David Blackwood (1941-2022):
As a renowned artist and teacher who specialized in intaglio prints, David created dramatic and historical images of Newfoundland outport life and industry, such as shipwrecks, seal hunting, iceberg encounters and resettlement. He drew inspiration from the stories and traditions of his native Wesleyville. Many awards and honors, including the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario, recognized his achievements. He is one of the most famous Newfoundland artists and his works are highly sought after by collectors and museums.
Some of David Blackwood's Artworks:
Portrait of Herbert Fifield as a Great Mummer:
This painting depicts Herbert Fifield, a friend of Blackwood’s father, dressed as a mummer for a Christmas tradition in Newfoundland. A mummer is someone who disguises themselves with masks and costumes and visits other houses for fun and entertainment. The painting portrays Fifield’s humorous and eccentric personality, as well as his love for storytelling. The painting also celebrates the cultural heritage and identity of Newfoundlanders.
This painting shows a dark and mysterious island with a lighthouse and a few buildings. It creates a sense of mystery and isolation, as the viewer can only see the faint lights from the island against the black sky and water. The painting also suggests a story behind the island, such as who lives there and what they do. Moreover, it invites the viewer to imagine and explore the unknown.
Maurice Cullen (1866-1934):
Considered to be one of the first Impressionist artists in Canada, Maurice is best known for his paintings of snow and his depictions of ice harvest scenes, featuring horse-drawn sleighs traveling across the frozen waters of Quebec during winter. He was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, but moved to Montreal at a young age. He studied art in Paris and was influenced by Claude Monet and Alfred Philippe Roll. During the First World War, he also served as a war artist. He is another example of a Newfoundland artist who achieved fame and recognition for his paintings.
Some of Maurice Cullen's Artworks:
This painting shows a group of men cutting blocks of ice from a frozen river near Montreal. The painting captures the movement and activity of the workers, as well as the cold and snowy atmosphere of the scene. The painting also reflects Cullen’s interest in light and color, as he uses different shades of blue, white and gray to create a realistic impression of snow and ice.
The Mill Stream:
The Mill Stream The Mill Stream: This painting shows a small stream flowing through a rural landscape near Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue in Quebec. The painting depicts the tranquility and beauty of nature, as well as the harmony between human-made structures and natural elements. The painting also demonstrates Cullen’s skill in rendering water effects, such as reflections, ripples and currents.
Robert Pilot (1898-1967):
Robert Pilot was a Canadian artist who worked mainly in oil on canvas or on panel, and as an etcher and muralist. He is considered to be the last artist in Canada to paint Impressionistically with any authority or significance. After visiting the artists’ colony at Concarneau in France, he was influenced by Impressionism. He painted scenes of urban landscapes, particularly that of Quebec, with a sense of light and atmosphere. He was the stepson and pupil of Maurice Cullen, another Impressionist painter.
Some of Robert Pilot's Artworks:
Waiting for the Levis Ferry:
This painting shows a group of people waiting for the ferry to cross the St. Lawrence River in Quebec City. The painting captures the mood and movement of the crowd, as well as the weather and time of day. The painting also reflects Pilot’s interest in the effects of light and shadow, as he uses different tones of blue, gray and white to create a realistic impression of snow and ice.
This painting depicts a scene from World War II, where Pilot served as a captain in The Black Watch. The painting portrays the chaos and violence of war, as well as the courage and sacrifice of the soldiers. The painting also demonstrates Pilot’s skill in rendering perspective and depth, as he uses contrasting colors and shapes to create a dynamic composition.
Christopher Pratt (1935-2022):
Christopher was one of Canada’s most prominent painters and printmakers. Known for his realistic and geometric style, he often depicted scenes of architecture, interiors, boats and water. In 1980, he also designed the flag of Newfoundland and Labrador. His first wife was fellow artist Mary Pratt, whom he later divorced. Jeanette Meehan became his second spouse. Many consider him one of the best Newfoundland painters of his generation.
Some of Christopher Pratt's Artworks:
Argentia:The Ruins of Fort McAndrew After the Cold War:
This painting shows the interior of a building that was part of the American naval base at Argentia, where Pratt worked as a surveyor in the 1950s. The painting depicts the decay and abandonment of the structure, which was demolished in the 1980s. The painting also evokes Pratt’s nostalgia for his youth and his fascination with architecture.
This painting depicts a view of the Battery, a historic neighborhood in St. John’s that overlooks the harbor. The painting captures the distinctive houses, boats and cliffs that characterize the area. The painting also reflects Pratt’s admiration for the resilience and creativity of the people who live in the Battery, despite the harsh conditions and isolation.
Mary Pratt (1935-2018):
A Canadian painter, Mary was known for photo-realist still life paintings. She painted the ordinary objects of her kitchen, garden and daily life with near photographic detail and compelling, often dark complexity. Some described her as “the visual poet of the kitchen” and she investigated domestic subjects with a feminist perspective. She married Christopher Pratt, one of the most famous Newfoundland artists, that we talked above, and later divorced him.
Some of Mary Pratt's Artworks:
This painting shows a shelf of glass jars filled with different kinds of jelly, such as raspberry, blueberry, cranberry and grape. The painting captures the vivid colors and textures of the jelly, as well as the reflections and refractions of light on the glass. The painting also suggests a sense of abundance and preservation, as well as nostalgia and memory.
This is Donna:
This Is Donna, is an oil painting by Mary Pratt that shows a young woman in her underwear, staring at the viewer. The painting is realistic and detailed, with light and shadows creating a vivid effect. The woman’s bra and panties are different in style and texture, suggesting her personality and mood. The painting is based on a photograph by Pratt’s husband, who was a famous artist himself. Pratt used his photo as a source of inspiration and challenge, making her own art from his image. The painting is an example of Pratt’s skill and interest in everyday scenes and objects.
We hope you enjoyed this article and learned more about the amazing NL artists and their paintings. These are just some of the examples of the artistic talent and creativity that this province has to offer. There are many more Newfoundland painters who deserve recognition and respect for their work. If you want to explore more of the Newfoundland art scene, you can visit some of the local galleries, museums, festivals, and events that showcase the diverse and vibrant art forms of this province. You can also support the local NL artists by buying their paintings, attending their exhibitions, or following them on social media. Newfoundland and Labrador is a place where art is not only a hobby, but a way of life!