Tag Archives: peacock feathers

Culture Days Burlington 2015

Culture Days, Sept 26-28

This weekend we celebrate the annual Culture Days across Canada, and I will be doing my part in Burlington, ON.

On Saturday I will be setting up my tent to display my art in Civic Square (426 Brant St.)  – in front of Burlington City Hall –  from 11-4pm.

Burlington Student Theatre will be creating a “Burlywood” atmosphere with theatre, music, dance, film and photography. It should be a fun time.

I will also be working on a collaborative painting – inviting any and everyone to express themselves with a few brushstrokes – and at the end of the day I will do a draw, and the lucky winner will get to take home the painting!

As a Culture Days participant I am required to provide an “activity” at each event, not just a display/sale.

“Founded in 2009, Culture Days is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a national network of cultural connections devoted to providing Canadians with opportunities to participate in, and appreciate, all forms of arts and culture. Through an annual three-day national celebration each September, hundreds of thousands of artists and cultural organizations in hundreds of cities and towns come together and invite Canadians to participate in free interactive and “behind the scenes” activities to discover their cultural spirit and passion”.  

So, my activity for Sat is listed on the Culture Days website here.

On Sunday, I will be in the lobby of the Burlington Performing Arts Center (440 Locust St.), from 1-4pm, as part of the Celebrate Burlington: Artist Showcase.

“Local artists and artisans will demonstrate skills, showcase their latest work, and offer interactive activities. A celebration of the city’s Mundialization partners, Citizen Committees, artistic guilds, musicians, photographers, fine artists, and new media artists.” Culture Days Burlington brochure

I will have a small display of my available paintings, and paper and pencil crayons for anyone who wants to practice drawing peacock feathers with me.  See my event on the Culture Days website.

Flow, 24″x30″, acrylic on canvas, ©2015 Donna Grandin. $1200. Started live in front of Burlington City Hall at Culture Days kickoff event in Sept 2014.

Last year I had a fantastic time at the Culture Days event in front of Burlington City Hall, where our Mayor Rick Goldring helped kickoff the celebration with a clip of Burlington artists talking about Arts and Culture in Burlington – in which I was happy to have a 2 second cameo. That day I painted to live music, shared my art with the public, and enjoyed a celebration of the local arts scene.

This year, there will be a lot of different arts professionals/organizations etc, but I think it will be equally exciting, so if you’re in the area, please come on out!


Moonlit – abstract painting, Peacock series

Moonlit, 24″x36″, acrylic on canvas, © 2015 Donna Grandin. $1400

Can you feel the movement in this painting?

Although my interpretation of the peacock feathers is more plant-like in Moonlit, I think you still get the feeling of them being swooshed around in the currents.

This was the first painting I created in my Hamilton studio during my 3 month “self-hosted residency”.

I remember there was a little happy dance involved. I shut my door, turned on the radio and stood at the easel. I was euphoric with the possibilities ahead … I’d carved out the space, privacy and time to work on a new series of abstracts. Freedom from photos, and any preconceived notions.

It was exhilarating. As I moved to the music I sketched a whimsical image in charcoal, and wrote down lyrics that resounded with me.

Eventually I started adding colour and the painting evolved, but I did take a photo and will show it to you … if you are the one who ends up collecting this piece. Otherwise, it’s WAY too embarrassing to put out there!

I will have Moonlit at the art fair tomorrow, but it may not be on display, so if you want to see it specifically, just ask!

Have you enjoyed my week of Peacock Painting Previews?

If you are on my Blue Roots Art Studio Mailing List, even if you’re reading this blog post now, take a look at today’s e-mail because there is something special in it for you!

I will probably not post for a while, as I will be wiped out after this event, and I will have some follow-up items to take care of … not to mention hanging out with my boys. Summer is flying by faster than I thought it would.

