Artwork by George Lorne Holland Bouchard,  The Eckaloo Going Upstream - Mackenzie River (Near Fort Simpson) N.W.T

George L.H. Bouchard
The Eckaloo Going Upstream - Mackenzie River (Near Fort Simpson) N.W.T

oil on board
signed lower left; signed, titled, dated “August 1962” and inscribed “10 Min. Sketch” and “About 10 or 10:30 pm” on the reverse
5.5 x 9.5 ins ( 14 x 24.1 cms )

Auction Estimate: $600.00$400.00 - $600.00

Price Realized $1,140.00
Sale date: April 19th 2022

Private Collection, Toronto
“The Eckaloo Going Upstream - Mackenzie River” of August 1962 is a painting sketched when Lorne Bouchard and his wife Lucille were guests of David and Claire Molson on their yacht, "Laird River". Together they travelled 1200 miles on the historic Mackenzie River, from Hay River on Great Slave Lake to the Beaufort Sea in the western Arctic. The 150 foot CCGS Eckaloo serves to create a sense of scale, implying the enormity of the region. The play of the moonlight piercing the overcast sky and dancing upon the scene is described in terms of Bouchard’s repertoire of greys referred to in the painting.

David Molson, along with his two brothers, William and Peter, were owners of the Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club until 1971. Claire and David Molson were enthusiastic art collectors and encouraging of Lorne Bouchard, as well as John Little. Within a couple of years of selling the Canadiens, David Molson purchased Continental Galleries from the estate of Mrs. Vilma (Shima) Lafontaine.

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George Lorne Holland Bouchard
(1913 - 1978) RCA

Born in Montreal, he studied at the Barnes School of Art. He was encouraged by Clarence Gagnon to paint the Quebec landscape. His talent was recognized by both Gagnon and Maurice Cullen, who were influential in his early artistic development. At the age of 16 he exhibited with the Royal Canadian Academy at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. For 11 years he worked as a label designer at the Dennison Company and then was an illustrator for the firms Rapid Grip and Batten Limited and Bomac Limited.

He applied his paint with a palette knife and brushes and continually searched for faster drying mediums for outdoor painting. Working quickly, he caught the effect of sunlight and atmosphere and finished his pictures in one sitting. In other work, he painted with watercolour, charcoal, casein, polymer, resins, tempera and felt tipped pen and ink which he applied directly to the paper.

During his early career he earned his living as a commercial designer, while continuing to paint in his free time. In 1952 he turned to free-lance illustration work. Weekend Magazine, Issue No. 1, 1963, recorded his trip in a 60’ river boat from Great Slave Lake to the Arctic Ocean in August of 1962 with his wife and Mr. and Mrs. David Molson. The dunnage included 300 pounds of his sketching equipment. Good weather made the trip very successful and the sun didn’t set until 11 o’clock in the evening, allowing him many hours of painting. A few of these paintings appeared also in that issue.

Among his commissions were magazine covers as well as large paintings for the board rooms of corporations such as Seagrams and Nordair. He was much infuenced by the landscape of Northern Quebec, which he first visited in 1928. Generally drawn to wild and isolated regions around the country, such places served as inspiration for his landscape painting. He was a location painter, working quickly to capture the atmospheric effects of light. His style can be described as a combination of realism and impressionism. He was a member of the Montreal Art Association and the Royal Canadian Academy of Artists. He died in Montreal at the age of 65.

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