ASA CPE CSPWC RCA
1884 - 1963
watercolour on paper
signed and dated 1956 and on verso titled on the gallery label
14 x 21 po, 35.6 x 53.3 cm
Estimation : $10,000 - $15,000
Vendu pour : $18,750
Exposition à : Heffel Calgary
Canadian Art Galleries, Calgary
Private Collection, British Columbia
Sold sale of Fine Canadian Art, Heffel Fine Art Auction House, August 29, 2013, lot 4
Private Collection, Calgary
Originally from England, Walter J. Phillips was steeped in the great tradition of British watercolourists such as David Cox and John Sell Cotman. Before immigrating to Canada in 1912, he undertook sketching trips throughout England and held two exhibitions of his watercolours in Salisbury. Once in Canada, Phillips settled in Winnipeg and set to painting the surrounding landscape. In his unpublished manuscript Wet Paint, Phillips describes the Canadian atmosphere as clear and dry, and his watercolours changed in response to it. Phillips was a champion of beauty in nature, and his body of work in watercolour is renowned for its allure of image and for its technical accomplishment. Phillips's refined use of transparent washes, which defined form and atmospheric effects, captured the clarity of light that is so distinctive in Canadian landscape.
This fine large format watercolour depicts the iconic lighthouse at Peggy’s Point in Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia. Built in 1914, it sits atop a rugged granite outcrop, and has endured the powerful crash of Atlantic surf during many winter storms. Phillips’s masterful hand with watercolour is in full evidence here, from the deft handling of texture and patterning in the rocks to delicate washes defining sand and sky. His eye for the dynamics of composition manifests in his highlighting of the lighthouse against a pale sky, and the strength of the granite outcropping on which it stands. Phillips lived in both Winnipeg and Banff, and painted primarily the Prairies, Lake of the Woods, the Rockies and the West Coast. Peggy’s Cove is a rare and splendid depiction of the East Coast.
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