Rosamond Longfield-Smith (1904-1994)

High Park (1955)

Rosamond Longfield-Smith (1904-1994)

Rosamond Longfield-Smith was born at Bridgetown, Barbados, the daughter of Dr. Longfield-Smith and Marian Boultbee. She studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, graduating in 1930. She exhibited her paintings in Chicago, New York, and Berlin. Rosamond was known as a watercolour artist specializing in dance and movement with expressive West Indian themes. Later in life she moved to the Lake Wales area of Florida where she displayed and sold her work. Rosamond spent much of her time studying art and exhibiting her work in the United States and Europe. “High Park” is one of the few pieces she created in Canada while on one of her infrequent visits. Her landscape paintings follow in the tradition of her 19th century ancestors.

High Park (After R.L.S.) (2022)

Paul Boultbee (b. 1951)

Whenever I look at Rosamond’s watercolour all I see is the one large tree. I wanted to make it the focus of my painting without making it as large a feature as in Rosamond’s piece. My tree has been created using a stencil I made by tracing her tree. The underlying black lines come from John Howard's 1864 Plan of Survey for High Park. (There were other maps I could have used from 1878 and 1895, but the survey from 1864 was the one that appealed to me most given its simplicity.)

Initially I found the piece a bit awkward, but I very quickly grew more comfortable with it. I like the relationship between the tree and the map of the park. On an initial viewing the tree seems to float in the space, but I have connected the tree to the park by placing it on the map outline. I appreciate the colour palette strip and the found paper that represent the tree. The outline of the park and some of the landscape markings act as a grid to support the tree and give some definition to the piece, as well as referencing the park itself.

Relationship: I am Rosamond’s first cousin, twice removed.