A chance encounter with someone’s forgotten canvas at a bus stop led Roxanne Mallette to return to painting after a hiatus that lasted decades

In 2014, Mallette was waiting for a bus when she spotted the blank canvas. Assuming it belonged to an artist who would return, Mallette left the canvas at the bus stop.

“I put it off to the side where I thought it would be safe and, if they wanted, they would look,” said Mallette. “After work I went home and I forgot about it for a little bit. Then, about an hour later, I went, ‘Oh yeah, that canvas’ and went off.”

“There it was and I said ’The universe says to paint again’.”

Mallette picked up a paintbrush and  transformed the blank canvas into a brightly coloured montage of musical instruments,

The artist continues to work behind the counter at the Tim Hortons location in the Senator Burns building on the SAIT campus. The majority of the customers she sees on a daily basis are unaware of the coffee handler’s artistic talents.

Staff members of SAIT’s School of Health and Public Safety learned of Mallette’s passion and encouraged her to bring her art public.

Jennifer Calvez, a lab technology instructor, says Mallette is a daily inspiration to many.

“Every morning when you go and get your coffee Roxie is there smiling and serving you and it just makes the morning pleasurable,” said Calvez. “Finding out that she actually is this amazing artist, that's very inspiring. It just comes out of her and you can tell that she's passionate about it.”

For brightening the days of many people, be it through art or coffee, Roxanne Mallette is this week’s CTV Inspiring Albertan.

With files from CTV's Darrel Janz