William Arthur Winter

(1909-1995)

 

 

Born in Winnipeg, William Arthur Winter came to know the surrounding prairies well, but his love of the flat, rolling land never really fuelled his artistic imagination. His true attention was towards the human story. He was a markedly sensitive creator whose figures assumed an almost mythical character--with wit. "Winter's wit is without bitterness," stated Paul Duval in an early interview with the artist for Canadian Review.

A commercial artist by day, his evenings and weekends were filled with sketching of the busy life of the city--the minutes of life--the way a person's clothing hung, the way it creased on the subject as they moved or stood. He would sketch in cafes, streetcars and street corners.

He was known as an exceptionally expressive conversationalist--always wearing his signature bow-tie, a chain-smoker, diminutive in stature.

People: poor people and plush people, adolescents and ancients, mean and mellow people: these are his themes. "History will be kind to William Winter," says Robert Koolen, an art dealer who has collected works by this artist over his entire career. "He is one of the few artists who have been able to bring to life the movement and spirit of his subjects, especially in depicting his sensitivity for children."