Lot 01 - Percival M. Ritchie (Canadian, 1917 - 2004), Okanagan Sagebrush, ca. 1970

Percival M. Ritchie (Canadian, 1917 - 2004), Okanagan Sagebrush, ca. 1970,
acrylic on canvas
11.5 x 15.5 inches
Notes: Artist's initials in the lower right corner.
Percival Ritchie (nee MacKenzie) was born on July 9, 1917 at Pointe-au-Pic in Quebec’s Charlevoix region when the family was on vacation. At school (The Study) in Montreal, her art teacher for nine years was Ethel Seath (one of the Beaver Hall Group of painters). Percival left for Paris in 1936 where she studied academic drawing at Atelier Miguet. In 1938-1940 she attended the Art School at the Art Association of Montreal, her teachers Lillias Torrance Newton, Goodridge Roberts, Edwin Holgate and Will Ogilvie. Later in the 1940s Percival studied with Jacques de Tonnancour and Arthur Lismer, and in 1953-1955 with Gisella Lamprecht.

In 1942 Percival married Frederick Ritchie. They had four children. In 1956 the family moved to Naramata near Penticton and bought a mixed orchard. Having exited an urban milieu, she could be expansive.

Percival often painted land, sometimes in conjunction with water. Human presence is often prominent. The scene is typically peaceable. She invited stillness, as Alberto Giacometti's sculpture or a Ben Shahn drawing or prose-piece might do - Percival was a fan of both those artist/thinkers. Her encompassment, in fact, ranged far: she was a copious reader of art books and foreign art magazines, and in later years, as she had done when based in Montreal, she frequented major museums and looked closely at the key art styles of the day. She enjoyed, for instance, looking at colour-field painting, Mark Rothko for example.

Lot Name
Percival M. Ritchie, Okanagan Sagebrush
oil on canvas
11.5 x 15.5 inches
ca. 1970
$250 - $400

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