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Item Name: Painting
Title: Snow Clouds in the Spring
Maker: Ruth Pawson
Year: 1971
Country: Canadian
Materials: oil on panelboard
Measurements: in frame: 52 cm x 61.6 cm; work: 40.6 cm x 50.8 cm
ID Number: ART 110
Legal Status: ART RENTAL


Extended Label Info: Ruth May Pawson’s oil painting on panelboard, “Snow Clouds in the Spring” depicts a field after the snow has melted a little to reveal the tall yellow grass underneath. The warm, hopeful colour is the only separation between the gloomy sky and snow-covered foreground, and a reminder of the coming spring season. Pawson is known for her evocative landscapes. She was inspired by the rolling prairie and theatrical skies of Southern Saskatchewan, and often spoke of the rhythm of the wind that she felt on the prairies. Her expressive brushstrokes build this sense of rhythm into her compositions, charging them with a strong sense of vitality. Pawson accredits her fascination and appreciation of prairie landscape painting to her time spent at the Emma Lake Summer School. She frequently painted outdoors in all weather, only resorting to work in her Volkswagen as she got older. As Ruth explained, “I am a landscape painter trying to capture the essence of the Saskatchewan prairie. Something must turn an artist on – for me it is the vast space, the great dome of sky, and the quality of luminous light overall.” Ruth May Pawson (1908-1994) was born in Stratford, Ontario and moved to Regina in 1912. Pawson earned a teacher's certificate from the Regina Normal School in 1927 and taught for ten years before she was able to afford art classes. She attended the Regina College of Art where she studied with Augustus Kenderdine and Gordon Snelgrove, earning an Associate of Fine Arts degree (1940). Pawson later attended the Emma Lake Summer School, and several summer sessions at the Banff School of Fine Arts taught by A.Y. Jackson of the Group of Seven. She became a teacher in elementary schools and at the Regina College of Art. In 1976, the Regina Public School Board named an elementary school in her honor. For her contribution to Saskatchewan art and art education, Pawson received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 1993. Her work is held in numerous private and public collections such as the National Gallery of Canada, Banff School of Fine Arts, and the Saskatchewan Arts Board.