Tag Archives: daily painting

Peacock feathers 2 – 30 paintings in 30 days, #16

Peacock feathers 2, 6"x6", acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. Sold
Peacock feathers 2, 6″x6″, acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. SOLD

This peacock feather themed abstraction is based more on yesterday’s painting than on reality, so it’s even looser. And the third painting – which I will post tomorrow – is even more so. I think they look better in person, especially when viewed together.

At this point, I have painted ahead … I’m really having fun running with this theme. I will probably stick with it for a while, there are so many variations I want to try out. That’s all I’ll say for now, but stay tuned!


Peacock feathers, 30 paintings in 30 days, #15

Peacock feathers, 6"x6", acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.
Peacock feathers, 6″x6″, acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. Sold

Surprised? If you have been following my postings each day during the 30 in 30 challenge this month, then you may have been expecting more fruit today. The truth is, as much as I was enjoying working from observation, the still-life was just feeling too … still!

Often in my larger paintings, there are areas that I define/refine more (realism) and areas that I have fun just playing abstractly – in the case of a flower painting, that may be the background. So far during this challenge, it seems I’ve been giving in totally to one impulse in each painting, instead of a yin-yang combination.

With realism, the more you look, the more you see, and it is easy to get carried away on a wave of perfectionism. So, I wanted to take a break and paint something fun, something with more LIFE … and although the inspiration for this painting was another still-life object, my approach has been to imply more movement.

The object that I’m using as inspiration is a mask with peacock feathers. I bought it in Leeds, England in 2001 and it has just been hanging in my studio for years, waiting till I got around to use it as a prop. There is just something about a peacock theme that I love, maybe it is because there is so much blue and green and those are colours I use a lot in my painting. Maybe it’s because turquoise has always been my favourite colour.

It could also be because of the patterning, one of my favourite art movements is Art Nouveau – decorative and romantic, the goal was to bring beauty into our everyday lives. That’s an ideal I can get behind.

Embracing and inviting love and joy into our living and working environments does not mean a rejection – or ostrich-like attitude – of the ugly truths that also exist in all our lives. It is a conscious choice to counter-balance those truths.

One way for you to share more beauty with the world, would be to share my Facebook page! Thank you to those of you who have recently started following, commenting and liking. As my work does vary, the more people who get to see it means the faster each painting will connect with someone who just has to have it in their life. And of course, that means I can continue creating more art.

So, I really appreciate all of you who not only follow to see what I might paint next, but also tell your friends about my art!








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.


Apple 2 – 30 paintings in 30 days, #13

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

More apples. Thanks to my friend and collector, Alison, for encouraging me to cut the apple “along the equator” for an interesting view. I had actually tried it the night before, but it was not as impressive with the variety I first tried (red delicious), so I had given up on that idea. I think most of us do not cut an apple in this way, so it might be a surprise to see what it looks like. Nature is full of interesting patterns.

I am excited to show you tomorrow’s apple painting, which I have already completed. I am happy with how it turned out.

Meanwhile, this week I went to a meeting for the Art in Action studio tour (if you want a brochure, let me know I have lots), and we are going to have a pre-tour group exhibition at the Art Gallery of Burlington.

The opening reception will be mid-Oct, we’ll each have a painting/sculpture/photograph/jewellery/fibre art etc. on display, so this would be a great way for you to get a sense of what you’ll see on the actual self-guided tour Nov 1 & 2.

My 30 in 30 paintings will be available on the tour … as well as some of my larger paintings, and blank greeting cards featuring my artwork.


Apple1 – 30 paintings in 30 days, #12

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

This little painting was fun to do, I am getting into the groove with these Fruit & Vegetable paintings. It is so nice to have the object in front of me, so that if I need more information, I just have to get up and move closer to see.

I think this is an Ida red apple, the variety I buy the most. Our other family favourites are red delicious, golden delicious and granny smith. My husband takes one to work nearly every day, because it is so convenient, it doesn’t need any prep and isn’t messy. I usually give the boys apple slices for school, I wonder how many apples I’ve cut for them in the last 12 years?

Later this month I will take the boys to a local farm to pick our own apples and/or pumpkins, it’s a family Fall tradition.

I am not sure if to keep going with the Fruit & Vegetable theme for the rest of the challenge, or to go back to Flowers & Foliage, or Landscape? I’d love to get some feedback from you. And while you’re at it, I’d love to hear which is your favourite Donna Grandin painting?




