“A Day in the Life” with Calgary-based Visual Artist Ray Swirsky

Ray Swirsky, an emerging artist based in Calgary, embarked on his artistic journey in the fall of 2014, initially exploring painting as a hobby. Since then, he has transitioned into a full-time career, actively producing oil paintings that showcase a diverse range, spanning from abstract realism to more traditional realism. Hailing from the small town of Kimberley, BC, Ray’s deep-rooted connection to the great outdoors is evident in his artwork, particularly in his landscape and bison paintings.

His portfolio reflects a dynamic array of subject matter and styles, including landscapes, portraits, cityscapes, and whatever else captures his artistic eye. Ray Swirsky continuously challenges himself to deepen his understanding of the basic fundamentals of art—light, value, and intensity—utilizing oil paints to convey a sense of atmosphere and depth in his paintings.

Each piece begins with a meticulous process of breaking down the composition into a few key shapes, defining these shapes with warm and cool areas. By strategically working these large shapes against one another, Ray creates a compelling sense of depth and atmosphere in his artwork. Constantly pushing himself to master the fundamental skills of his craft, he deliberately incorporates challenging elements into every painting, aspiring for these skills to become intuitive and consistent over time.

Ray’s commitment to artistic growth is apparent in the variety of subject matter and styles present in his work. Whether producing dramatic and refined landscapes or more whimsical interpretations, he remains dedicated to the continuous refinement of his artistic skills and the exploration of diverse themes within his portfolio.

Ray Swirsky
In nature, the best place to be.
Ray Swirsky
Always some excitement to create in Alberta.
The Artist and his Work.
This one captures the feeling of being in the mountains well.
Ray Swirsky
Ray and a very realistic local sight.
Ray Swirsky
Some of the best locations in the world to capture the beauty in nature.


Which ’hood are you in?

I live on the edge of Calgary in the Deep South. Love the easy access to nature, and Kananaskis Country.

What do you do?

I am an oil painter, creating landscapes, animals and just about anything I think might make a great painting. I work from home in my new home studio.

What are you currently working on?

Currently, I’m working on a dozen pieces, landscapes and animals for upcoming shows in 2024.

Where can we find your work?

You can find my work in a few galleries, Tutt Street Gallery, Kelowna; Art Gallery Kimberley, Kimberley, The Painted Moose, Bragg Creek, Paint ur Art Out, Calgary, online on Instagram and Facebook, and on my website. I have been a regular exhibitor at the Calgary Stampede Artists Studio, The Masters Art Show at Spruce Meadows, the Great Western Art Show in Montana, and many other Art shows around Calgary.

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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.