I have 2 events happening in Burlington this Sat. So it’s going to be a busy day. First I’ll be setting up an art installation at Burlington Central Library on New Street, then I’ll be heading to Be Yoga and Wellness at Fairview & Walkers.
There I will be setting up a table with small paintings (some never been shown before) & greeting cards, and fellow artist Heather Horton will be painting live. Both of us have art on display on the walls of Be Yoga as part of an on-going display (we switch out the paintings now and then).
Then at 1pm I’ll pack up and head back to the library. I hope to be there from 1:30-4pm for the rest of the Lost in Books event. Then it’ll be time to pack up.
I hope you will get a chance to see my installation, called Night Garden … you’ll have to use a flashlight, to see my paintings on the stage. It’s quite an interesting effect, best experienced in person.
Years ago, I was at the Toronto Zoo with my kids, when we crossed paths with a party of rowdy peacocks. They were rule-breakers, living on the edge, and the Zoo was their turf.
I’m sure this guy was the leader, who became internet-famous when he escaped from the zoo last year & spent days touring Toronto rooftops, inspiring at least one viral video before returning to tell his tale to fellow zoo inhabitants, starting with the bison.
Why did he return, you ask?
I could say there was a pretty peahen he had to get back to, but a brief Goggle search put me straight. A mature peacock with a train full of fabulous feathers is more likely to have a harem.
And in fact, younger peacocks like this one tend to hang around with other peacocks. Birds of a feather flocking together, caught up in their own good looks.
The peahen on the other hand, sits on its eggs (usually 3-5) for about 28 days, and forms a community with other peahens as they raise the peachicks together, teaching them how to find food etc.
So, the peafowl I painted in Peacock Pair, are more likely to be siblings. Once again, reality bites. I was all set to write a tale of star-crossed peacock lovers who ran away together, determined to mate for life. Truth is, our fine-feathered friend, the Peacock is more of a narcissist, and a polygamist.
Art in the Park Oakville
See the original painting – Peacock Pair – in person at Art in the Park Oakville on Mon, Aug 1. 10-5pm, and tell me which version of the story you prefer. I will be in booth #143.
There will be more than 175 booths showcasing artists and artisans who work in a variety of media, as well as a licensed food court. The venue is also beautiful, Bronte Heritage Waterfront Park is right on the lake at the foot of Bronte Rd.
If you are over 12yrs, there is a $5. cover which will go towards the Oakville Art Society, which has been putting on this well-organized art fair since 1965.
Recently I was invited by Oakville artist Derik Hawley to display some of my paintings in a group art exhibition at Be Yoga & Wellness in Burlington. I thought it was a great idea, especially when I realized it was at Fairview & Walker’s Line, only a 4min drive from my house!
The nature of the space & format of the show, gave me the opportunity to exhibit a wide variety of subjects – florals, peacock feather-inspired abstracts, and some never-before exhibited experimental abstracts.
The painting above – Enduring, 30″x60″ – was the first thing I painted for 2016, an experiment in abstraction. It sat in a corner of my studio (waiting for me to figure out what to do with it) until I jumped on this chance to show it. As it turns out, I’ve been told by the manager that it is the piece that gets the most comments & compliments!
There is also another abstract painting of mine in the same room, but I’ll leave it for you to discover on your own. It has been hanging in my house since I painted it in 2012, the result of a long, cathartic painting session. Again, although it is an interesting painting, it did not fit into my regular body of work, so I kept it to myself. However, I could not get over the co-incidence that the only text in the painting is “Be” (the title of the painting is “Just be”), and the name of the yoga studio is Be Yoga! So I brought it along on a whim, and it turned out to be a good call.
The other Artists
Derik is showing some of his lovely digital images in a variety of sizes. I think they mostly start out as photographs he has taken, but then he manipulates them through computer programs, and the resulting abstract images are mesmerizing. They remind me of stained glass, and kaleidoscopes.
There are also some beautiful black & white images from Oakville photographer Bill Smith. And I saw a wonderful painting of a swimmer in a pool – with an emphasis on light creating patterns on the water- that artist Heather Horton dropped off, it’s probably hanging by now.
I’d like to thank Be Yoga & Wellness for showing local art, and manager Kelly Foster and artist Derik Hawley for inviting me to be a part of this ongoing group art exhibition.
If you’re in the area, please drop in during regular open hours and take a look! The address is 4031 Fairview St., Unit 103.
All art is available – see labels for details, and purchases may be made through the front desk.
The trees are awakening here in the north, every day there are new buds opening, spring flowers and green leaves carrying the promise of sunny days ahead.
As we shrug off the grey cloak of winter, moods lift, plans are made and the purging begins. Time to let go of the old, useless, ugly clutter in our lives, air out the dark, musty corners and give everything a deep clean.
Change is in the air, it is the time preparations are made for new beginnings and fresh starts. Moving into a new house, starting a new school, new job or new weight loss program. Spring babies. Birth and rebirth.
Spring cleaning is accompanied by other spring chores, which may include re-decorating.
We invite happiness in, by surrounding ourselves with beauty, inspiration, and meaningful objects. Potted tulips, Grandma’s cake stand, art that speaks to us.
Many people switch out dark coloured linens, tableware, cushion covers etc., for lighter ones. Some even switch out the artwork. Paintings are taken down and packed away carefully, other paintings are brought out and unpacked, and old favourites are hung with pleasure.
