JOHN WILLIAM BEATTY, O.S.A., R.C.A.
EDGE OF THE FIELD
oil on board
8.75 ins x 10.5 ins; 22.2 cms x 26.7 cms
J.W. Beatty (1869-1941) painted his fair share of Jack pines, larches and tamaracks. However, he was keenly aware that the wilds were not the totality of our visual experience or identity. After all, in Canada our daily life is surrounded by the trees that line our city streets, parks, meadows and agricultural lands. The emblem of our nation is not a conifer, but the deciduous Maple.
Edge of the Field straddles this awareness. The lush, verdant agrarian scene is framed by an escarpment bluff in the near distance, the conjoining of two realities. Its format, 8 by 10 inches on board was one of the most favoured in its day. It permitted a wet oil painting to be slipped into a carrying slot in a portable sketch box. Thereby allowing the artist to undertake numerous quick field studies. This also encouraged a more spontaneous, freer painting approach. Edge of the Field is painted in Beatty’s characteristic Post-Impressionist style.
Private Collection, Toronto