Get to Know a Gold Coast Member
interviewed and written by ​Jen Walls

Danielle Vaillancourt: Color Your World

Author’s note: this forum is usually reserved for a light- hearted peek into our member’s lives. In this issue, we take a moment to appreciate one of our members who is nearing the end of her life due to a rare bone marrow cancer. Danielle speaks with an elegant French- Canadian accent, and took a few moments to tell us her story by phone.

How did you come to be in Florida?


Danielle: In 1980, I came to the U.S. with my lover. I would have followed him anywhere! We spent thirty years together. He passed two years ago.

What influenced you to become an artist?


Danielle: When I lived in Montreal, everything in my life was white. My house was white on white. All of my clothing was white. I had twenty-eight pairs of white sandals! Then I went through a session of “re-birth” because a friend of mine was training in that field. She was always laughing and smiling and dressed in red with red curly hair. So I did it for fun. But afterward, I forgot all anger and pain - it was like being a new baby. And six months later, color came into my life. When I was 50, I took a watercolor class. I had never drawn or held a brush. I started to paint. My instructor wanted more and more color! Eventually, she took me to the Hollywood Art Guild. I began winning first prize all the time. Then I took an acrylic class and started loving color.


Now there are no more white clothes! I paint all my shoes to match my dresses and handbags. I make all of my jewelry to match my outfits. I don’t need to eat - I just need to create.

What advice to you have for other artists?


Danielle: Let yourself go. Don’t be afraid.

Is there anything you would change about your art journey?


Danielle: I would try not to be so tight. Years ago, I saw all the show winners were painting tight, realistically. Miami Watercolor Society, Palm Beach, Gold I began to practice until I could paint the same way and win! Now I wish I could be looser in my painting.


How many paintings have you created?


Danielle: I don’t know. But I have 136 on my walls right now.


What are you reading?


Danielle: A book in French. I still read in French.


Do you have a favorite t.v. show?


Danielle: General Hospital. I have been watching it since 1981.


What do you do for fun?


Danielle: I go to exhibitions. It is art - pure art. It is coming out of my ears and fingers. It comes from my dreams - colors and shapes. I dream of clothing.

What did you do before becoming a painter?


Danielle: I created large wool wall hangings for hotels. I have always been creating. I sold 900 of those. But we don’t need wool in Florida.


You’ve been very matter-of-fact about this being the end of your life. Is there anything you need that we could help with?


Danielle: The doctors say I won’t last through Christmas. There is no time for me to move to Montreal (where two of her children are), so I have decided to stay here to die. My children said don’t want all of these paintings. I would like to sell it to people who will want to keep it.


Thanks so much, Danielle, for talking to us.


Danielle: You took me by surprise. I don’t talk to people so much anymore.

Would you like to be featured in our newsletter

and on our website? 

Contact Jen Walls at for details.

© 2021 Gold Coast Watercolor Society
Site Design by AdArt Designs

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: The images of art contained on these pages are copyrighted works of the Artist and are not in the public domain. Any unauthorized use of these images, including but not limited to: personal or commercial www pages, redistribution on any computer network or system, redistribution using any form of media regardless of whether a fee is charged, inclusion with any other software or hardware, and public performance, is prohibited. These image files are not available for use in freeware or shareware products, nor are they available for use on web sites. If you are a publisher, commercial software developer, or have a professional interest in these images, please contact the Artist via GCWS. No reproduction of any kind will be allowed without the express written permission of the Artist. All rights reserved.