Sometimes though, a painting no longer “works” in the space, no longer represents who we are; our interests or ambitions.
It could even be that you have just fallen out of love with it, maybe it was cool when you were younger, but now it is embarrassing, or just plain boring.
Was it an ugly gift from a mother-in-law you no longer have to please? Rip it up, throw it into a cathartic bonfire, or sell it and buy art that you like!
Did you inherit paintings from a relative whose style feels old-fashioned, and yet you feel obliged to hang them in your house? Sometimes people tell me, I love your work, but I already have all these paintings from my husband’s late grandfather … in a box in the basement.
Maybe you’re sitting on a gold mine. The other extreme is that the art might actually be in bad condition, essentially trash.
Life is short. Give yourself permission to sell, gift or store art that you do not truly want to display. Maybe your kids or grand-kids will appreciate it more than you do.
Meanwhile, there is affordable, original art available all around you.
Spring into action, or go at a leisurely pace, but choose art that excites you, that moves you, that fits into your life at this very moment.
This painting was painted for an exhibition on Spring Flowers at Gallery  Burlington, which is over now. The gallery is in a wonderful location, right next to the Royal Botanical Gardens. I look forward to exhibiting there again.
I have two paintings in Art in the Workplace exhibition #20 at McMaster Innovation Park, which opens in a week, April 5, 7-9pm.
So, if you are in the area, I’d love to see you at the Opening. Otherwise, the exhibition continues till July 6, and is open to the public.
DVSA 46th Art Auction
I also have a few paintings in the Dundas Valley School of Art’s 46th Annual Art Auction. Many years ago, when I was a new graduate from the studio art program at McMaster University, and a newlywed, I used to participate in the DVSA art auction, but it’s been a long time since I did so last.
It would be really cool if I met some of my collectors from those days, but we would not recognize each other … and my name is now Donna Grandin, they would only know me by my maiden name, Donna Gomez.
Here is a video clip from a segment on CHCH this morning, with some of the art that will be in the auction.
If you like art, and you live in the area, then you probably already know about the DVSA Art Auction, but now you’ll know to look out for some of my art in the silent auction.
I saw some lovely pottery pieces there when I went to drop off, and I was amazed at how low the reserve prices were. Very tempting.
Looking forward to seeing all the art up, and chatting with other artists. We very nearly ended up moving to Dundas years ago before we had kids, it seems like such a great artsy community.
And of course because I am a McMaster University grad, both of these events take me back to the old stomping grounds, of doing my art degree, dating my husband etc.
I am so excited about my upcoming exhibition at Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort in St. Lucia. We will be hanging the show in the lobby Tues morning, and I will be painting on location for all 3 days, and talking with guests.
A small selection of my original acrylic paintings, and greeting cards, are now available from the Windjammer gift shop, Island Gifts.
I have only been to Windjammer once before, but it is a beautiful location, and I look forward to sharing some photos of my trip to St. Lucia on Instagram.
Of course this was a much slimmer version of me. I won’t be sporting a swimsuit this time. But I will be taking photos of the beautiful tropical flowers, gathering inspiration for new art.
It’s a teaser for the main launch put on by the City of Burlington, which I hear could be on December 1st. I am looking forward to seeing the 5 other murals.
The theme for mine is “Active Living in Burlington”. Once the murals have been revealed at the launch event, I will post proper photos of each panel. Of course, if you happen to be walking your dog in Ireland Park, you can stand in front of the actual thing because it was installed a few weeks ago.
I am grateful to have been part of this project. This is only my second mural – the other one was for the City of Toronto – and I learn so much with each one. Although I am a fine art painter, I think it is important for an artist to always be learning, and growing.
Also on Sunday …
That is why I went to an Ontario Arts Council Artists in Education Seminar Sunday morning, where we got to be on a mock jury & get insight into how applications are judged.
A bonus was getting to reconnect with a classmate from art school that I hadn’t seen in 18 years! And maybe I will be exhibiting at the arts organization she is affiliated with, later next year.
Another bonus was that the seminar was held at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, and we were given free entrance to view the art after the seminar.
So I wandered through the gallery with another artist friend, while we discussed the best strategies for a future visit with our sons. They will love the Bruegel-Bosch Bus by Kim Adams.
“Flowers ‘n Fruit”
And speaking of my sons, last night was the first time I enlisted the help of my 13 year old in hanging a show.
Curator of Allegro Cafe Gallery, at Whole Foods Market in Oakville, Dawn-Angela Seeley, of course played a bigger part.
However, it was great to have my own assistant … who gets paid in brownies!
The Meet the Artist Reception for “Flowers ‘n Fruit” is November 29th, 5-7pm. Whole Foods Market, 301 Cornwall Road, Oakville. The exhibition will be up till January 24th.
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.
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!
Join me for Harvest Artwalk, a fun annual outdoor event, this Sunday!
There will be live music, a charity BBQ, a chalk art activity, and several artists will have their exhibiting their art. I will be setting up my tent to display a variety of my available paintings, and greeting cards. Hope to see you there!
BLUE ROOTS ART STUDIO – acrylic paintings of Caribbean & Canadian landscape, flowers & foliage. Burlington, ON, Canada. 905-639-3419