Crystal Beshara’s touching watercolour, “Heart Whispers” (inspired by a photo she took at the 2019 Vankleek Hill Fair) is headed to Texas for The Southwestern Watercolor Society 57th Annual Exhibition.Since moving back to the area, Canadian contemporary realist artist Crystal Beshara’s renewed sense of “self” has permeated her latest works of art and her career is beginning to take off on the international art scene.

As a child, Crystal spent many summers attending (and even participated in events at) the Vankleek Hill Fair. The nerves, the excitement, the scents and sounds of the country fair have had a lingering impact on her fondness for the area. Now as an adult (and mother),  it was pure nostalgia to capture this precious exchange just after their line class, between young Piper and her massive companion Irene, a majestic Clydesdale owned by the Heatlie Family.  “I couldn’t believe how tiny Piper kept up with Irene’s gate when they trotted in front of the crowd last year. She was all but lifted off the ground!” The draft horses have always been a favourite of Beshara’s and this quiet, fleeting moment was too beautiful to resist.

Born to two artistic parents, Beshara has been painting and drawing since a child but moved to Ottawa to pursue her studies and a career. After 20 years of living in the Nation’s Capital as an artist, illustrator and successful arts educator, a new relationship brought her back quite unexpectedly to the area where she grew up and the genesis of her artistic journey, in Prescott Russell. Returning to her rural roots has brought clarity and created a powerful shift in her latest paintings.

“It wasn’t until I had moved in with my husband that I realized how impactful being back in the country could be. My senses are alive again. A veil has been lifted. My vision is clearer and most importantly my heart has opened again. There’s nothing quite like that feeling of “coming home” metaphorically and, in my case, also geographically”.

“I try to paint almost daily and honour my love for the natural world both through my artwork and teaching philosophy. My environment is key to my creative flow and I am so grateful that  I can just step out of my light filled studios, clip flowers from my garden, take in the rolling farmlands, meet up with local cowboys & cowgirls, or take a stroll in the woods rather than working almost exclusively from photos in a dark basement and hustling every day as I was in the city. I feel closer and more connected to the world… my childhood sense of wonder has returned and that is reflected in the stories I tell through my artwork”.

This guiding principal seems to be paying off as her work is being noted by American art markets. Last year she won The Award of Excellence for her painting “Lean on Me” (at the Steamboat Art Museum in Colorado Springs), was invited to teach a hugely popular workshop in (Wyoming), exhibited alongside fellow Canadian Wildlife Master Robert Bateman (Cincinnati) and Settlers West Galleries (Arizona) and The Steamboat Art Museum (Colorado Springs). Currently, Beshara’s oil painting “Cowgirl Up!” is featured in FINE ART CONNOISSEUR MAGAZINE, July / August edition profiling North America’s best Equine Artists. Keep an eye out for more news as she gears up for a solo show in Ottawa featuring local farm scenes from the Prescott Russell area.

“I think creative integrity and staying true to the subject matter that really lights your fire is crucial to honouring yourself and your work. It is indeed WORK and requires a lot of discipline and I am not without my discouraged days, but I am hopeful my steadfastness will pay off in the long run.”


“Heart Whispers” watercolour 16”x20”  (Limited Edition prints are available through the artist)

“Lean on Me” Oil on canvas 24×24 , Private Collection

“Cowgirl Up!” Oil on canvas 20×20, Available through the artist

About Crystal Beshara:

Crystal Beshara is an award winning contemporary realist painter. Crystal works in watercolour, oil and graphite and holds a BFA in Studio from The University of Ottawa as well as a Diploma in Botanical Illustration from the UK. She strives to create strong narrative in her work, combining realism and expressionism to give emotional charge to her rural subject matter. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including International Artist Magazine. Recently Crystal was awarded Best in Watercolour for her watercolour painting “These Boots” at the annual SKB Rendezvous in Wyoming and the Award for Excellence for her oil painting “Lean On Me” at the Steamboat Art Museum in Colorado Springs.

Crystal’s studio is situated in L’Orignal Ontario in Prescott Russell where she lives with her fiancé and their two dogs. To book a viewing, inquire about commissions or local and international art retreats, visit the artist’s website.