Afshan’s Art

Story by Jody Sanderson


Photos by Kristy Reimer

Spring 2024

As a child growing up in Lahore, Pakistan, becoming an artist was never in the plans for Afshan Khan. Even when her family immigrated to Canada when she was 14, art was not something that called to her, although she always had a deep appreciation for nature.

“I had never dreamed I would be doing anything like this,” says Afshan. “My background is in science, and I worked in the oil and gas industry for years. But now, art is what my heart wants on all levels.”

The love affair began after having her third child.

“I started art therapy to get me through postpartum depression, and I only painted now and then for the first five years. But then I fell in love with the process of creating art,” she says. “It is my path to serenity and piece of mind.”

Afshan describes herself as a prolific and self-taught visual artist, passionate about colours and textures. Usually working on one piece at a time, she creates a variety of work but is inspired by the natural beauty of landscapes and light that is so evident in her work. Cloudscapes and the vibrant colours of changing seasons are prominent in her large canvases. Her inspiration comes from the long walks she takes with her family and their four-legged fur baby, Echo.

Having experimented with a variety of mediums and textures, Afshan has worked mostly with acrylic and palette knives. She is especially drawn to the work of Gustav Klimt and Van Gogh, and their courage and dedication to art.

Currently residing in Balzac, Afshan says it’s the perfect spot to live. “It’s just ten minutes from Airdrie, which I love,” says. “It’s such a beautiful and cozy city, reminding me of our early years in Canada when we lived in Saskatoon.”

Afshan says her 11-year-old daughter is especially interested in art, and they often paint together.

“The boys however, 18 and 15, are mostly into basketball and football,” she laughs.

Afshan’s most recent exhibition was at the Badlands Community Facility in Drumheller, which also included the works of seven other artists from Airdrie. Currently, she is in the midst of setting up a gallery space at her home studio and plans to be open one or two days a week and by appointment later this year. Her work is also available on Instagram at artby_afshan.