The calculated, cryptic, cerebral “serial killer” coldness — that WASP/Cheever element — that so many people bristled at was exactly what I admired most…
With his focus on the ordinary, some have been tempted to crown the Maritimer as Canada’s Norman Rockwell. Robert Fulford has simply described Colville as “our painter laureate” and “a great national icon-maker.”
Colville began his career as a military artist and famously documented troops landing at Juno Beach on D-Day, becoming the most prominent painter to document Canada’s involvement in the Second World War.
After the war, Colville forged a unique hyper-realist style that eschewed fashionable trends towards abstract and expressionist art. (…)
His technique involved a painstaking process of multiple drawings, precise geometry and carefully applied blots of paint, often taking months. (…)
Chances are good that many Canadians carried an example of Colville’s work in their own pocket at one time or another — he designed a series of coins for the 1967 centennial that put a mackerel on the dime, a hare on the nickel and a dove with outstretched wings on the penny.
But Colville said his father`s artistry also extended beyond Canada`s border, sometimes in unexpected ways.
“I must say, I (felt) slight surprise when I saw Stanley Kubrick’s film ‘The Shining’ and I suddenly realized my father’s paintings were in the background in numerous scenes.
They were implanted in that film as almost subliminal messages.”