A. Colton (1921-2012), Edge of Woods, Langley


acrylic on canvas
12 x 16 ins (30.5 x 40.6 cms )
Notes: Signed in lower right. Signed, dated, and titled verso.
Provenance: Direct from the artist’s estate.

The proceeds of this item will help establish the Al Colton Scholarship Fund.


Born in Toronto in 1921, Colton began his career as an artist when he sold a small sketch of municipal building for $10. Colton was hooked and later earned himself a scholarship to the Ontario College of Art in the mid 1930s under the tutelage of Group of Seven artists Arthur Lismar and Frank Carmichael.

When the war broke out, shortly after his 18th birthday, he joined the air force and spent three years as a flight instructor on the B.C. coast. Working with charcoal on newsprint, he sketched portraits of other servicemen for $5 a piece. It was during this time at Boundary Bay that Colton met Esther, his future wife and painting partner.

After the war, Colton taught art at both the elementary and secondary school levels before taking a job as the art co-ordinator for the city of Vancouver. However, it was his paintings that earned him national accolades.

Colton’s images have hung everywhere from the Langley Centennial Museum to the National Gallery in Ottawa. He found much of his inspiration in the history and natural beauty of the region, often painting local heritage buildings and landscapes in his distinctly colourful impressionist style.

Colton died in his sleep on the 7th of June, 2012 at the age of 90, he was sketching in his hospital bed right up until the day he died.


July 17, 2017


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