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Item Name: Painting
Title: Golden October (All Is Silent and Still)
Maker: Ruth Pawson
Year: 1950
Country: Canadian
Materials: oil on card
Measurements: overall: 50.9 cm x 60.7 cm
ID Number: PC93.2
Legal Status: PERMANENT COLLECTION


Extended Label Info: Pawson was a master of the prairie landscape. She was inspired by the rolling prairie and theatrical skies of southern Saskatchewan, and often spoke of the rhythm of the wind. In this painting, Pawson captures the warmth of the sun on a clear autumn afternoon in the Qu’Appelle Valley, just after the leaves have turned from green to yellow, and before they fall. At this time of year when the sun is low, the clouds stretch across the vast sky and cast long shadows, defining the edges of the valley. There is a silhouette of a farmyard visible on the horizon, but no other wildlife or activity. In her title Pawson describes this day as silent and still, but there is an energy in Pawson’s brushstrokes that gives vitality to this work, perhaps a sense of the wind across the hills. 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.