CANADIAN ARTIST DON FRASER 
DONALD  G  FRASER  1921- 2003

A Canadian from Northern Ontario who spent his working years in Toronto and retirement in rural eastern Ontario. A professional artist trained at the Ontario College of Art, who by day painted sets at the CBC TV studios  and by night taught life-drawing. A wayfarer drawn to the back alleys and beer halls of mid-century Toronto, to capture decrepit faces as sepia ink drawings. An outdoorsman who plied the Don Valley and roamed  to Georgian Bay inlets and to the Kawartha Lakes, with fellow artists Jo Manning, Ross Robertshaw, Al Colton, Bill Hopkinson, Albert Chiarandini, & Ron Leonard, painting as they went. A man whose later years were spent with his wife Catherine near Madoc, Ontario amid the fields, the swamps and the stumps which he loved.............. This was Donald Fraser.

Born in Charlton, near Kirkland Lake in 1921, the son of a prospector, he died in his eighty-third year in 2003 in Madoc, after a life long struggle with the effects of diabetes. Fraser spent his early childhood in Florida and his highschool years in Bracebridge, Ontario.  He won a scholarship to study at the Ontario College of Art, so the family moved to a home on Huron Street in Toronto, where his mother took in boarders.

At the OCA Fraser studied under Group of Seven member Franklin Carmichael, whose ideas he questioned, John Alfsen whom he esteemed for his figure-drawing skills, George Pepper and Yvonne McKague-Housser, finally graduating in 1944 with the Governor General's Award for Excellence.

All his life he was consumed by an infatuation with painting ; his subjects ranging from TTC passengers, pub regulars and native Canadian faces  to the rocks, gnarled trees and marshes of the Laurentian Shield. The vibrancy and intensity of his later oil paintings of  Northern Ontario inevitably suggests the lingering influence of the Group of Seven; but his models, he insisted were others also - Homer Watson, Horatio Walker,  David Milne and Rembrandt.

Fraser's career as an artist spanned teaching, working on stage sets, portrait commissions and a large body of his own paintings and drawings. Following graduation he joined the OCA faculty for five years. From 1955 to 1985 he worked in the Scenic Art Department at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, where he became adept at painting large and loose, creating back-drops for the televised shows. Hundreds of sketches he left behind record fellow workers on their  breaks. As well, throughout these years he was a  popular instructor  of life-drawing at Northern Secondary School, of  portraiture at Danforth Technical School (night-classes) and  of landscape at the Mary and Roman Schneider School of Art in the summers.

Fraser's preoccupation was painting.  He exhibited as early as 1945, but his overwhelming focus was to draw and paint. He relinquished few pieces until he moved to Madoc.  Only then was he persuaded to give serious attention to selling his work, when Studio 737 Art Gallery became successful at finding many delighted purchasers. The year 1995 brought to Fraser  the honour of an invitation from Thierry Lefrancois, Director of the Museum of the New World in the city of LaRochelle, France to show  seventy of his paintings in a five-month long solo exhibition.

Throughout his life, Donald Fraser was his own person, uninterested in trends, but deeply engaged by the drama of daily life in the city and by the vibrancy of the natural  world.

CBC Television
Set Stages


"Fraser's Portrait of Christ
in the style of Degas"

Click HERE for the English Version of the French
Art Exhibit June 2 - October 2, 1995
All drafted by Museum Director;
Thierry Lefrancois in France


SOLD

"Self Portrait, Don Fraser"
24 x 18
Oil


INQUIRE
"Portrait of Catherine"
"Don's Wife"
24 x 18
Oil
 

Click HERE for the French Version of the French
Art Exhibit June 2 - October 2, 1995
All drafted by Museum Director;
 Thierry Lefrancois in France


"Fraser's painting of George Harrison in the
early 60's when they came to Canada.
Did he paint all four of the lads?"

CBC Television
Set Stages

SOLO EXHIBITS

  • 2006 Donald G. Fraser - Madoc Public Library & Cultural Centre - Madoc

  • 2005 Donald G. Fraser - Madoc Public Library & Cultural Centre - Madoc

  • 1996 Donald G. Fraser - Belleville Public Library Art Gallery - Belleville

  • 1995 Donald G. Fraser - The Musee du Nouveau Monde La Rochelle - France

  • 1980 Don Fraser AOCA - Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery - Owen Sound


SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITS

  • 2005 Latitude 44 Gallery - Toronto

  • 1989 to the present, Studio 737 Art Gallery - Tweed

  • 1997 The Market Gallery - City of Toronto Archives - Toronto

  • 1985 Gallery Eight - Wellington

  • 1981 The Audrey McLean Gallery - Oshawa

  • 1980 The Pringle and Booth Exhibit - The World Trade Centre - Toronto

  • 1976 The Sable Gallery - Toronto

  • 1976 The Loon Studio - Parry Sound

  • 1975 The Mazlow Gallery - Toronot

  • 1973 The Green Door Gallery, Don Fraser & Ross Robertshaw - Toronto

  • 1969 The Campbell Gallery, Don Fraser & Ron Leonard - Toronto

  • 1958 The Arts Club, Syd Ledson & Don Fraser - Toronto

  • 1952 The Vincent Price Collection - Los Angeles

  • 1944 72nd Annual Exhibition of the Ontario Society of Artists - Art Gallery of Toronto

COLLECTIONS

The City of Toronto Market Gallery, La Musee du Nouveau Monde in LaRochelle, France, University of Toronto,
Tom Thomson Memorial Gallery, Weldwood of Canada, Sterno of Canada, Steam Whistle Brewing Toronto

In 1995 a Donald Fraser painting was presented to the President of South Korea by the Governor General of Canada,
Ray Hnatyshyn.

