Lorraine Duncan

Artist Statement                  


My artwork was birthed at the moment I first saw a flash vision of a paintbrush in my hand.  Uninitiated in the visual arts at the time, I took this as guidance in my quest to discover a new creative expression.


Color has always been my first love, and the canvas now became a playground for melodious songs of beautiful color.  The juicy tones and versatile elegance of acrylics became the perfect medium for my intuitive exploration process of creating.


I seek to express the essence of my subject matter in a style that is more dream-like than realistic and more spiritual than concrete.  A collector speaks of feeling an immediate spiritual connection when she first viewed my paintings and the four than now hang in her home have changed the atmosphere to one of more peace and light.


My art speaks of the joy and abundance overflowing in the rich beauty of nature, and this is surely a solid base for positive hope for individuals and society.



Living Color

Lorraine Duncan



A childhood lived under the vast blue prairie sky, surrounded by golden wheat fields and vistas without end, an outdoor playground with no boundaries - this was a fine way to begin life and learn about the simplicity, beauty and complexity of nature. 


Lorraine Duncan was born and raised in Golden Prairie, Saskatchewan, a German farming community close to the American border.  To the uninitiated, the prairie was somewhere to pass through quickly, but to those who understood it, there was the purity of untouched snow fields sparking under a winter sun, the intensely vibrant night sky studded with millions of stars never seen by city dwellers, dramatic lightning storms that split open the heavens, and the breathtaking northern lights.  Standing in the midst of a golden wheat field towering higher than her head, the silence was so profound she could hear it, except for the crickets of course.  She could feel the pulse of the earth, of life.  Biting into the sun-warmed sweetness of a freshly picked tomato, filling burlap sacks full of plump ears of corn, potatoes, peas, peppers, melons.  A fine way to begin life.


Duncan’s first influence toward art came from the many hours spent with her older sister who loved drawing and grew up to be an artist.  They would draw cartoon type figures and make up stories about them as they drew.  Duncan’s main art form for the first 40 years of her life, however, came from music.  She learned to play classical piano and branched out later to other genres.  Today she enjoys writing songs.


She obtained a BA with a French major from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.  Subsequent years brought marriage, a move to San Diego, 2 children, working in the business world, and then, finally in her 40’s, a desire to discover herself.  She decided to explore her creative side and took community college courses in watercolor, creative writing, speech, drama--and discovered she loved it all!  A piano teacher told her she could have been a concert pianist with the right training, her writing mentor that her short stories were publishable, and her drama teacher that she could be a professional actress.  This was discovery indeed!


During this period, Duncan had several brief visions--just flashes in her mind’s eye of a paintbrush in her hand.  This seemed like intuitive guidance and she followed it.  She began as a complete novice with lessons in folk art painting in order to learn the basics of paint and brush.  The delightful folk-art images were fun to paint, but very quickly she yearned to break away from traced designs and create her own work.


About that time Duncan and her husband moved to Point Roberts, Washington, a unique cottage community located minutes from the beautiful Canadian city of Vancouver.  The city offered unlimited opportunities for workshops where she developed her style and techniques.   She became a member of the South Delta Art Guild and the Federation of Canadian Artists.  Her style continues to evolve.


She has had numerous shows in two galleries close to her home, as well as many showings at the Guild and local hotels and restaurants.


Duncan’s style could be described as a composite of expressionism, semi-abstraction and whimsy.  She generally works in series that are inspired by metaphor and symbolism that express what she thinks and feels about life and nature.  For example, she did a lengthy series depicting earthen jars.  This subject lent itself very well to metaphor through use of shape, size, color, and relationship of multiple jars in one painting.  She was able to liberally use her love of texture, created by using various acrylic gels, and to indulge her fascination with complex blending of colors to obtain the earthen jar look.


She has lived a few feet from the ocean for 18 years but has only recently begun to paint the sea.  It began as a spontaneous experiment swirling a pallet knife into thick gel laced with generous amounts of blues, greens, yellow, and      white.  She says that the resulting abstract expression of the power and depth of the ocean left her feeling breathless with excitement.  Thus began a series of paintings she called “Living Water”.  She was hooked!  Formerly, she’d painted with lots of reds and yellows.  Now she delved into the blue/green family and felt right at home.


From early life she loved the rich lively colors of the tropics.  She and her husband will be moving to Florida soon and so her current  series depicts the turquoise waters and palm trees of southern coastal life.  She is enjoying developing a more tropical inspired palette.


She will often begin her paintings with a sketch and a pre-chosen color scheme.  Very often the process will take over and the composition and colors will change as the painting evolves.  Eventually all the moving parts fit together in a format that she’s happy with and the painting will tell her when it is complete.


Duncan paints from a studio in her house where one set of windows looks out over the ocean, and another looks into large cotton-wood trees where 2 eagles have nested for many years.  This serene environment is ideal for this artist who seeks inner and outer freedom from clutter. 


One of her favorite quotes is from Cesar Marique: “to be completely free to create without fear and formula heartens the soul and opens the path to the joy of living.”


Her goal is to transfer some of this joy of living to her viewers through her artwork.  One gallery owner told her that when clients viewed her work they had smiles on their faces.  Another viewer told her that on a recent rainy northwest night, she had a dream of jumping into one of Duncan’s warm southern ocean scenes that she had viewed online that day.  Mary Luccock, a collector from Vancouver, says that she obtains “total enjoyment that keeps growing over time” from the several works she has in her home.  She says that to her “each piece represents a different emotion” and visitors to her home are intrigued and impressed. 

The first attraction is usually the use of color.


Color has always been of interest to Duncan.  She has been influenced by the vibrant color in   Georgia O’Keeffe and Kandinsky’s art, and by Klimt’s complex weaving of color and pattern.   She has taken her love of color to a unique level by operating for several years a small business doing color analysis for women and also men.  She was trained in a system that provided a  computer analysis of an individual’s  coloring based on their skin, hair and eye tones.


Duncan feels that her approach to painting leaves her future work wide open to an exciting array of possibilities.  New ideas are constantly germinating in her creative imagination.







Lorraine has studied in workshops led by senior members of the Canadian Federation of Artists, such as Donna Baspaly, Ann Zielinski, Don Farrel, Janice Robertson and Suzanne Northcott.  She continues development through internet courses and art books.



Lorraine lives with her husband at their seaside home in Point Roberts, Washington.  They have two grown children and one grandchild.



She seeks to express the essence of the scene, object or idea, rather than a literal rendition.  Mystery and metaphor are important elements in how she approaches a new work, and then she completes it in process painting, each stage suggesting the next.  Vibrant, live color is perhaps the most significant consideration in her work.



2004-2010 Monthly Group Shows -- South Delta Artist Guild, Delta, B.C. Canada

2007-2015 Yearly Solo Shows -- Blue Heron Gallery, Point Roberts, WA

2007 August & September -- Floating Leaves Gallery, Seattle, WA

2010-2012 Group Shows -- Blue Horse Gallery, Bellingham, WA


Art piece “Remembering Eden” was chosen for the front cover of the October 2010 “Entertainment News NW”, an art community magazine for Whatcom County.






Her works hang in homes and businesses in the United States and Canada.  Selected collectors include Mary Luccock, Dr. Susan Marra, Tonja Fox, Doug and Nancy Eacrett, Barry and Jane McMillan, Barry and Dina Boykiw.

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