have been invited back to the Vales Cultivation of Art show in Black Diamond in June. (Big thanks to Katrina Diebel)

I am a member of the Alberta Escape Artists Guild. Show plans are in the works for 2024.

For more info, you can visit my website.


About Stephanie Prentice 18 Articles
Stephanie Prentice, originally from Southern Ontario, now calls Alberta home, where she thrives on embracing life to the fullest. As a dedicated grant writer, she uses her expertise to support non-profit organizations in making a difference. In her spare time, Stephanie crafts sustainably developed mittens to combat Canadian winters. A true people person, Stephanie enjoys building connections and engaging with diverse communities. She's an adventurous soul, equally at home exploring new destinations or cherishing cozy moments. With a passion for travel and a crisp new passport, she's always ready for her next adventure, whether it's discovering warm beaches or hidden gems in the Rockies. Join Stephanie as she continues to advocate for causes close to her heart and make a positive impact wherever she goes.