And many private collections in Canada, USA, and Germany.

THESE ARE DONALD GORDON FRASERíS CURRENT WORKS AVAILABLE FOR SALE: 


"Old Kensington Market Area"
"Circa 1970"
Oil on Board
24 x 30
$20,000


"Waves Cresting on Rocky Shore"
20 x 24
Oil
$3500


"Still Life with Fruit and Wine Bottle"
16 x 12
Oil
$2500


"Skootamatta River"
28 x 21
Watercolour
$1500


"River in Rocky Landscape"
20 x 24
Oil
$4250

       


"Mckellar Lake"
14 x 17
Watercolour
$800


"March Winds at Buckhorn"
19 x 23
Oil
$4250


"Fork of Turtle Skeleton, Algonquin"
20 x 24
Oil
$2850

 

******THE FOLLOWING ARE JUST A PORTION OF THE 1,300 DONALD GORDON FRASER SOLD WORKS OF ART BY STUDIO 737 DURING THE PAST 30 YEARS,

THESE WERE PERHAPS HIS BEST PAINTINGS EVER SOLD AT OUR MAIN TWEED GALLERY, OUR RICHMOND HILL GALLERY IN TORONTO, AND A SPECIAL 1997 SOLO EXHIBITION

AT TORONTO'S HARBOUR CASTLE HOTEL WHERE APPROXIMATELY 170 OF HIS WORKS WERE SOLD IN ONE WEEKEND******

(No Canadian Artist has ever rented out the main ballroom and sold that many paintings in just three days!  This is absolutely unheard of anywhere in Canada!)

EVERYONE EXAMINING ALL OF DONALD GORDON FRASER'S WORKS that are contained herein (and this is only a fraction of his art),  CAN ONLY COME TO ONE CONCLUSION--- WHEN YOU COMPARE DON'S
PORTRAITURE AND A NUMBER OF HIS LANDSCAPE OILS TO THAT OF Vincent Van Gogh !
   ****Pull up Vincent Van Gogh's Portraiture's and his landscape works on line, you will be lucky to find about 20 or so of
his portraits, now examine the hundreds and hundreds of Don's portraits of Canadians that he painted over his lifetime, many in the Toronto area including pubs during the 1950's and 1960's while working for both CBC and CTV
and compare. (His Portrait of Christ was one of the featured paintings in his French Museum Exhibition), There's also a 10 foot x 10 foot, Portrait of George Harrison of the Beatles that was painted.
THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A CANADIAN ARTIST EVER TO ACCOMPLISH WHAT THIS GENIUS EVER ACCOMPLISHED!

DONALD GORDON FRASER IS CANADA'S ANSWER TO VINCENT VAN GOGH

THIS YEAR WE CELEBRATE CANADA'S 150th BIRTHDAY!  WHAT A FITTING GESTURE BY ALL GOVERNMENTS TO INDUCT MR. DONALD GORDON FRASER INTO THEIR RESPECTIVE MUSEUMS!

     If a French Museum Director, in 1995, Discovered Mr. Donald Gordon Fraser's talent and Requested him to partake in a Seventy Painting, 4 Month Museum Exhibition, so that the French Art Students could learn
His technique and style of Art, because it reminded him of the Early French Explorers and their sketches and description of Canada.  This exhibition is like winning an OSCAR or Academy Award to an
Artist!  How many Canadians do you know of that have had such a prestigious event  during their careers?  This exhibition was entirely paid for by the French Government in coordination with The Studio 737
Art Gallery.  It did not cost the Canadian Government a dime.   Prime Minister Chretien and his Ambassador to France, were both notified and requested to attend by Studio 737, but buried the
entire event (we maintain all documentation to and  fro).  Fraser beat David Milne's exhibit in England by eleven years and also the Group of Seven a few years later.

Prime Minister Trudeau and Heritage Minister Joly:  This is Canada's 150th Birthday and Time to Reward this Canadian Artist: Donald Gordon Fraser (1921-2003) With his acceptance into the National Gallery
of Canada, in doing so, The Art Gallery of Ontario will also follow suit.  This genius of an artist painted nearly 3,000 pieces of Canadian Art by himself and not with 6 others! You can both read how this French
Museum Director, responded to Mr. Fraser, it is in his own writing in French.

******  EVERYONE READING THIS PASS THIS ON TO THE PRESS AND EVERY POLITICIAN
FROM YOUR RIDINGS THIS ONTARIO ARTIST NEEDS THIS RECOGNITION!  ******

Oil Portraiture Works

     

 

Sepia Tone Portraits (He mixed his own pigments from Black Walnuts)

 

   

     

     

     

     

     

Cabbage Town Oil Paintings

     

     

Watercolours

     

     

     

     

     

 

 

Landscape Oil Paintings

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

 

 

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