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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Daily Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 19, 1908, Lethbridge, Alberta '.ETH8RIDGE, ALBERTA, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19, Ittt St. Thomas Smith, Canada's Greatest lt Marine Artist. GOODS I Manicure i I Sets I Smokers' 4 I Sets I Dolls I Leather I Goods Japanese Ware China Ware 1 SILKS Ladies' Waists Ki menus Cushion Tops Piano Covers Handkerchiefs Etc. fJentlemen's Shirts Hose. Etc. Silk in web A.11 goods imported. Close prices I I I I I CHOW] COMPANY) ROUND STREET j LETHBR1DGE I Wnllcn siK'ciatly fur this y.ni wl'.cre on thi' do yon come usked the mice, "And 'u'hut do yon i hi y v.'crt- nil y Tell its'altoiit'the pret- tiest .MI earth. Hare there t Hare been in the larder there are cheeses and hums tg jroin the ceiling, where one can on tallirw candles, a n where one goes in thin and coines out "I duii I know any- thing about said the iiee, but I the jorest, where the sun shines and where the hirds sing." A nd then it iuld them everything jroin its yotith onward, and the little mice had m-L'ir heard anything like it bejore. W. ST. THOMAS SMITH "M nd fine The jollifo'ing night there came a great many more mice, and on the Sunday even two rats: they saia the story was not and the little mice were sorry to hear this, jor now they also less oj it. "Do you know only that one asked the rats. "Only that answered the tree. "I heard it on the happiest evening of my life, but I did not then know haw happy 1 was." "it's a Very poor story- Don't yon know any miewiih bacon tallow candles in 'story }rom the larders I'roin 1 It by Hans' Andersen. Y P1CTU RES must sell says St. Thomas Smith, the greatest marine artist that Canada has produced. "My ambition at first was to be a portrait painter and 1 used to get commissions. Ikit I couldn't do my best work then. It was too commercial." Such has always been the peculiarity of the "artistic tempera- to appreciate intrinsic- values at the expense of material things. St. Thomas Smith knows a great deal about the forest, the sunshine, the songs of birds, rucks and plains, ocean waves and great open spaces, and the big things of life; he is not so much concerned with the "hams and cheeses." lie doesn't decorate Christmas cards; he paints on big sheets the big things of nature. Born in Belfast of Scotch par- entage, he claims to be Scotch be- cause of his long line of Scottish ancestry. At the age seven he came with his parents and brothers to live on the shores Luke Simcoe in Beaverton. Many of the happiest of his boy- hood days were spent on the water, and he loved the lake in its every mood, lie belonged to a race of sailors. He didn't require to learn tiie secrets of the great deeps. The understanding of the sea was inborn. Had he not been an artist he would have been a saiior. Hut instead of exploring the vast bodies of water, he chose to interpret thi-m. Among his ancestors there had also been artists some who had even acquired imputation. But art as a protession was not very highly regarded by the. Scottish parents. The artist's remuneration was too uncertain, and the Scot born with a practical mind. At school he didn't distinguish himself by his precocity. He con- fesses to this day to an aversion to arithmetic. lie preferred covering his school books with heads ami sketches. And those were the days when the moral value of Art wns not recognized in the training of the child. The boy who wasted his time in drawing was more likely than not to be brought into personal contact with the strap. But the teacher of Beaverton School was a man of broader vision than the average pedagogue of his time. Alex. Muir, who gave to Canada the national song, ''The Maple Leaf saw merit in the budding artist's work raged him in every way. St. Thomas Smith has had no happier day in his life than the nne on which he was presented with his first box. of water color paints. He was only eleven years old, and it filled him with joy to be able to reproduce in colors the things he loved in nature. Crude his pictures were, no doubt, but full of portent of better things. At the age of nineteen he entered the Art School in Toronto where he acquired technique. A master can teach drawing, but he cannot teach color if it isn't there. Later he was in the studio of J. W. L. jTorster. For a time St. Thomas Smith painted heads and portraits on commission, and very creditable work he did. he "found himself." Every one who is really in earnest in life "findshimself" sooner or later. His vocation was the painting truthfully of the sky and the waves of which he had such an intimate knowledge. I like the Scotch School