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© Debra Ward Towards the Light

Debra Ward



Born in Banff, I spent my childhood playing in the woods, watching the light and listening closely. The patterns of the primal forest, the undulating coulee and Alberta’s skies inform my painting vocabulary.
Living all over Canada and finally settling in Calgary, my path led me to Alberta College of Art & Design (now AUArts). There I made many friends and absorbed as much as I could hold. I received my BFA in painting, and then taught in the Extensions program. A few years later I opened my own teaching studio and have made my living teaching art ever since. Plein air painting is my meditation and I do it anytime, anywhere. My favourite things are to hike, photograph, read, dance and travel. I’ve had three solo shows and many group exhibitions as well.

Artist Statement

I love exploring the complexity of nature and how it leaves an imprint on the human experience.
Painting outdoors, directly from the source, sharpens my sensitivity and deepens the interior pool. It may be a place, yes, but also a place within. Besides the land, I’m also drawn more and more to the figure and am finding a strange tenderness in painting strangers.

My aim is to weave a coherent worldview and a sense of my place in it. A beautiful world, if I can.

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