Book, Shows and Magazines – Catching Up with DF Gray

Book, Shows and Magazines – Catching Up with DF Gray

DF Gray was born in Vancouver BC, and has been working in soft pastels for over 30 years.

We wanted to catch up with Dan to see what he has been doing lately and ask him a couple of questions about his work.

AA: Dan, we here at have always enjoyed seeing your work. We think you have been the artist with the most news updates ever since the site began. What have you been up to this summer?

DG: I just have had some works included in a new book of Poetry and art…”Mythography” Ken Kirkby and Friends Poetry by Manolis, upcoming car shows, always good subjects also going up our(BC) coast to paint on an expedition for Artists for an oil free Coast 4 days on a sailboat painting with some great artists, this work for a book, film and exhibit.

I expect to see a piece in the Artists Magazine perhaps next month and exhibiting in New York next March with Landscape artists international also some images in a book with them is due out.

AA: Wow, things seem to be really busy for you with a book, shows, magazines and a New York exhibit coming up. Is this normal for you this time of year?

DG: I think some of these projects is karma from the events I have done in the past, I hosted an art exhibit here a few years ago for Landscape Artists International and maybe this NY show and the landscape book(the initial mock up has one of my works on the cover…I hope it stays) is a form of payback from working with/for them.

I did a couple of days at an Elementary school painting with grade 2’s and 3’s and received the call to go up the Coast when I got home.

I do not use many local galleries so the more PR I can generate here the better it is when I hold my annual Open Studio event. Which always has featured a neat automobile in attendance as a subject over the weekend.

I try to do yearly personal projects and this year I couldn’t come up with any, now this Oil Free Coast project will fill that. Two years ago I painted 2500 portraits from life over 2010, last year I curated an exhibit of historical and contemporary Canadian pastels (I had some great works through my studio!).

These things are a lot of work and people to manage but pay off later(I hope). So this is not normal but welcomed this year.

AA: In the updates you send, you usually include a picture of the actual setting, which we think is great. Looking at both images together one can see how you transformed it into art. From those pictures it seems you have no shortage of great subjects everywhere you turn around. Do you have to spend a lot of time looking around for the right subjects in your area?

DG: We do live in a rural area on an Island so the shore is always close, I feel my job is to make good paintings/pastels regardless of the subject although I do have preferences.

I do go to the shore to paint the same locals but it is always a different day mood, or size of pastel that I attempt. We have very mild weather compared to the rest of Canada so I am able to paint plein air year round. On my way to paint or on the way home I am always looking for subject and I am told about old vehicles from neighbours and friends.

I do have a blackboard at the back door to list these finds for the right day(eg I like overcast days when painting in the forest).

The pics I take while working end up on a CD that I give to the client when they purchase a pastel, it shows their piece in progress, how the day and the subject looks. I also make a set of greeting cards on the computer which I give(when the cheque is in my hands) to the purchaser. They are all pleased to get these!

AA: In a field where many, if not most artists sell prints of their artwork, you work with originals. Have you ever done or considered getting into offering prints of your artwork?

I am not that enamoured with the print side of the business. I made artworks through the great print explosion in the 70’s to now and I see lots of prints in galleries, yard sales and under artists beds that are now passe.

I have made one giclee print for a local Woodland Gardens (I am the artist in residence there) as a fund raiser. I probably will do others but my thoughts are to use them to raise funds for causes I want to support.

I feel that if you want one of my works you will have to take an original. I do small figure studies that I put on the market at a lower price point, usually these go into a home and then with luck they come back for a landscape. would like to thank DF Gray, for taking the time to do this interview.

If you are an artist listed on here on and would liked to interviewed please contact us.

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