There is a big new art project on the horizon, I don’t want to announce it until all the signatures are on the contract etc, but it will keep me busy for the next 2 months. Just a hint though … it does not involve peacock feathers OR tropical foliage.

I am looking forward to seeing some of you at Art in the Park Oakville tomorrow. I will be in booth #143.

It looks like there will be rain, but the show will go on. I invested in a waterproof tent, to protect my paintings, so just dress accordingly and come on out!

Peacock abstraction triptych -3, 30 paintings in 30 days, #20

Peacock abstraction triptych- 3, 6"x6", acrylic on canvas
Peacock abstraction triptych- 3, 6″x6″, acrylic on canvas

This is the third canvas in the peacock feather-inspired abstract triptych. And here are the canvases all together …

Peacock triptych - combination 2

and another combination …

Vertical combination of Peacock Abstraction triptych

Sorry for the poor quality of the photos, I had to quickly take them with my phone before I left the house. I am traveling with my brother and his wife, visiting family. I brought my paints, so that I can keep up with the challenge.

This is the final photo of the whole triptych:

Peacock abstraction triptych, 6"x18", acrylic on canvas, ©2014 Donna Grandin
Peacock abstraction triptych, 6″x18″, acrylic on canvas, ©2014 Donna Grandin





Peacock abstraction triptyck – 2, 30 paintings in 30 days, #19


Peacock abstraction triptych -2, 6"x6", acrylic on canvas
Peacock abstraction triptych -2, 6″x6″, acrylic on canvas

The second part of this triptych is abstracted, so right now it is all about movement and colour. I painted all 3 canvases at once, as if they were all one continuous image. Tomorrow when I post the third, I will also post a photo of what they look like together.

I was up late tidying my studio last night, in preparation for the interview. It was very casual, one videographer/interviewer, but I used it as motivation to tackle the chaos that was piling up in my studio.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of the interview, but Kune will be using the footage he is taking of several Cultural Makers in Burlington ON to compile a quick promotional video that will be introduced by our Mayor at the Culture Days event I am participating in next Friday, in front of Burlington City Hall.

If you are in the area, save the date, I will be doing an acrylic painting demonstration from noon till it gets too dark to see! There will be bands, & other performances, as well as other arts and culture booths to check out.

 This is the final triptych:

Peacock abstraction triptych, 6"x18", acrylic on canvas, ©2014 Donna Grandin
Peacock abstraction triptych, 6″x18″, acrylic on canvas, ©2014 Donna Grandin


Peacock abstraction triptych 1 – 30 paintings in 30 days, #18

Peacock abstraction triptych -1, 6"x6", acrylic on canvas
Peacock abstraction triptych -1, 6″x6″, acrylic on canvas

I am so excited about this triptych! I am posting the first one day, but there are 3 canvases that go together … the image is abstracted, so you could place them horizontally, vertically, or even separately. They can even be rotated, until you get a composition you like – I will post a few combinations on day 20 of the painting challenge, when I post the third painting.

I have more to say about this triptych, maybe tomorrow, today is a busy day, and at some point I need to clean/organize my studio because a film crew is coming by tomorrow to interview me. More on that later.


 This is the final triptych:

Peacock abstraction triptych, 6"x18", acrylic on canvas, ©2014 Donna Grandin
Peacock abstraction triptych, 6″x18″, acrylic on canvas, ©2014 Donna Grandin


Peacock feathers 3 – 30 paintings in 30 days, #17

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

Another peacock feather-themed abstraction. I am having fun with these. There is a joyful sense of play, so much potential for new compositions … I have ideas for many other variations I’d like to explore.


Tomorrow morning I will photograph the next mini-series, also peacock feather-inspired. I painted them as a triptych. So in love with how it came out.

I’m looking forward to painting this subject on large canvases. There is an organic, natural flow to the work, that I also have when I paint foliage, it’s like I’m conveying the vitality, movement and life of my subject matter. It is obviously my passion. So, thank you for letting me share it with you.



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!








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