of he says, "because the artists paint true to nature. When they are impressionists, they are truthful impressionists. They don't paint pink eyes in 'green checks." Halftone reproductions can give no adequate iden of St. Thomas Smith's paintings. The reproductions tel! something of the form, but they cannot tell the marvellous coloring, the wonderful atmosphere of the pictures, the almost .uncanny fidelity with wnich he has Lold the story of sullen seas and lowering skies. His waves are not choppy, irritable and malicious; they are great billows that rear themselves from mightv deeps, awe- inspiring in their majesty. The. ship that is tossed in their midst is a toy of a day, the work of frail human hands; the wnves are eternal and "yield homage only to eternal laws." The artist has felt these things, as well as seen them, and has been enabled lo give them significance. "Mid-Ocean" (repro- duced on tiiih page) repeals the open sea, dark, deep, blue-green. One doesn't need to be told that ttie season is The sky above tells the slate colored and opaque, clouds light and ilei'cy, scud along, here and there itveaUng a gli.T.pse of pale blue sky. All of St. 5 liomas Smith's summer months are spent beside the sea, down in Newfoundland, at (jaspe, Cape Breton, Prince Kdward Island, Magdalene Islands, and in Great Britain and Holland. Newfoundland is his favorite camping place bec.Mise of the deep water effects he so loves to repioduce, which can be seen near the land. At Land's End in the South of England he has found the same effects. But IK- doesn't always paint ships, sombre seas ami cloudy skies. Sometimes he paints sunsets, gorgeous but, iyver harsh, again, he paints autumn scenes, warm and rich in coloring. Are these eoiufs true }.n nature? His answer is "Go and Dec or yourse.ves. Last spiit'g he painted a Canadian rural scene, a little house with blossoming tree beside it, vivid green grass, and above, up from the lakes in the distance, black, angry thunder cloi-.ds. I'd be afraid to have it in the said a friend, I'd be afraid I'd be struck by lightning." Color, color, color! He revels in color. Canadian winter has never appealed to him because of the monotonous whiteness, the lack of color. He once did a winter scene, however. Hans Christian came the rather unexpected reply. Some fitends at him f'_-r r> volume of Andersen's Tales with hi'ii whenever he goes, but they are the friends who have not learned to appreciate the riches of humor and philosophy he friend of the children who wrote mill as well as the writer's. He occupied the time in sketching. A magnificent winter scene was the result-. The picture, declared by critics and friends to be. one of his finest, was unfortunately lost in the Academy fire in Toronto this year. he has travelled much abroad, visited the art galleries, and gentle irony of the fri St. Thomas Smith is a delightful conversationalist, and tells in a inost inteiesting and humorous manner of the places he hns seen and the people he lias met. He talks well about everything Coining over to London from St. Thomas on a South-Western but his pictures and himself. He expects his pictures to talk for Traction car, he was stalled in a blizzard. Ail is grist to the artist's themselves as well as sell themselves. When he does talk pictures, he talks of art in general, of color in particular and of the work of other artists is more apt lo show something painted by a friend than one of his own creations. He has one picture painted by a friend that he values very highly, an old hands, sitting in front of a ruble. The light through a window in front of her throws a radiance over her face, plain, strong, and full of lines of sorrow nnd suffering. He was showing the picture to a lady not long ago. After duly admiring, she began to moralize: "Youth has beauty, but age has experience. Age is more interest- ing." "Not when you are getting quickly replied the artist. He doesn't need to talk. He has scarcely reached middle age. The water colors of St. Thomas Smith adorn the best homes of C'anaoa. from Atlantic to Pacific. The Premier of Canada, Sir Wilfred Laurier, is one of his patrons, and he hns exhibited at al! the great American exhibitions. Great Britain would doubtless appreciate his work. But even over in Great Britain it is not considered good form to give epoch-making statesmen, poeto and others tomb? in Westminister Abbey until after they are dead. The unwritten law for centuries has been' "Give u man his due when he is dead and :i can't make any difference to him." And so, through the centuries the great artists in all lines, with few exceptions, have struggled along amid adverse circumstances. A great consolation it must be to a genius