Tag Archives: 30 in 30

New Painting – Pink Peony Progress

Pink Peony Painting in Progress

pink peonie wip
Pink Peony Please wip #1

I’m doing a 30 in 30 painting challenge. I’m hoping to post a new timelapse video of me painting each day for 30 days. I hope you will follow to see my progress.

Any comments, views etc. will probably help motivate me, though really my reasons  for doing this are selfish, I’m using it as an accountability tool.

I’m starting off with this painting of a peony, the first time I’ve ever painted this type of flower.

You can see this timelapse video  and more on my YouTube channel.

I’ll write more tomorrow …. I’m racing against the clock to post this right now. The whole point of me doing this is to use it as an accountability tool, as I’ve been caught up in volunteer work and I need to carve out painting time to create a new body of paintings.

This painting  of the pink peony is not part of that series, but it is the first timelapse painting video I’ve ever done, and so it’s all part of the process.

Subscribe to my blog so you can see what progress I make tomorrow.

Apple 3 – 30 paintings in 30 days, #14

Apple 3, 6"x6", acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.
Apple 3, 6″x6″, acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.

The last apple variety in this trio is red delicious. And to be honest, I was ready for a change … so I’ve started something completely different for the next trio.

I might return to the Fruit & Vegetable theme during this challenge, there are a few more I’d like to paint – thanks also for your suggestions (kiwi & purple cabbage).


So happy to be halfway through the challenge. My brother & his wife arrive tomorrow for 2 weeks, so it is possible that I won’t post a new painting every single day while they are here with us.

To me life balance is not a static state, there is constant change (even when it is so subtle you don’t realize it is happening). Some of it is beyond your control. The key is to remain flexible, and aware, and choose to exert some force when you want to change direction.

If you would like to know more about my semi-private art classes  or upcoming exhibitions, please take a look here.


Tomato Still-life, 30 paintings in 30 days, #8

Tomato still-life 3, 6"x6", acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.
Tomato still-life 3, 6″x6″, acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.

This is the third tomato painting in this series, they can be hung/purchased individually or as a group.

I don’t think I’ve ever painted tomatoes before, they were fun to paint. So I will probably be doing more fruit and vegetable paintings in the future!

Here they are as a grouping …

Tomato still-life trio, based on original acrylic paintings by Donna Grandin

I really enjoy using Picmonkey.com to create collages with my images. Give it a try, it is so much fun, you’ll want to use it for everything!



Torch Ginger Trio – 30 in 30, day 3

Torch Ginger Trio 3, 6"x6", acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.
Torch Ginger Trio 3, 6″x6″, acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.

Here is the third canvas in the Torch Ginger Trio. As I mentioned before, the paintings can be hung/purchased individually or as a group.

They are inspired by my recent trip to the Caribbean, where exotic flowers & foliage abound!

Torch Ginger Trio, a view of all three paintings
Torch Ginger Trio, a view of all three paintings

I enjoyed painting these in a very loose, flowing style, I’m looking forward to doing it on a larger scale, where I stand & use my whole body – painting from the shoulder, instead of the wrist.

Meanwhile, with the painting I will post tomorrow, I went in the opposite direction.

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And if you’re in the Burlington area, I will be offering art classes from October.

Thanks for the great feedback everyone, I’m happy to hear how many of you are excited that I’m doing the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge again. Thanks for following along, and please share with your friends!



Torch Ginger Trio 2 – day 2 of 30 in 30

Torch Ginger Trio 2, 6"x6", acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.
Torch Ginger Trio 2, 6″x6″, acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.

This was the first painting I did in this set of 3, but all are inspired by the same photograph that I took of some torch ginger lilies on my recent trip to the Caribbean. They can be purchased and/or hung individually, or as a grouping.

My collection of reference photos has probably grown too large … it takes a long time to choose something to paint!

I’m thinking of heliconia next though … what do you think?




Return of the 30 paintings in 30 days – day 1

Torch Ginger Trio 1, 6"x6", acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.
Torch Ginger Trio 1, 6″x6″, acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.

Yes. I am that crazy. They say if you need something done, give it to a busy person to do … and I know that to be true. So, at a time when I am completely overwhelmed by how much I have on my plate, I’ve signed up to do Leslie Saeta’s 30 paintings in 30 days challenge again this year – along with over 800 other artists from all over the world.

Admittedly, it is a form of escapism. Self-medicating with art therapy, meditation, however you think of it, there is something about the act of painting that centers a person. It forces you to be in the moment, and the more you give in to your instincts, trust your intuition, the easier the work flows out of you. And you are changed by the process. Art is my mood-altering drug of choice.

After a fantastic 5 week working vacation to the Caribbean, my return home has not been an easy transition. It felt as if a giant baby picked up my house, shook it like a rattle & then put it back down. It seemed everything was in the wrong place, and it’s taken me almost 2 weeks to get a handle on it.

Some of this is our own doing – a make-over for my son’s bedroom – and some of it is due to a freak flood that happened in our area (2 months worth of rain in 3hrs), which seeped into our basement. We have to replace the flooring, and I’ve had to empty my office/storage room and slowly but surely I’m purging through paperwork etc. that has accumulated over the years. Two of the items I unearthed were a calender from 1993 – the year I started University – and a vinyl sign (Aquavisions by Donna Gomez) from my first solo exhibition in 1996.

