Tag Archives: Donna Grandin

Peacock Painting Party in St. Lucia

Peacock painters aplenty!

We held the Peacock Painting Party at Island Mix on Sat 12th March,  and it was a great experience. Ten lovely ladies created their own unique paintings, inspired by peacock feathers.

peacock painting party

I was so happy to see how they were able to apply my techniques, but add their own personal flair to each design.

Interestingly, some of the paintings had similarities – though, none of them looked like my demo painting. The greatest similarities were between family members, whether or not they sat together.  Hmm.

abstract paintings
Paintings by Liz and Finola Jennings Clark, © 2016 Finola Jennings Clark

As artist, blogger, bee-keeper, Director of Business Development and Marketing at Cultural Development Foundation, fellow St. Lucian Finola put it on Facebook;  “Took big Sis with all her jet lag, to art class… Here are our two peacock paintings. Not bad Huh? Hard to tell who’s the pilot n who’s the artist!!! “

Venue for the Peacock Painting Party

I am getting ahead of myself, first, here is a 48 second video I took just before everyone arrived, to give you a sense of how idyllic the waterfront setting is at Island Mix.

Thanks to Nadia Jabour, of Island Mix, for this opportunity. We were having so much fun painting, that when we neared the 3 hour mark, Nadia offered to order in pizza for us, and so we were able to keep going for another hour.

View from Island Mix, Art emporium, the day before the workshop.

The day before the workshop was rainy, and I was worried the rain would blow in on us while we painted, but we had a beautiful sunny morning for our peacock painting party.

In fact it was so bright when we took our group photo at the end, that the details of the paintings are hard to make out. Next time I will try to photograph some of the individual paintings.

Meanwhile, artist, jeweller and art teacher, Alcina Nolley, sent me a clear image of her painting to share in this post.

Alcina Nolley
Alcina Nolley’s painting from Donna’s workshop, © 2016 Alcina Nolley

And can I say how lovely it was to have such a diverse set of artists for my first group painting session?  The age range was about 60 years, from a teen to a retired art teacher.

Some of these ladies were new to acrylic painting, others have graphic art backgrounds, or paint on fabric and glass etc, and sell their products – one of them even had a painting of hers sell in the shop area while she was taking the workshop!

peacock painting party - group photo
Group photo of Peacock Painting Party, Island Mix, St. Lucia

I knew a few like Kim, whose daughter had attended my semi-private art lessons the last time I was in St. Lucia – this time they both came. However, many of them I really only know through social media. And there were a couple new faces.

However,  St. Lucia is a small island, so we ALL had mutual friends and many of the ladies knew each other very well, so it was a fun group.

Carnival, 16"x60" tripych, © 2015 Donna Grandin. $1600.
I brought this triptych as an example of one of the many ways I myself have played with the peacock feather theme. It is now available at Island Mix.

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and based on the success of this event, I plan to book another workshop when next in St. Lucia.

There are several people who have expressed an interest, they are just scattered about – St. Lucia, Burlington, Cobourg, even Texas!

If you would like to attend a Peacock Painting Party, contact me at donna@bluerootsartstudio.com, and I will let you know if/when I am planning something in your area.

Also, more of my peacock feather-inspired abstract paintings can be seen here.

St. Lucian Arts Showcase in Toronto


Feb 22nd was St. Lucia’s 35th Anniversary of Independence, and the president of the St. Lucia-Toronto Association – Ross Cadastre-Cadasse – invited me to exhibit my paintings in a Showcase of St. Lucian Arts.

I suggested the Brockton Collective gallery as a location because I knew from talking to Bruno Sousa, that their facilities were outfitted to accommodate the diverse needs of those participating in the Showcase. Ross, Bruno, Adrian Rajaram (v.p.) and I met at the gallery in December for the initial walk-through, and I want to take a moment to thank each of them for all their hard work making this event a success.

This is the flyer
Flyer for the event

Gilson Lubin had to cancel, so Felix Fontinelle stepped up as M.C., and did a great job with his x-tempo delivery, even roasting the Association president, to the great amusement of all.

Author Loverly Sheridan flew in from Florida to promote her three books, and even read from her children’s book on games St. Lucian children play.

There were spoken word performances by Destiny and Chevy X Eugene. There was a short film “The Coming of Org” directed by Davina Lee, written by her father John R Lee. This film was at Cannes last year, and this is the first time it was shown in Canada. Priscillia Mullings exhibited her watercolours, and Cuthbert Volney showed his photography.

Anna and her crew showed up with some delicious Caribbean food, and DJ Toxic did an awesome job with the music. Take a look at this QUICK clip near the end of the night, and you’ll see that the event got less and less formal as the arts & artists & audience mingled.

And another …

I exhibited a range of work, with tulips hanging next to hibiscuses (yes, that’s a word, I looked it up), but as the emphasis was on artists from the diaspora, it seemed appropriate.

Anyway this Saturday, I will be displaying a smaller selection of my paintings at the SLTA Independence Gala (see flyer below).

St. Lucia 35th Anniversary Independence Gala, The Brighton, Toronto

And I will be presenting a painting to one of the winners of the fundraising raffle – again, to raise funds for victims of the 2013 Christmas Eve flood in St. Lucia.

This is from the SLTA newsletter:

As part of our Disaster Relief initiative, the SLTA will be donating all proceeds from its fundraising raffle to assist with the recovery effort in Saint Lucia. The raffle which was launched on December 1st will be drawn on March 1st. Tickets are available from executive members, the Consulate or by emailing stluciatoronto@gmail.com.

Prizes for the raffle are:
1st prize – 3 nights all-inclusive stay at the Rex Resorts St. Lucia (value $1050)
2nd prize – 3 nights all-inclusive stay at Coconut Bay Resort St. Lucia (value $1050)
3rd prize – painting by Donna Grandin – Blue Roots Art Studio (value $1000)
4th prize – Apple iPad Air (value $600)
5th prize – travel voucher to St. Lucia compliments St. Lucia Tourist Board (value $300)
6th prize – custom made outfit designed by Femme du Fashion – Celia St. Omer (value $300)
7th prize – SLTA wine basket (value $200)
8th prize – Chairman’s Reserve gift basket (value $200)
9th prize – 2 complimentary VIP tickets to King & Queen Show Toronto Carnival 2014 (value $160)
10th prize – one official carnival book compliments FMC (value $100)

Tickets cost 1 for $10.00 & 3 for $20.00

And that’s all folks! Thanks for reading, I look forward to hearing from you. If my content is interesting to you, please subscribe to this blog, and to my newsletter.

Name change – Gomez to Grandin

The following is a post that I’ve brought over from my original blog where I wrote about exhibitions, career highlights etc. in the 3rd person.

Donna in St. Lucia at her first solo exhibition, in summer 1996.

Some time in 2009, Donna started using her married name, Donna Grandin, on her paintings. Art created previous to this would have been signed with her maiden name, Donna Gomez.

This exhibition was a milestone in my life, I received so much support from family, friends, the press, and the general public who came to see the art. It was held in the showroom of my uncle’s Suzuki car dealership at the time, Sunset Motors Ltd. The artwork was mostly from my third year of study as an art student at McMaster University, and the theme was water … the sea & its inhabitants, real or imagined. Some of the people who became my collectors in that first show are still my most avid fans, and I’ll always be grateful for their love and support.

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