24 x 30
"Algonquin Beaver House"
Click Here for the
English Version of the French Art Exhibit June 2 - October 2, 1995
Click Here for the English
Version of the French Art Exhibit June 2 - October 2, 1995
"Portrait of Catherine"
To View Some of Don Fraser's SOLD Watercolours Click Here
To View Some of Don Fraser's Oils Click Here
To View Don Fraser's SOLD Sepia Work Click Here
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.
DONALD G FRASER 1921- 2003
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 Musée du Nouveau Monde La Rochelle, France
1980 Don Fraser AOCA Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery Owen Sound
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITS
2005 Lattitude 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 Toronto
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
The City of Toronto Market Gallery, La
Musée 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.
© 2007 Don Fraser
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