It will take time to go through, there is a large portfolio of older drawings that got partially wet & has some mildew. I’d like to photograph the drawings before getting rid of them, and each one is charged with nostalgia. I am considering turning this into a little art project.

As I look forward to other things coming up this month, I realize it would be easy for the weeks & months to zip by before I get back to a more consistent painting routine. So, instead of waiting till the chaos is over, I’m going to accept this as the new normal. And I’m going to balance the chaos with creativity.

This painting of torch ginger lilies is one of a trio of small paintings I just completed. They may be purchased individually or as a group. I will post one a day, I just wanted to get a couple days ahead of the challenge so that there isn’t too much pressure to produce. And this may be the longest blog post for some time, most days I will probably just post the image & details.

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Thirty paintings in 30 days – challenge completed!

30 paintings in 30 days, Jan '14
30 paintings in 30 days, Jan ’14

This challenge was a great way to start out the new year! I really enjoyed making my painting a priority this month, because the last couple months had been about building this new website, preparing for the studio tour, then for the exhibition in Paris, then Christmas with my family and so I was craving time at the easel.

Doing the challenge in the public eye was a wonderful way to hold myself accountable, but also it made it easy to carve out the time because friends and family knew this was my priority this month. There are a lot of loose ends to tie up now, and things to catch up on, so February is promising to be just as busy as January. However, I’ve decided to build on this experience by posting a “painting in a day” once a week on this blog. Starting on Thurs February 6th.

Leslie Saeta, the artist who initiated this challenge, asked for feedback from the 400 artists taking part. She did a podcast on it yesterday, on her internet radio show Artists helping Artists and she read my response – it’s at the 18:31 mark. If you’re an artist and you haven’t come across this resource before, I recommend the AHA show as something to listen to while you paint – second to music of course.

It was funny to hear Leslie remark that I “should be a writer”, because I’ve found that one of the things that came out of this was I gave in to blogging. Each day I’d write my thoughts at the time of posting, with no preconceived plan, and no time to edit beyond a quick read through or two. Normally I do this type of writing as part of my creative process, and no-one else sees it. However, I’ve received some great responses to the writing, and I think in the long run blogging does enrich my work by allowing me to present a wider view of my artistic production.

So thank you everyone for following, for taking the time to keep me company on this journey and giving encouragement by way of commenting, sharing and best of all, investing in my art!

See a slideshow of all of the paintings here.


Daily Painting Challenge, 30 paintings in 30 days. Day 30

The story within, 10"x8", acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $150.
The story within, 10″x8″, acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. SOLD

This is the last painting of the challenge, a photo I’ve wanted to paint for a long time, I think it has a narrative quality to it. I could dispel the mystery right now by giving the location, but I’m curious to see who will recognize it. Let me know, in the comments below!

Technically this painting was completed before midnight, but I waited to photograph it this morning. I really should have picked a simpler image so that I could get done faster, but I was drawn to this one, and I’d rather paint something that intrigues me than something easy.

This is another painting that I could see myself doing again, larger. It would be completely different of course, since each brushstroke I make and each colour I mix is in the moment, but the general structure would be the same. Then again, there are so many things to paint – each day brings new inspiration if you’re open to it. So I probably won’t circle back.

I’m going to create a collage of the 30 paintings, that will be in another post later today.

Daily Painting Challenge, 30 paintings in 30 days. Day 24

Intrigue, 8"x8", acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.
Intrigue, 8″x8″, acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.

Before I began this challenge I wrote a list of 30 different things I wanted to do this month – monochromatic, figurative, portrait, abstract, oils etc. – and even though I haven’t looked back at the list, I think I’ve been hitting them all.

Yesterday turned out to be the day for the abstract, and like most abstracts I do it came about because I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to paint. I’m not thrilled with the photo I took, I can’t seem to avoid the glare today. That’s probably because it’s snowing outside, it has been the coldest winter in a long time, and if it weren’t for the challenge keeping me busy, I’d probably be a little depressed.

I started painting late yesterday because I had to take care of some other art business tasks, one of which is to do some prep for an exhibition I have coming up next month – The SLTA Arts Showcase. I’ve been asked to be the artistic director for the Showcase, and I have been involved thus far, but this month I’ve been too busy to give it any attention, so it’ll be one of my priorities next month.

The event is on Feb 22nd in Toronto, presented by the St. Lucia Toronto Association at the Brockton Collective Gallery.  It is part of the celebrations commemorating the 35th Independence Anniversary of St. Lucia – the Caribbean island where I was born and raised till I came to Canada at age seventeen to continue my education.



Daily Painting Challenge, 30 paintings in 30 days. Day 23

Gemma & the rose, 10"x8", acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $150.
Gemma & the rose, 10″x8″, acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $150.  

One day as I was coming upstairs, our cat was sitting at the top watching me, and my 4’x4′ painting of a rose was leaning against a wall behind her. I was intrigued by the juxtaposition of the cat & the painting, and the idea of doing a painting of a painting. Though as it worked out I didn’t even try to paint the rose as if it were a flat object. I just had fun with it. Even the colour is emotive rather than realistic. Which is often the case in my paintings.















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