May 26, 2016

New Beginnings


Teaching over the last several years has been both rewarding and inspirational.  My decision was largely due to time constraints and not feeling like I had adequate time to explore possibilities in my own work.

I taught my final workshop to a great group of artists last week and although I am excited for what the future holds it is always a bit scary when our careers take a new direction.  

But what will that look like?  Will I have the discipline to continue to grow as an artist?  There is so much to learn and having started this artistic journey rather late in life, I feel a sense of urgency.  

To address this I have again enrolled in several workshops, studying with Terri Miura, Max Ginsberg and Ben Lustenhouwer this summer.  I am also taking a week long sculpting class - something else I've always wanted to do.

I hope you will continue to check in with me as I share my new skills with you.  I hope to update my blog more often in the coming year.

September 12, 2015

Photo Shoot

With Panache     Oil      12 x 16

I recently had a photo shoot with my daughter.  We had so much fun dressing her up in dresses, hats, sunglasses and other accessories.  I used an ott light to create drama and was able to get quite a bit of reference material for future paintings and drawings.

July 23, 2015

Charcoal Drawing

The joys of charcoal!! Every Sunday I join a group of artists and we spend 3 or 4 hours with a model. Lately I have been using charcoal and am having so much fun. The surface is a mid tone brown "kraft" paper. It is stronger than the usual newsprint. I use vine charcoal, black and white charcoal for the lights and darks and the colour of the paper fills in the mid tones.

I find these sessions a great way to keep my eye to hand coordination strong. There are several life drawing opportunities now in the city.

September 23, 2014

Upcoming Exhibition Women Painting Women

Women Painting Women (contains nudes)

Women Painting Women is an international movement that explores how contemporary women painters are handling women as subjects. The goal is to “promote the visibility of contemporary female artists portraying female subjects in the figurative traditions and showcase the quality, variety and breadth of women making figurative art in the 21st century”. 

The movement began as a Women Painting Women Blog in 2009 showcasing treatments of the female form as painted by female artists.  It has since expanded to include exhibitions in the UK and the US and now throughout the world.  We are delighted to bring this international movement to Calgary to encourage and inspire all figurative artists especially women.

Sept. 22-Oct. 3, 2014 Reception Sept. 25 5-8 pm.
University of Calgary, The Little Gallery, 6th Floor Art Building
Parkade  $10/day parking $6 after 6:00

April 18, 2014

Calyx - Upcoming Exhibition

Saturday April 26th, 2014 10:00 am - 4:00pm

Crescent Heights Community Centre.
1101 - 2nd Street NW, Calgary, AB
This is a two day event with different artists represented on each day.
I will be there on Saturday only.

                MAP        LINK TO THEIR SITE 

If you haven't been to Calyx before you are in for an experience.  There will be 33 artists on Saturday and 34 different artists on Sunday.  The scope of exhibit is amazing featuring paintings, jewelry, clothing, pottery and many more items.  Here are a few of the pieces I will be including.  Hope to see you there!

November 8, 2013

New Website and Blog

I hope you will all join me on my new blog and website.  I have updated my website with Fine Art Services Online and decided to use their integrated blog.

I'd love it if you would follow me over there where I will be uploading tips and wips along with new work.

Hope to see you there!  Here's the link: new blog

October 29, 2013

Different Strokes Art Gallery Winter Art Show and Sale

New paintings available at Different Strokes Art Gallery located in Olds, Alberta.  The Opening Reception for their Winter Art Show and Sale is this Friday, November 1st from 5:30-7:30.  Many artists including myself will be there, so stop by and enjoy live music, refreshments, hors d'oeuvres   and a chance to see all of the wonderful new art.

 Aspen in Light 20x28 Oil

 Buttercup 8 x 10 oil

 Puffed Up 6 x 6 Acrylic
 Ruler of the Roost 12x12 Oil

 This Little Piggy 10 x 20 Oil

Tour Book 8 x 10 Oil

October 28, 2013

Notan Design

I have recently discovered Richard Robertson's Studio online.  He is very generous with his knowledge and explains many painting fundamentals through his course as well as free information on YouTube.

Here is a great little video on Notans. Here is a link: Richard Robertson Notan Lesson 

October 3, 2013

New Paintings Available at AyrSpace Gallery

 Child's Play 6x8 Oil $225
 "Milk and Honey" 11 x 14 Oil $570
 "From the Ground Up" 6 x 6 Oil $175
 "Signs of Spring" 6 x 8 Oil $225
"Oreo" 6 x 6 Oil $175
"Endless Sky" 6 x 8 Oil $225

Here are some of the paintings that are available for purchase through AyrSpace Gallery  located in Ayr Ontario.  Their Christmas Market Opening Reception: Friday November 15th.

July 30, 2013

Diana Paul Galleries, Calgary

I am thrilled to announce that my work is now being represented by Diana Paul Galleries, downtown Calgary.  I just dropped off several of my latest paintings and 3 of them are featured in their window.

July 7, 2013

Jennifer McChristian Plein Air Workshop

I recently was lucky enough to attend one of Jennifer McChristian's in beautiful Ojai, California.  She is a fantastic teacher willing to share all of her knowledge and technique.

I had very little experience with plein air painting before attending her workshop.  I was looking for a method that made the task a little less daunting and came away from the week with Jennifer armed with a step by step way to take what seemed like an insurmountable task.

Her method involves doing a thumb nail sketch and then assigning one of four values to each shape.

The first day we concentrated on doing black and white paintings using 4 values.
This was my effort; a planter with fronds lit by the sun against a hillside.  We were only able to use 4 values.  It forced you to concentrate on the values and value pattern.

