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Item Name: Drawing
Title: The Winter Sentinel
Maker: William McCargar
Year: 1965
Country: Canadian
Materials: oil, watercolour, ball-point pen and glitter on masonite
Measurements: overall: 59 cm x 74 cm
ID Number: PC83.1.33

Extended Label Info: Bill McCargar was one of several self-taught folk artists working in Saskatchewan in the twentieth century. He painted his subject matter from memory, drawing on his experiences from a career as a CP Rail-Station agent in small towns throughout Southern Saskatchewan. McCargar’s art work has a theatrical feeling. His paintings often feature a flat, nearly abstract landscape, and incorporate telephone poles, train tracks or grain elevators which emphasize his use of a strong, one-point perspective. McCargar’s use of scale is enigmatic, often having disproportionately sized creating a skewed sense of reality. He also used a mixture of materials, including glitter, which inspired well-known artist David Thauberger to be similarly experimental in his own practice. William Coulsen McCargar (1906 – 1987) was born in 1906 in Newcastle, Ontario and grew up in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan. He worked for Canadian Pacific Railways in many different prairie towns before settling in Regina. McCargar began painting using paint-by-number sets, but in 1958 on the advice of his neighbor, the acclaimed artist Ken Lochhead, he began creating his own compositions. Like many other folk-artists of his generation, McCargar received support and recognition from the Saskatchewan arts community through exhibition and collection. A major retrospective of his work was held by Dunlop Art Gallery in 1987. His work is held in public collections including the Canadian Museum of History in Hull, Quebec.