Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday Inspiration: Lilias Torrance Newton

Lilias Torrance Newton, Two Little Sisters, 1920 (source)

Lilias Torrance Newton, Elise Kingman, 1930 (source)

Okay- sorry for the week off- we had a heck of a week here- and now are starting this one off with a big round of winter cold virus, I think the worst of it is over now- but there it is- a couple of nights sleeping sitting upright because the baby can't breath properly lying down, and can't nurse and so that means a lot of rocking- plus the already barnacle like behavior of the 1.5 yr old is amplified by feeling crappy, add in the crazy cold temperature outside, and it's enough to drive you bonkers, or into moving to Hawaii. Anyhow On with today's Artist- Lilias Torrance Newton was one of Canada's Premier Portrait painters- her work is phenomenal- rough but so accurate, painterly but still capturing the essence of the sitter- just plain lovely to boot- who wouldn't love one of these hanging on their wall? 

She was very prolific, another member of the Beaver Hall group, and highly esteemed within her lifetime, she painted the Queen, and she painted soldiers during the second world war (it says in her bio at the national gallery that she was an 'Honourary war artist'- which makes me wonder why the honourary?- also I could not find any images of her war work on line). She was basically a dynamo of Canadian Painting- She painted over 300 portraits during her lifetime and she lived a good long while (she died in 1980). 

I was starting to get a little annoyed that one could go through four years of university education in Canada and not actually have heard of her- but then I realized that during my education-unless it was Aboriginal art- we didn't hear of any Canadian Artists, period, maybe someone briefly mentioned the group of seven, but I do mean in passing, and very briefly. I wonder why- but also it gives the chance to remedy it now- so I think I will consciously try to use Canadian artists for my Monday inspirations this year- try to educate myself a little on what went on in this 'Wilderness'. 

(a little hint- if you click on (source) in any of the image captions it will take you to the original place of the image on line- and usually to a lot more info about the artist)

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