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09.21.15 Canadas National Art GalleryWhen I was in Toronto in July, I hopped onto a train bright and early one morning. I went to Ottawa to Canada’s National Art Gallery.  They had a retrospective of Alex Colville (1920-2013), a prominent Canadian artist. You can learn more about Alex at his website and see more of his art work: Click here!

Years ago I remember watching a really interesting show about him.  He talked about his life long muse, Rhoda, his wife.  It is highly unusual for women of a certain age to be painted, or to be put on magazine covers.  Alex always painted his wife. Partially (or wisely, mostly) because she didn’t want him to paint other women. Rhoda had to have been very brave because he did quite a few nudes of her and she said she worried that people would judge her in a negative way, but she really didn’t want him to have other models.  
09.21.15 Alec Coville1

“Woman at Clothesline” 1956/57

But the gift that Rhoda’s decision to be his only model is that we have wonderful paintings of a woman who has aged.  Thank you Rhoda for being willing to be his muse all of the years you were married.  She and Alex have given us a wonderful view of woman through out her life.   The above painting was done when they had been married 14 to 15 years.  They had 4 children by that time. 🙂 Life would have been very full for Rhoda, who was an artist and poet in her own right.

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“Woman on Ramp”, 2007

In this painting Rhoda at around 86 yrs of age.  Isn’t she beautiful!   She died  before Alex in December 2012 at 91 yrs of age and he left in July 2013.  They were marred 70 years.  Can you imagine!?!

One thing I can say…Alex wasn’t the most original when it came to naming his paintings!  🙂  But he had his own distinctive style and colour/value sense.

The other thing I remember about the tv show I watched was that he took us on a tour of his studio (I was a quilter not a painter at that point).  He stood at his painting and talked about his studio and painting practices.  I remember him talking about how he always stood when he painted.  So as a result I set up my painting studio so that I stand while both painting with watercolour and at the easel. 🙂

09.21.15 New piece I finished one painting and now I am working on another for the show. This one is the largest at 30×30 inches square.

Thank you so much for dropping by.  See you on Thursday.

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