A Passion for Painting

I have a passion for painting. It began at an early age and continues to this day. From watercolour, acrylics, to oil painting. I am experienced in many painting media. I would like to meet with you to discuss a possible commissioned art project. Be it a potrait of yourself or someone special. A painting of a home or cottage or even a mural for a wall in your home or business. Let me enrich your life through art.

The Franciscan

(Father Mike)


As I was nearing retirement I wanted to give a gift to the high school that I had taught at for 35 years. A thought came to my mind. It wasn’t so much a gift to the school but a gift to someone near and dear to the hearts of the Holy Cross community. Our beloved Father Mike, the Franciscan. Over the last 15 years of my teaching career he has a been the spiritual leader of our school for both staff and students. He has always walked the talk. A beacon of the Catholic faith. A faithful follower of the words and deeds of Jesus Christ.

So I began creating a portrait of Father Mike to honour all that he has meant to me and our school community. It took about a year to complete, from conception, to the imprimatura (first painting), to the completed painting, varnishing and framing. The picture was painted, for the most part, at the Old Masters Painting Atelier in Hamilton under the watchful guidance of Paul Richard James. Mike Raso, a woodworker in Guelph, made the beautiful frame for the portrait. Mike Texiera (Technology Department Head) along with Nancy Stirpe (Visual Arts teacher) at Holy Cross were instrumental in the conception and presentation of the gift  to Father Mike. May God Bless him.
The Franciscan - Father Mike
Tarryn's Framed Portrait


Tarryn’s Portrait Progression

This is a portrait I completed of my daughter Tarryn in her 18th year. This portrait was painted in the Classical oil painting method made popular during the Renaissance period. People would often tell me that I was able to captured Tarryn’s late teen demure.

Joe Swanek Painting his daughters portrait
My Master Oil Painting class at the Paul Richard James Atelier, Hamilton, Ontario.


My passion is my art.

Award winning artist.

Joe Swanek is an artist/educator. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art (fine arts drawing & painting), The University of Guelph (printmaking) and Queen's University (artist in the community program). He has had group and one person art shows in Ontario and New Brunswick.

He has spent many summers painting (watercolour) in New Brunswick (St. Andrews by-the-Sea) and in and around Guelph. Joe has been a high school Visual Arts teacher for the past 33 years.

Some of my featured paintings & sketches