Local artist Giselle Denis brings colours of nature to downtown Edmonton

One of the most popular outdoor murals in downtown Edmonton remains vibrant in all weathers and all seasons. It is Mother Nature, the work and the gift of artist Giselle Denis.

“People will drop by and tag me in their posts,” said Denis of the fashion shoots, weddings, parties and even raves that break out next to her mural. “It’s an engaging place to go now.”

Mother Nature graces the 12 x 8-metre west wall of the VIGNETTES Building at 10004 103A Avenue. Denis was at the building in September 2017 for an art show. She saw the opportunity. It took two weeks to heat-seal the brick wall with the print. The mural is an officially marked location on an Instagrammable tour of Edmonton. She paid for the mural herself.

“I was born and raised here,” Denis said. ”I stayed here. I love that my roots are here.”

Giselle Denis paints outdoors at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Watch Denis paint live

The art of Giselle Denis is here, too.

The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald displays her work and provides hotel guests a unique perspective on the making of Giselle Denis originals. With Giselle Denis in person. Most Thursday nights at the downtown landmark, the artist is on site, providing family-friendly, interactive live painting performances. You can typically find her on the hotel patio overlooking the river valley.

“It’s meant to be an interactive experience, that’s what is cool about it,” Denis said. “What I create is an opportunity to interact with me. When do you get the chance to work with an artist live?”

Denis guides a young artist on Macdonald Hotel patio in 2018.

“Art is universal,” Denis said. ”Everyone talks to me. Some connections are really deep and emotional. It’s a connection that is spontaneous. You will never know who you will meet.”

“Oh, yeah? Watch me!”

Denis is inspired by the natural landscape— forests, river, prairies. “I paint a lot of trees,” she laughed. Her fans like what she helps them see.

“Edmontonians are the reason my art has thrived,” she said. “They have welcomed me to the Fairmont. They love original artwork. They love local. They love that I’m accessible. I’ve been told that to be successful in art you will have to move to LA, NY or Paris.”

Her reply? “Oh yeah? Watch me,” she said. “ It’s been an overwhelming response. I feel like I was born here for a reason. People have really responded really positively.”

To see more of Denis’ work, visit her Instagram profile or website. You can also experience her live painting from 5pm-8pm on most Thursday evenings at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald.

Editor’s note: the pic at the top of the post shows Denis in front of her Mother Nature mural at the VIGNETTES building in downtown Edmonton. Make it a stop on a tour of seven other Downtown Murals. Photo courtesy of the artist.