Images of the Keji Country by Don Pentz

From an SSP press release

Don Pentz’s Images of the Keji Country illuminates the pristine beauty of Nova Scotia’s Kejimkujik National Park and pays homage to the Mi’kmaq’s sacred ground.

June 14, 2021 (HALIFAX, NS) – Just released is Donald R. Pentz’s latest book, Images of the Keji Country. The book’s collection of gorgeous watercolours and black and white petroglyph paintings serves, in part, as a commentary on the painting process, with folksy journal notes from a veteran backwoods adventurer.

This collection of images – watercolour sketches executed “en plein air”, studio oil paintings and ink and acrylic petroglyph paintings describe a vast nature retreat that was formerly a native hunting and fishing ground – hallowed territory that the artist shows extreme reverence for.

Pentz’s history with Kejimkujik, a 380 sq. km. tract in the interior of the southwest end of the province and the National Park that was founded in 1968, goes back almost 60 years – as a woodsman, naturalist, park interpreter and artist. He has explored and sketched its farthest reaches and has developed a profound understanding and respect for its physical and spiritual place.

“Stars are not only in the sky but also at my feet—reflections of them shimmering on the mirror-image calm of the lake. Even my billy tin of freshly dipped water for tea holds a few stars. I shall drink them with my tea and then, giving thanks, stir the campfire to send a shower of sparks skyward to replace the stars I’d swallowed. And straight above me, a distant silver pinpoint of light streaking unerringly across the sequined sky.”

Don Pentz

Images of the Keji Country will be available in Nova Scotia bookstores on June 21, 2021 or online via SSP Publications ( or

  • ISBN 978-1-989347-09-6
  • 10” x 8”, PB, colour,
  • 136 pages

Donald Pentz is a Nova Scotia artist (oils, watercolours, acrylics) currently residing in Halifax. Graduating with a Fine Arts degree from Mount Allison University in 1966, he later completed a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Regina (1979). That was followed by a bursary to take part in a special six-week painting program at the Banff School of Fine Arts. A recipient of Canada Council and Nova Scotia Arts grants, his work has been exhibited in galleries across Canada and as far afield as China, England, Cuba, France, Japan and the United States. Pentz has been exhibiting his work since 1967 and is an elected member of the Royal Academy of the Arts (R.C.A.) and the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour (C.S.P.W.C.).
A segment of Pentz’s art career was spent working as a zoological illustrator for the Museum of Natural History in Ottawa, drawing everything from massive dinosaur bones to minuscule sand fleas (amphipods). After a two-year stint in Ottawa, Pentz moved back to Nova Scotia in 1970 and eventually worked as a naturalist/interpreter for Kejimkujik National Park and then as an illustrator/naturalist for the Nova Scotia Dept. of Lands and Forests. His paintings can be seen in over thirty corporate and university collections as well as numerous private collections. In 2007, he was inducted into the Visual Arts Nova Scotia Honour Roll.
Still active as an exhibiting artist, Don continues to go out on solo canoe trips to paint on location.

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