Category Archives: Uncategorized

Official Launch of Arts and Culture Council of Burlington

ACCOB Launch
Official Launch of Arts & Culture Council of Burlington.

So much to tell, so little time before the official launch.

About last weekend …

I’d barely caught up on my sleep from the double event last Sat – temp Public Art installation at the Burlington Public Library, and live painting/art market/tea sampling at Be Yoga & Wellness – when I had to jump back into my volunteer work for ACCOB. And while I was preparing for all of that, I was also helping co-ordinate a show of my work at Buzz Restaurant in St. Lucia., AND have a family life.

So, right now, I’m trying to do follow up (more in a later blog post), as well as try to take some time for self-care. My eyes have been fuzzy lately, so I need to make a point of getting more sleep and spending less time on computer, then hopefully when I retake the eye tests in 2 weeks there will be better results.

Of course, I still have to do my taxes, and write an article – an athlete profile of a National Tumbler – for the Oakville Gymnastics Club Fast Track Newsletter. And there is the big family trip to St. Lucia to plan.

Meanwhile, there is a lovely hibiscus painting on the easel calling my name …

What was I writing about anyway?

ACCOB Launch

Ah yes, if you are in the Burlington area, we would love to see you at the official opening launch of the Arts & Culture Council of Burlington on April 18th.

I have been going to meetings that have led to this outcome, for almost 5 years! There have been many ups and downs, and I’m happy to have met so many great people in the local Arts Community throughout this process. I am proud to be on the board of directors, having served first on the External Body Sub-Committee of the Cultural Action Plan Implementation Committee. 

And I am also Membership Chair, so I’ve been setting up the system to receive new members, and have been reaching out to local businesses who will be offering discounts to ACCOB members. It’s just a start, but it has taken a lot of work to get here.

I look forward to being part of ACCOB as it continues to grow into its potential.











Ontario apples, live painting at Culture Days

Ontario apples
Ontario apples, 20″x16″, acrylic on canvas, © 2016 Donna Grandin. $600.

Ontario Apples

Recently I went to Frootogo Farm in Waterdown to pick fresh Ontario apples. It has become a family tradition ever since we had kids, to visit a nearby farm in the fall. There is just something so cute about photographing toddlers surrounded by bright orange pumpkins bigger than they are! And it is a great way to visually mark time, as the kids in the photos get bigger each year.

Springridge and Frootogo are the two local farms that we have been to most often, but for apple picking we have to go to the latter. And that is where I got the reference photos for this painting.

live painting
Donna Grandin painting live at Culture Days 2016 in Civic Square, in front of Burlington City Hall.

Culture Days

I participated in Culture Days Burlington on Oct 1st, 2016, in Civic Square which is just in front of the Burlington City Hall. This year I was one of the artists selected to perform for an honorarium. I was not part of the Art Market, in that I did not have items for sale, but instead I painted live.

This photo shows the painting in progress, near the end of the event. I painted for 3 hours, my hope was that I would have it finished in time to do a silent auction, and that I would donate the proceeds to the Arts and Culture Council of Burlington, but I was still painting when some of the artists were packing away their booths.

I am happy with how much I got done in that short time, but instead of leaving it as a study, I decided to refine and complete it in my studio over the next week.

Live Painting

Painting with a live audience is not as scary as you might expect it to be, because quite frankly the nature of painting on a deadline is that you have to be in the moment as you focus on the immediate painting decisions. When people come up and talk to you, or there is live music and hustle and bustle around you,  it all adds to the vibe – the energy that you absorb unconsciously,  and then reflect in the art.

When you paint intuitively, you slip into a creative zone, and that crowds out any self-doubt about whether you will be able to pull off a good painting. Or worries that people will be seeing your painting as it goes through the inevitable ugly stages. In fact, people generally come up to you with positive things to say.

Every time I am hired to paint live, it is a memorable event for me, and for the audience who gets to see my painting process in person. So far, the feedback has been very positive, so I look forward to doing it again!

This painting will be on display in studio #7 during the Art in Action Burlington Studio Tour Nov 5 &6, 10-5pm, unless you e-mail me at beforehand to reserve it.



Water lily painting, and where to hang original art

hang original art water lily
Pink Water lily, 8″x8″, acrylic on canvas, ©2016 Donna Grandin. $250.

Pink water lily

Summer is over, but there are still a few water lilies lingering in ponds here and there. “Pink water lily” is a shot of colour, a bit of cheer as we head into what promises to be a long winter. And since it has been a while since I blogged, I  thought I would write about some alternative spaces to hang original art.

Originally I had this painting in mind for someone specific, I thought they wanted a close up of a water lily, but it turned out it was too bold, too bright to go with my other paintings in their collection. So, now it is available for someone new.

