Artwork by David Lloyd Blackwood,  His Father Dreams II: Labrador Days
Thumbnail of Artwork by David Lloyd Blackwood,  His Father Dreams II: Labrador Days Thumbnail of Artwork by David Lloyd Blackwood,  His Father Dreams II: Labrador Days Thumbnail of Artwork by David Lloyd Blackwood,  His Father Dreams II: Labrador Days

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Cowley Abbott
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
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David Blackwood
His Father Dreams II: Labrador Days

colour etching and aquatint
signed, titled, dated 1988 and numbered 55/75 in the lower margin
15 x 35.75 ins ( 38.1 x 90.8 cms ) ( plate size )

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Masters Gallery, Calgary
Private Collection, Newfoundland
William Gough, David Blackwood, Master Printmaker, Vancouver/ Toronto, 2001, pages 104 and 110-111, illustrated in colour
Despite Blackwood’s long residency in Ontario, he continues to produce artwork depicting Newfoundland and Labrador, specifically scenes of fisheries, resettlement, shipwrecks, the seal hunt, mummers and all aspects of outport life.

Blackwood is known for his striking blue-black etchings, illuminating and recording the history, legends and stories of life in Newfoundland. As Gough notes: “No matter how his eye is informed by the Old Masters, no matter how his hand moves to draw all manner of subjects, the underlying rhythm of where he grew up informs all that he does. Sometimes in a chill wind of spring he call still feel the vibration of rigging, can smell oakum and hear the hiss of waves cut by a far-off boat. His mind sees fire on ship, flames on water, and with etching plate and paper he binds the four elements. An artist, down on the Labrador.”

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David Lloyd Blackwood
(1941) OSA, RCA, Order of Canada

Born in Wesleyville, Bonavista Bay, Newfoundland, on of the major sealing towns of that province, he is a descendant of a long line of master mariners. Blackwood was awarded a Government of Newfoundland Centennial scholarship to study at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto under Carl Schaefer, John Alfsen, H.W.G. MacDonald and Frederick Hagan. He went on to become Art Master at Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario. In 1969, Blackwood became the first artist-in-residence at Erindale College, University of Toronto, Mississauga.

David Blackwood uses his background on the East coast of Canada to create grande visual narratives reflecting both the landscape and culture of the province with an emphasis on combining the history, legends, and myths of settlement and developing culture of Newfoundland. He is best-known for his colour etchings with aquatint. His work was used to provide illustrations for Farley Mowat’s “Wake of the Great Sealers”, a collection of stories about the heroic Newfoundlanders who braved the icy seas of the treacherous North Atlantic in search of seals. Driven by hard times at home it was the only hope many of the men had of making money to feed their families. Men perished when their ships went down during wintry gales. Blackwood, a native of a sealing town himself, and a descendent of fishing skippers and sealing captains, provides Mowat’s stirring text with equally stirring and poetic figurative drawings and prints.

Blackwood was awarded the Order of Canada in 1993 in recognition of his work contributing to and preserving the cultural life and heritage of Canada through his artwork. At the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Blackwood Research Centre within the Morin Gelber Print and Drawing Centre was created after a major acquisition of the artists works in 2000. The museum also elected Blackwood as its honourary Chairman in 2003, the first practicing artist to hold this position. In the same year, he was awarded the Order of Ontario.

As one of Canada's most celebrated print-makers, David Blackwood's works are part of significant Canadian and international private and corporate collections including The Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada. Blackwood currently lives in Port Hope while maintaining a studio in Wesleyville, Newfoundland.

Sources: "A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume I: A-F", compiled by Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd, Ottawa, 1977