Alfred Ernest Boultbee (1864-1928)

Untitled (Landscape) (n.d.)

Alfred Ernest Boultbee (1864-1928)

Landscape (After A.E.B.) (2021)

Paul Boultbee (b. 1951)

Birch Trees (1899)

Alfred Ernest Boultbee (1864-1928)

Alfred Ernest Boultbee, born in Newmarket, Canada West in 1864, was educated as an architect. He practiced in Toronto from 1884 onwards, although in 1898/9 he took a year off to participate in the gold rush to the Yukon. During this time, he kept a sketchbook, and completed at least 20 paintings of the northern scenery. His book of watercolour sketches was acquired by the Public Archives (now Library and Archives Canada) in Ottawa in 1972.

Alfred also spent some time studying in Paris, France prior to his sojourn in the Yukon. For a short period, he shared an atelier at No. 52 Avenue du Moine with fellow artist Edmund Morris (1871-1913), an old Toronto art student.[1]

[1] Jean S. McGill. Edmund Morris: Frontier Artist. Toronto and Charlottetown: Dundurn Press, 1984, 42.

Birch Trees (After A.E.B.) (2021)

Alfred Ernest Boultbee (1864-1928)

The landscape: The found paper and the handmade paper were right for my response to Alfred Ernest's untitled landscape. The band of colour at the bottom of the painting is meant to reflect a colour from the original that attracted me. I am particularly pleased with the textures and colours of the handmade papers in this piece. I feel that the floating papers reflect the fact that the land mass in the original painting looks a little like it is floating above the beach.

The birch trees: When one searches Alfred Ernest Boultbee on the internet, this image of his birch trees appears most frequently. It was obvious to me that I should respond to it. Initially I wanted to produce a rubbing of the birch tree in our back yard and use that in this piece. I had used strips of newspaper for the maquette I created. That worked well. However, the weather did not co-operate when it was time to create the larger rubbing, so I turned back to newspapers and splattered the columns with white paint which proved to be an interesting representation of birch trees. It might have been tempting to include the vivid red from the original, but I am glad that I chose to leave it out.

Relationship: I am Alfred’s first cousin, three times removed.