The next day we did the same exercise but used colour to represent the values.  Here is my effort.

We were to keep the values separate with no blending concentrating of the temperature, colour and value.

Further on in the week we were able to complete several small paintings using the method above.

I took advantage of one of the other students painting up on the hill.
I came away from the experience armed with technique, method and enthusiasm. I hope to spend many hours this summer outside enjoying plein air painting.

Here is a photo of one of Jennifer's demos.

Prince's Island Creek and Couple in Park

Prince's Island Creek
11 x14 Oil
Double Double
11 x 14 Oil

The first 11x14 painting was done from a photo taken from the bridge crossing the little creek on Prince's Island Park.  I love the light that late evening provides.

The second painting also 11x14 was painted from a photo taken on Stephen Avenue in Calgary.  I originally included the urban scene surrounding them but then decided I'd rather have them in a park setting.  I wiped out the sidewalk and buildings and plopped them into a park.

I have several paintings now that I need to name.  Sometimes I think it is harder to name them than to paint them, lol.

June 26, 2013

New Date Colour Workshop June 29th

Date: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Cost: $100  (1 canvas included)
Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm
Location: Calgary School of Art
531 Manitou Rd SE Calgary AB

All levels welcome

Do you want to understand more about how to make your colours sing? This workshop will teach the fundamentals of colour and then delve deeper into how to bring your paintings to life by avoiding muddy colour!  Understand colour temperature and the importance of neutrals.

The morning will be divided into lecture and exercises.  In the afternoon we will put your new knowledge to work and paint a cow together!

To register please contact the Calgary School of Art at 403-287-7448

June 25, 2013

Mastering Edges with Carolyn Anderson 05/23 by AMO Art Chat with Linda Fisler | Blog Talk Radio

 AMO - Artists Mentors Online is a fantastic resource for any artist.  It was started by Kevin MacPherson and Linda Fisler.  On the site you will find links to their blog, articles, challenges and blog talk radio shows.  They recently had Carolyn Anderson on as their guest to talk about edges.  I was lucky enough to attend one of her workshops a few years back and it was wonderful to listen again to her thoughts.  She is a fabulous teacher and artist.  Check out the program by clicking on the link below. 

Mastering Edges with Carolyn Anderson 05/23 by AMO Art Chat with Linda Fisler | Blog Talk Radio

June 19, 2013

May 21, 2013

A Few of my Latest Paintings

 Little League 15x30 Oil on Canvas

Page Turner 9 x 12 Oil on Panel

I can't believe it has been months since I updated my blog.  Well I have been hard at work painting and attending workshops.  I'll post information about Jennifer McChristian's plein air workshop in a later post.

Here are two recent ones, I'll be uploading more in the next few days.

March 19, 2013

Colour Workshop - Let's Paint a Cow!

Date: Saturday, June 22, 2013
Cost: $100  (1 canvas included)
Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm
Location: Calgary School of Art
531 Manitou Rd SE Calgary AB

All levels welcome

Do you want to understand more about how to make your colours sing? This workshop will teach the fundamentals of colour and then delve deeper into how to bring your paintings to life by avoiding muddy colour!  Understand colour temperature and the importance of neutrals.

The morning will be divided into lecture and exercises.  In the afternoon we will put your new knowledge to work and paint a cow together!

You can see some of my work including "Got Milk" at the Artistic Entities Exhibition located in Scotia Square 700 – 2nd  Street S.W. from 9-3:00 until March 22nd.
To register please contact the Calgary School of Art at 403-287-7448

March 9, 2013

Federation of Canadian Artists Exhibition and Sale

The Federation of Canadian Artists (Calgary Chapter) is holding their Spring Exhibition and Sale tomorrow from 10-4pm in the community of Edgemont.

Note: Due to a water main break the new location is #115 Edwold Drive NW in the Mother Mary Green School. 

I have 6 of my paintings accepted into the show and will be doing a demo from 12-2:00 pm.

Stop in if you have a chance.

March 1, 2013

Figurative Painting Donna MacDonald

"Coming and Going"    11x14   Oil

I'm happy with the figures but still feel the building and background could be looser. Oh well there's always tomorrow =).

February 24, 2013

by Donna MacDonald

 6x6 Oil
16x20 Oil
Although most of my paintings are done in one or two sittings while wet, occasionally I have paintings that need a bit more time.  I have in the past been reluctant to work on a dry painting for fear of taking the freshness out of it but am now more confident about being able to improve upon the brushwork and composition.  The above two paintings sat around for a while but I wasn't really happy with either. I reworked them and I think that they are more successful now both in technique and design.

February 6, 2013

International Exhibition

I'm thrilled to have my painting "Passing Time" showing at the "Just For You Gallery of Fine Art" in Healdsburg, CA in their International Juried Exhibition.  The painting will be available February 9 - March 31, 2013, Artist Reception February 9th 5-10pm.

December 14, 2012

Proko TV Shading Light and Form - Basics

 I came across this youtube video that explains the light and shadow found on all lforms.  This little tutorial is fantastic and well worth a look.You can find more information on

November 30, 2012

Mother's Love - Small Wonder

16x20 Oil on Canvas

This summer I had the wonderful opportunity to photograph a young mom (a fellow artist) and her baby.  We took several shots out in her garden where her little boy was fascinated with the abundance of flowers.  A tender moment.  I tried to be a bit bolder with the paint application using a knife and colour shaper.

November 28, 2012

Passing Time by Donna MacDonald

12 x 16  Oil on Canvas

I'm really having trouble naming my latest painting.  Sometimes I think it is easier to paint the painting than it is to name it. 

My daughter thinks there should be something about red...I was thinking maybe something about rain or maybe time  See what I mean....Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.