Constance Edith Boultbee (1927-2000)

Birch Trees (1960)

Constance Edith (Connie) Boultbee (1927-2000)

Connie Boultbee was born in Toronto in 1927 and educated as a teacher-librarian at Normal School. She taught within the Toronto Board of Education (now the Toronto District School Board from 1945 to 1981. Connie also pursued an art degree through the University of Toronto on a part-time basis, graduating in 2003. She was both a painter and a printmaker as well as being a prolific photographer. She recorded all her trips, provincial, national, and international, on film and presented travel evenings on a regular basis as a member of the Toronto Camera Club.

Birch Trees (After C.B.) (2022)

Paul Boultbee (b. 1951)

Connie Boultbee was my aunt, my father’s only sister. Like me, she was a librarian and like me she pursued her art degree part-time later in life. With this piece, I wanted to honour her and her work.

I used newspaper columns splattered with white paint to represent the birch bark. I used handmade paper to reflect the distinctive bases of my aunt’s trees, as well as the snow covering the ground. I am pleased with the rendition of these ‘trees’ and I enjoy the colour palette on the strip of paint down the side. The strip is nominally meant to reference the general palette of the original artwork, but here it also echoes the birch trees themselves. While the handmade paper is meant to ground the work, it also paradoxically elevates the ‘trees’.

Relationship: I am Connie’s nephew.