About Don

Don’s landscapes immediately capture and transport the viewer to the varied environments that he so effortlessly captures. Don’s passion for his art form and life shines through his fantastic work.
— Rob Cowley, President, Consignor Canadian Fine Art

Artist Statement:

Thank you for visiting my site. Your comments are always welcome.

A little about me: My simple desire is to paint. I’m often called a story-teller with paint. I believe that all art forms share the gift of storytelling, sometimes in narrative, sometimes in paint, scenes and emotion. In my first career I found the stories on stage in opera, choirs, musical theatre and voice. And now it is landscape painting.

Landscapes have a sense of place, a mood, a moment of intensity. It’s the trees, rocks, water and skies that create the emotion inside me now that sparks a story. With colour, strokes and texture I paint my vision. It is a daily adventure I am most grateful to undertake.

A bit about my past:  At age 72, I clearly have a past, a trip where music and text were my tools. Prior to this career in landscape painting, I trained as a singer/conductor at McGill University earning an Honours Degree in Music. I conducted professionally, moved to Toronto where I founded Sheridan College’s world renowned Music Theatre School and later served as their Dean, Faculty of Arts for 15 years. Later, I studied painting with Hamilton artist, John Stirling, at the D.V.S.A with Professor V. Jane Gordon and with the renowned Ottawa landscape artist, Gordon Harrison. I’m grateful to Ottawa gallery owner, Phil Emond for his valuable advice on the business of art.

I am grateful for the ongoing patronage to Mr. and Mrs. William B Russell of Interprovincial Corrosion Control of Burlington

Being part of the community:  Each year I participate in 3-4 charity art auctions. The proceeds are devoted to a number of community social causes: The Halton Heroes,  DVSA annual auction, The AGB annual auction, The Royal Botanical Gardens, The Burlington Humane Society and the Canadian Children’s Opera Company. I also do a little teaching especially with children and fellow seniors.

Don Graves~ Photo by Shirley Aubin

Don Graves~ Photo by Shirley Aubin

Graves’s style is characterized by a wonderfully tense relationship between a life-like view and mark-making…of a tree leaning to a blast of wind…and the sky a mass of blue and white swirls.
— Hamilton Spectator: December 5, 2015. Regina Haggo.
Don's Studio

Don's Studio


An important and enjoyable part of my studio life is commission work. A commission can grow from a photo, or a trip to a location but always  colour, texture, the story waiting to be told or a memory that ends up on a canvas. Commissions can be large or small. I am currently working on 4 paintings, each 12x24 on hardwood reflecting our four seasons.

Recent Gallery Exhibits

  • Gallery-402, Toronto
  • STAX, Hamilton
  • Tiger Group-Hamilton
  • Sketch Gallery, Hamilton
  • The Different Drummer Books, “paintings among the books”, Gallery2, Burlington
  • Art Gallery of Burlington

Recent Juried Shows

  • Ottawa Art Expo
  • Toronto Art Expo
  • Artfest Kingston
  • Artfest Toronto at the Distillery (May and September)
  • One of a Kind Show, Toronto
  • New Art Festival, Ottawa
  • Art in Action, Burlington Studio tour
  • River Arts Festival, Dunnville
  • Cabbagetown Festival


  • Art Gallery of Burlington
  • Past President, Burlington Fine Art Guild
  • Hamilton Artist Inc.
  • Ontario Plein Air Society (OPAS)
  • Huntsville Art Society
  • Artists Advantage
  • Central Ontario Art Association (COAA)
  • East Central Ontario Art Association( ECOAA)