Orange 3 – 30 paintings in 30 days, #11

Orange 3, 6"x6", acrylic on canvsas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.
Orange 3, 6″x6″, acrylic on canvsas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.

This is the third painting of my Orange mini-series. It felt a little silly just painting a single orange, but I envisioned a trio, so I needed this one to complete it.

Don’t let its simplicity fool you … each of the paintings I’ve done for the challenge so far – regardless of subject or style – has taken an average of 6 hours to paint. Which is twice as long as I’d hoped, considering each day I also have to spend a few hours photographing the work, editing it in Photoshop, writing the blog post, getting the word out on social media, and then start planning the next painting.

I do enjoy the process – everything except the photography – but I am already feeling a little burnt out and sleep deprived! AND, after working so tightly for the last few paintings, I’m really looking forward to letting loose on something big soon. I do have a 48″x48″ stretched canvas ready and waiting for me to paint next month. Smile.

Here is the collage of all three Orange paintings…

Oranges collage, acrylic paintings by Donna Grandin

See my larger gallery paintings on the Available page on my website. Many of them are currently in galleries in St. Lucia, Barbados or Burlington, ON, but if a gallery is not listed next to the painting, then it could be available directly from my studio in Burlington. Contact donna@bluerootsartstudio.com

Orange 2 – 30 paintings in 30 days, #10

Orange 2, 6"x6", acrylic on canvsas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.
Orange 2, 6″x6″, acrylic on canvsas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.

When you cut down the center of an orange this way, the view is very unspectacular at first glance. When I stared at it a little longer though, I saw an image within an image.

I won’t mention what that image was, because once you see it, you can’t unsee it – and on your own, you may actually see something different than I did. That is a very common reaction to art.

Feel free to let me know what you come up with though …. donna@bluerootsartstudio.com.



Orange, 30 paintings in 30 days, #9

Orange, 6"x6", acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.
Orange, 6″x6″, acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. SOLD

There is something simple, and yet striking about the cross-section of an orange. Maybe it is the pattern.

It makes me think of sunshine. In fact, it is a very cheerful image. The colours help, but I think it is also the round shape, the symmetry.

Take a look at my 30 in 30 page, I started it when I first did this challenge in January, but then I added a few new paintings, replacing some that had sold. These make great gifts … birthday, wedding, retirement, housewarming etc.

I will have a selection on display during the Art in Action studio tour – the first weekend of November – come do a little Christmas shopping!


Tomato Still-life 2 – 30 paintings in 30 days, #7

Tomato still-life 2, 6"x6", acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.
Tomato still-life 2, 6″x6″, acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin. $100.

Last night I sliced the tomato from the previous painting, and painted this composition. What do you think of fruit & vegetables as subject matter? I’d like to try citrus next. I had a couple more tomatoes in the fridge … but they seem to have disappeared!

One week of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge down, and three more to go – I am so happy to be back to painting every day.  When I am in between projects my to-do list grows into this big monster, EVERYTHING seems important! A regular painting routine gives focus to my hectic day,  helps me put things into perspective, and keeps me (and by extension my family) sane.

Can you relate to this – do you have a creative practice? Or does regular exercise do it for you?

I think gardening and cooking are also great activities for connecting to your inner self, there is a certain amount of repetition which is necessary for getting into that spiritual zone.

Contemplating art can also focus your thoughts, and serve as a reminder of what is important to you. Is it creating delicious, meals, and entertaining your friends and family? Do you grow your own food, or shop at Farmer’s Markets to ensure a supply of healthy ingredients?

I think paintings of fruits and vegetables are appealing because they celebrate both Nature’s bounty, and the comforts of domestic life.

Tomato still-life – 30 paintings in 30 days, #6

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

Looking through my digital photographs last night, I could not settle on something to paint. I wanted to do something simple and fast because I was starting late, and the images that were appealing to me were detailed, more appropriate for larger canvases. So I decided to grab something from the kitchen, to try painting a still-life arrangement from life.

The longer I painted, the more I saw to paint. The thing about realism is that it is seductive. I did not plan on doing a realistic painting, but it is such a thrill to add a highlight or a shadow and see the image in front of you appear to have volume, it’s like a magic trick. And the longer you look, and paint, the more realistic the painting becomes.

I will have to make a conscious effort to avoid this tendency if I want to do more semi-abstract art. Some artists put away the paintbrushes to achieve this … working with a palette knife, or another medium.

You’ll just have to wait to see what happens next. I am really liking the idea of working in multiples of 3’s for the rest of the challenge. So, I could do 2 more tomato paintings.


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