A few senior artists may remember the days when artists traveled to The Schneider School of Fine Arts at Actinolite, near Tweed, to paint and take instruction in the 1960’s and 70’s. I understand A.Y.Jackson taught there at some time. Later, the camp with its small cabins became Bridgewater Retreat where a number of us taught and where the East Central Art Association of Ontario (ECOAA) held regular weekend outings.
A little farther west on Hwy 7, the Queensborough road takes you north to the Hamlet of Queensborough. Anyone attending the Schneider School or Bridgewater Retreat would recall day-painting trips to Queensborough. We would set up our easels to paint the Black River waterfall and sawmill and the streets and houses and churches.
This year, the residents of Queensborough decided to hold a Festival to celebrate the many artists who came to draw, photograph and paint their town over the years. A call for paintings that depicted the village resulted in close to a hundred submissions including works by well-known artists, Don Fraser, Poul Thrane and others. There was even a painting by A.Y.Jackson. I brought a 12x16 that I painted at Chisholm’s Mill with Poul in 2009. All of the work was set out, tastefully, in the Orange lodge for everyone to view. The weather on the day of the Festival, Saturday August 24th was perfect. Some artists, including myself, set up around the Hamlet and painted.
It has been 10 years or more since I was there, very little has changed. Meeting two dear friends, Poul Thrane and Audrey Ross, was incredible and brought back a flood of memories.
A BIG THANK YOU to all those that organized the wonderful exhibition and made everyone feel so welcome. Well done!