to know that a laurel wreath will adorn the brow of a bust on the monument erected to his memory some hundred years post mortem. Let us, as Canadians, write a new law for our artists, our poets, our musicians, t. MAKING FOK HARBOUR by .S'f. Smith while they are alive. We may erect monuments to dead geniuses 0 0 A true iriend unbosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend Penn. No branch of art economy is more important than that of making the intellect at your disposal pure as as powerful, so that it" may always gather for you the sweetest and fairest things. the schools and the studios of Great Britain and Europe, and become well acquainted with many of the notable artists of the day, he has and heroes; let us give appreciation and support to living not yet seen the Canadian Northwest, with its vast plains and Like the hern of the farce-comedy, most ot them prefer, great mountains. taffy and less epi-taffy.' He looks forward to the Rocky Mountains, expecting to find inspiration majestic rocks that "Man hasn't been able to spoil." And what manner of man is this aitist'who very "draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as'They bark-haired, dark-moustached, dark-eyed, and of medium height. He doesn't affect artistic extreme style in dress that might attract attention to himself. Real geniuses don't need to be eccentric. When at home, he lives in a quaint old red brck house on Wellington street, in St. Thomas. Why did you decide to live in St. he was once asked by an inter- viewer. "Because 1 got my wife in St. he replied, with a humorous twinkle in his eye, and that was all the inquisitive reporter could get out of him on that subject, or any other subject. At the Art School in Toronto he met Miss Julia Payne_, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F. J. Payne, of Tp.ihotville. They were married ard set up their house- hold gods in St. Thomas in Mrs. fit. Thomas Smith h ;i s charge of the depart- ment of sculpture in Alma Ladies' College. She is possessed of exceptional talent, and in a large A :r. TIC an t'ity might make a tori.ur.L- m her chosen work. compet- ent critic, her crilu-ism and encouragement have without doubt been of inestimable .vakte to her husband. Three charm Trig daughters complete the home circle, the eldest, n. clever violinist, the second who ha? a voice of much promise, and the third, still in school, who bids fair to become the artist of the family. St. Thomas Smith confesses to even neg- io-lmg painting tor the fascinations o? trout- fishing in the inland waters of Newfoundland. The collecting of quaint old pieces of brass and china is one of his hobbies. On the mantel the drawing room of the St. Thomas house are the most delightful old Dutch brass lamps, tea pots and coffee In the corner is a cabinet filled with rare old china and other curios. "Who is your favorite he was asked one dav. Rich Without Money Til EKE are some characters who carry their wealth with them, who are rich without money. They do not need palatial homes or a large banking account. They do not need to buy admission to loves them. They are welcome everywhere, because they have that which money cannot genial, helpful, sunny, cheerful disposition. Of course, everybody wants them, because it is a joy tn be with them. Everybody loves the sun- shine, and hates the shadows and the gloom. There is no bank account that can balance a sweet, s.'Tacio-js personality. No material wealth can matv.h a sunny r.n ability to radiate helpfulness and swcetnrss. But such grace charms never live with selfish- ness or seliseekinsr. it is the who have something to give, not who are trying to get soTvsrlhin.n, that are wanted everywhere. Know- ledge is Power i t I DO YOU KNOW THAT The best located, mod- erate priced lots on the market in Lethbridge are to be found in the. Duff Estate, one quar- ter to a halt' mile from Jv-hool. THAT Coleridge is steadily coming to the front. An investment now at first prices will give a substantial and sure profit. THAT We have all kinds of quick money to loan, on security and at little expense to the borrower. THAT are the representa- tives of the best com- panies in Fire, Life, Accident and Boiler Insurance and are al- ways glad of an oppor- tunity to quote rates on safe business. THAT We are doing a cus- toms broking business and can guarantee prompt attention to any dealings you have with the Customs De- partment that you may see fit to entrust to THAT "We have quite a list of Houses to rent at nil figures to suit tenants. THAT Our nj'fit.tr J.- in the Whitney Block, Red- path St.. Box GT9 and a card or phone will al- ways find us ready for business. N. T. MACLEOD REAL ESTATE AND Ij FINANCIAL BROK- ERS ;