And this got me thinking about the places where people hang original art.

Alternate places to hang original art

Where do you hang your original art? In your office, your cottage, your home? In the front foyer, at the top of the stairs, above the bed, the dining room table and the inevitable couch?

How about in the eat-in kitchen, or the she-shed?

This summer I had the nice surprise of discovering one of my small paintings in the powder room of a collector and friend. Of course, I am not recommending anyone hang original, valuable art in their washroom. The steam from the shower could ruin it over time.

However, I think few of us think of using the powder room as a mini-gallery.

My friend Bridie is an artist, and like many artists, over the years she has collected a few small paintings that she has fallen in love with. Some she acquired in a show of support for a fellow artist, others she may have received as gifts.

However, as an artist herself, wall space is a premium. Home is the one place you are always guaranteed a solo exhibition!

Powder room exhibition

Recently, I popped in for a cup of tea and a chat, and as I went to use the powder room before leaving, I discovered Bridie’s solution.

She hangs a few of the small paintings on the walls of the powder room, rotating and refreshing her selection every now and then.

I already knew that she hung art in there, I always enjoyed stopping in to look at the little treasures, but it was only when one of my own popped up that I realized she changed up the art. And I wondered how many other artists had been in there and discovered their art on display? How many other people looked forward to a trip to her powder room when they came for a visit?

Just think of it. What a great opportunity to curate your own mini-exhibition for your friends and family!

Can you think of any other unusual places  or alternate spaces where you could hang original art?






Peacock pair – new painting, new story

Peacock pair
Peacock pair, 24″x24″, acrylic on canvas, © 2016 Donna Grandin. $1100.

Peacocks in Toronto

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.

Rebel Peacock breaking all of the rules, but deep down he still knew he was a prisoner.

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.

Peacock Pair

Why did he return, you ask?

She was born on the wrong side of the tracks, but nothing could keep them apart.

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.

peafowl running
The fateful day the Peacock lovers ran away together? Or brother and sister racing each other?

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.


Around 2am this morning I hit the tipping point in this painting where I knew I’ll be able to pull it off (eventually). I don’t often share my WIP unless the painting is already completed, because it goes through such an ugly stage. Even though I’m the one with the brush, I want to be surprised by the outcome, so my painting process can be quite chaotic. Personally, I’ve found that’s the route to the good stuff. Anyway, the quiet was broken by thunder and rain just as endorphins were flooding my system (tipping point = magic) which led to me making this video! Please follow to see the finished painting. #canadianartist #burlington #peacock #artforsale #artstudio #painting #art #wip #magic #creativeprocess #nightowl #artintheparkoakville

A video posted by Donna Grandin Fine Art (@donnagrandin) on

To see some more of the original acrylic paintings I will have at the park, visit my website

I will also have some greeting cards. And I can tell you more about the 30 small paintings in 30 days challenge I will be doing in September.

Hope to see you soon, please e-mail me if you have any inquiries!
Donna Grandin






Art Classes in St. Lucia with Donna Grandin

ACRYLIC TECHNIQUES – beginners & intermediate (adult)
St. Lucia Yacht Club
Wed July 23, 30, Aug 6 …. EC$180. for all, or EC$65. for drop-in class
Optional fee – EC$20. for Golden acrylic paints to use in class

For the first class … just bring what you have, brushes etc., materials will be supplied, and you’ll be told what to bring for the next class.

There is Homework! e-mail  
so you can be ready for the first class.

Please register ASAP as there is limited room!

More classes may be added soon … possibly a Sat morning? Let me know what will work for you.



34th Parallel literary magazine – interview and cover

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.

Detail of The Lullaby, 36″x24″, acrylic painting by Donna Grandin, featured on the cover of 34th Parallel magazine, issue 12. Oct 2010.
Donna is proud to announce that her art was chosen for the cover of Issue 12 of the quarterly literary magazine, 34th Parallel, which came out today.
A few more of her hibiscus paintings are also featured in the article Create or Die, which is based on Donna’s blog interview by fellow St. Lucian, writer Natalie D’Auvergne, in July.
Special thanks to Natalie D’Auvergne, and magazine editors Martin Chipperfield and Trace Sheridan Swan.

Donna is Interviewed by Natalie D’Auvergne

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.

Natalie D’Auvergne is a St. Lucian writer living in L.A. She featured Donna recently on AphroditeAres’ Blog, “The Creative Process as a Path to Self-Discovery: An Interview with Donna Grandin”.

Later, the interview was edited for inclusion in the online literary magazine, 34th Parallel, along with some photos of my paintings. A detail of Lullaby (red hibiscus) was used for the cover of the magazine, along with the title the editor came up with “Create or Die”.  Not the words I would have chosen … but then headlines are often all hyperbole!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...