Tag Archives: pattern

Boudoir – abstract peacock painting

Boudoir - peacock feather painting
Boudoir, 24″x36″, acrylic on canvas, ©2015 Donna Grandin. $1400.

This is one of my favourite paintings right now, but I’m not sure you will get the full effect looking at it online. There’s more subtlety to it in real life, it is feminine without being obnoxiously so, and exudes a lush, luxurious and exotic mood.

There is something of all of that  inherent in peacock imagery – long before I created this painting, pretty girls have been wearing peacock feathers to enhance their own beauty.  However, for my peacock series I really am just taking the motif for a drive, with no particular destination in mind … trying to remain in the moment, painting intuitively. So I am as surprised and delighted as the next person with what evolves from these painting sessions.

There is a sensuous, erotic quality to this painting that I’ve never noticed in my work before (although, a certain St. Lucian artist-writer did touch on it when reviewing my solo exhibition “Floravision”), words like passion, seduction and warmth come to mind when I try to describe the mood.

Although it would enliven any room, for some reason I really envision it in a bedroom … which is why I just had to name it “Boudoir”.  I think it will really appeal to someone who wants to create a romantic atmosphere, someone who would like to “feather” their nest, create a cozy nook full of inspiration and excitement, as well as comfort, safety and indulgence.

Ok, I know I’ve gone overboard with the adjectives in this post, but there is something about this painting that makes me want to gush …

I will probably bring to Art in the Park, Oakville on August 3rd, I hope you can see it in person.

E-mail donna@bluerootsartstudio.com if this painting speaks to you!


Surreal Garden – 30 in 30 painting challenge, #30

Surreal Garden, 8"x8", acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin
Surreal Garden, 8″x8″, acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin

No, you did not enter the Twilight Zone! I painted this playful little piece a few months ago when I discovered paint markers, and I wanted to explore pattern. It was fun, but I was not sure how it fit in with my body of work, so I tucked it away somewhere in my studio.

There was a point when I was embarrassed by my “experiments”, and after photographing them, I would gesso over the image and reuse the canvas. Now when I look back, I realize that these little paintings are stepping stones, and seen individually as little islands they may not make a lot of sense, but from a distance (or rather, in time) we can see how they link up to create a path.

My work, in general has been evolving in the last 2 years, and I have been laying down more and more stepping stones. Finally, I am starting to connect them, and I am really excited about the direction I am moving in. There is still a lot of work to do, but I have a vision now of where I want to go.

Eventually I will do a post to show the progression of this idea, but for now let me just say that this “Surreal Garden” full of alien looking plants was the step before the peacock paintings.

Stay tuned!



Pineapple & pattern – new painting

Pineapple, 8"x8", acrylic on canvas, © Donna Grandin, 2014. $125.
Pineapple, 8″x8″, acrylic on canvas, © Donna Grandin, 2014. $150.

There’s a pineapple in my studio, starting to smell yummy. In an attempt to start shedding the winter pounds, I bought a high-end blender that will break leafy greens down so well you won’t see a single chunk. Actually, I don’t have a problem with chunky green smoothies, but if I’d like to improve my kids’ vegetable intake as well, then consistency is second only to taste.

It has been fun trying new things in the blender, and when I brought this pineapple home, I decided to let it ripen in my studio so that I would have something beautiful to look at, and eventually smell. A low-cost version of a bouquet of flowers I guess.

I’ve never painted a pineapple before, but like anything else that occurs in nature, it has some wonderful patterns. I painted this one from life, but I also took some photos – the great thing about photos is that you can blow up a section to paint from, and you will see all sorts of details that you never noticed before. You also have more time to study and play with those details, you don’t have to worry about rotting fruit or changing light. There is so much to be learned from each approach.

The other element of this painting is the background pattern. I have always liked playing up the naturally-occurring patterns when painting foliage, visual rhythm adds to the illusion of movement and life in a work of art. However, my interest has grown, and like a woman who has just found out she is pregnant, and now find she sees pregnant women everywhere – I find myself drawn to examples of pattern in art.

Art Nouveau has always been a favourite and I was so lucky to see first hand examples in Paris, Brussels and Barcelona. I mean, talk about cultural tourism, I’m sure I’m not the only person who went to Barcelona just to see Gaudi’s buildings. When I was an art student I gravitated towards Impressionism and Post-impressionism, and I thought that the gold in Klimt’s paintings was just too gaudy (see what I did there?). Now though, I have  a deeper appreciation for his work and the way he blended whimsical pattern with sensitive figure drawing and painting, to create art that has both visual appeal and emotional depth.

Now that I am on the lookout for it, pattern is everywhere … my next commissioned painting includes a textile pattern that I’ve used before, and in a recent post I mentioned Zentangle. Also, my prized possession from the trip to Paris in December was a Desigual handbag. Click the link, you’re going to thank me.

Anyway, this little painting is just one more step to finding a fun way not just to highlight pattern inherent in my subject, but to actively introduce it into my work.

If you have any favourite artists/art featuring pattern, please share in the comments below, I’m always open to new inspiration!







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