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Item Name: Painting
Title: The Tall Trees
Maker: Dorothy Knowles
Year: n.d.
Country: Canadian
Materials: oil on canvas
Measurements: overall: 107.5 cm x 121 cm
ID Number: PC2005.1

Extended Label Info: The wonderful sense of light, colour, and atmosphere present in all her paintings is what made Dorothy Knowles one of Canada’s most distinguished landscape artists. Her ability to paint directly from her surroundings was a skill that came naturally to Knowles. This aided her ability to depict the Prairie’s openness and distinct features. In a van that served as her studio, Knowles ventured outside the Saskatoon area to paint in the outdoors. In The Tall Trees, Knowles uses oil paint to create her landscape. The slow drying nature of the medium allows her to mix and blend the colours in a way that can slowly capture the scene before her. The lightness of the sky, the wispy long grass, and the smoothness of the water can be evoked with oil paints and through a skilled and confident hand. In doing so, she recreates a hidden piece of this world. Dorothy Knowles (1927- ) was born near Unity, Saskatchewan and is considered one of Canada’s top landscape painters. Having initially studied biology at the University of Saskatchewan, Knowles decided to pursue art in the late 1940s and early 1950s, through the University of Saskatchewan, Emma Lake workshops, the Banff Centre, and the Goldsmith School of Art, in London, England. A turning point in her career came at an Emma Lake Artists’ Workshop in 1962 when she was encouraged by the American critic, Clement Greenberg, to pursue painting from nature regardless of the contemporary predominance of abstraction. She has continued to paint prolifically in watercolour, acrylic and oil throughout her career – working in a variety of different ways and using a wide range of subject matter. Knowles was awarded the Medal of Saskatchewan in 1987 and received the Order of Canada in 2004. Her work is found in numerous public and private collections.