Artwork by Martin Glen Loates,  Snowy Owl

Glen Loates
Snowy Owl

watercolour on paper
signed lower centre
17 x 13 ins ( 43.2 x 33 cms ) ( sight )

Auction Estimate: $1,200.00$800.00 - $1,200.00

Price Realized $500.00
Sale date: July 20th 2021

Private Collection, Ontario

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Martin Glen Loates

Born in Toronto, Ontario, his interest in insects led to his collecting and drawing them. He turned to other subjects which he sketched in pencil until about the age of fifteen. He then began to work in water colours. After a number of years he had accumulated over one hundred paintings of birds, fish, insects, plants and mammals.

He left high school and secured a job as a greeting card designer while doing wildlife freelance work for the Federation of Ontario Naturalists. He enrolled in art school but left after several weeks because he felt he was not receiving enough benefit from classes. One of his wildlife cards for the Federation of Ontario Naturalists caught the eye of an editor of the “Toronto Star Magazine” and he received a commission from this publication to do a series of Canadian birds. Then in 1967, he receives his first commission from the Canadian Post Office for a bird stamp and his Gray Jay was released in 1968 and voted finest stamp of that year by collectors. In 1969 he did three others: Hermit Thrush, Ipswich Sparrow and White-Throated Sparrow.

That same year, he was featured in the CBC television series “This Land of Ours” shown March 15th under the title “Brush With Life” filmed during his field trips and at his Toronto studio. The “CBC Times” described the artist as follows, “Glen got interested in wildlife when he began collecting moths and butterflies when he was six, and he was stimulated further by science classes in elementary school. He first painted insects and birds, with a meticulous, living style that has become his trademark. He has had little formal training. After finishing school he worked for a commercial art studio, then, four years ago, struck out on his own. He spends a great deal of time studying wildlife in its natural habitat, with binoculars, a sketch-pad, and a notebook, observing how birds, mammals and fish move and turn their heads, how they swim or walk or run, how they streak off, how the light filters through the trees or water, the texture of moss, bark, rock, sand, the elusive grace of blossoms. He says he likes to paint flowers after a storm, to capture what he calls 'a lively air of dampness and coolness'. His twin brother, Bernie (a technical illustrator) frequestly accompanies him to help as spotter, photographer, and scuba-diver.” His father, Albert Loates acted as his business manager and was a retied artist and advertising executive. His brother, Wally was an architect and his other brother, Jim was also a technical illustrator.

Loates is one of Canada's finest wildlife artists. A finished painting by the artist is arrives at by his making a field sketch of the animal in its natural habitat perhaps for two or three days. His rough sketches are then used for the preliminary water colour. When possible, he borrows a pelt sample from the Royal Ontario Museum so that he can feel the texture of the skin and duplicate it through the water colour medium. He duplicates the hairy effect with a dry-brush technique—after wetting hi brush he dries it on a paper handkerchief before dabbing on his colour. The final results present an unusually high degree of realism, an essential in this type of artwork.

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