William (Bill) Stair Boultbee (1905-1994)

Picton, Ontario (1975)

William (Bill) Stair Boultbee (1905-1994)

William Stair Boultbee, known as Bill, received his senior education at the Royal Military College at Kingston, Ontario. From 1927 to 1938, he was an audit clerk and accountant at Riddell, Stead, Graham & Hutchinson, Chartered Accountants. In 1939, 1940, and 1941, he was an audit clerk in the City of Toronto Audit Department. In 1951, he began a long association as an auditor with the Toronto Sales Department of the Abitibi Power & Paper Company. In 1972, he and his wife retired to live in Picton, Ontario.

Picton, Ontario (After W.S.B.) (2022)

Paul Boultbee (b. 1951)

I like the simplicity of Bill's piece and I wanted to play upon that. Much of my work over the past several years has been architectural and/ or structural in nature. Responding to this piece allowed me to get back to that subject matter. Also, I have spent three separate residencies just outside Picton, Ontario in Prince Edward County. I wanted to acknowledge that through responding to this painting.

My wife and I have had a practice throughout the COVID-19 pandemic of examining the work of individual artists or art movements on a regular (sometimes daily) basis. In January we were looking at the work of Jean Arp, one of his chance collages. That, along with a deconstruction of William Stair’s painting, led me to my piece as it now stands.

I am very pleased with the final outcome of this piece. In order to get the shapes right and create a satisfying composition, I produced a maquette first. There was some juggling involved in getting the size of the shapes right for the larger piece and achieving a pleasing composition. Initially, the coloured shapes were far too vibrant. Covering the painting with some found paper not only toned down the vibrancy, but also suggested the overall look of winter as originally painted by William Stair.

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