David Milne - Zinnias and Jar

  • Zinnias and Jar
  • Watercolour on Paper
  • 9.75 x 14 in
  • 1943
  • Sold
  • Loch Gallery, Calgary

Zinnias and Jar (404.39)
Uxbridge, Ontario, September 1943
Watercolour on paper, 9 3⁄4 × 14 1⁄8
Not signed or dated
Inscribed by Duncan: W-332 / (Sept, 1943) /

David Milne was born near Paisley, Ontario in 1882. An early interest in art revived while he was teaching at a country school, and led him to take a correspondence course.


Eventually Milne travelled to New York City to continue his studies. This was somewhat of an exception in the early twentieth-century Canadian art scene as the majority of artists went to Europe to study. While in New York City, Milne worked as a commercial illustrator for several years before deciding to devote his time to painting. Shortly after making this decision, he moved to Boston Corners in New York where he found the peace and solitude of a rural life that he sought.


In 1929, Milne returned to settle in Canada permanently. He stayed for brief periods in Temagami, Weston, and Palgrave before building a cabin at the secluded Six Mile Lake, north of Orillia, Ontario. Here Milne spent six years painting, for the most part alone. In the late 1930s, Milne and his second wife settled down in Uxbridge, Ontario, where his only child, David Jr. was born in 1941. 


He greatly admired the work of Tom Thomson but had little interest in the nationalistic approach of the Group of Seven. His experiments with different media and changing viewpoints show his interest in the painting process itself. Milne's subjects range from landscapes to views of towns and cities, still lifes and imaginary subjects. 


Milne was interested in 'pure' painting, and—as he called his watercolours of the 1930s and 1940s—in "adventures in shape, colour, texture and space". A change from earlier, the less vibrant drybrush "adventures" to his later fantasy watercolours is often attributed to the birth of David Jr., when Milne was sixty. His young son encouraged him to adopt a new, vibrant and often whimsical approach to his art.

David Milne spent the rest of his life in Uxbridge, exploring the Haliburton and Bancroft areas, as well as the city of Toronto.

More Artwork from this Artist

  • City Rain

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  • 1911
  • Price available on request
  • Painting Place

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  • 1931
  • Price available on request

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