Cabbies in the Laurentians
by John Douglas Lawley, (1906-1971)
(oil on canvas, 20"X24")
Fine Art Painting Visual Art
Douglas Lawley (1906 - 1971)
John Douglas Lawley was born in 1906 in Glace Bay, N.S. After attending Mount Allison and McGill universities, Douglas Lawley began his career as a teacher, specializing in Latin. He settled in Montreal, marrying in 1927 and first became interested in painting in 1937, studying under Agnes Lefort in Montreal and also studying at the American National Academy.
He signed his paintings LAWLEY – painted two main subjects, both sought after by collectors. The first subject shows scenes in and around Montreal, particularly focusing on the colourfully-dressed cab drivers and horses that carried people around Mount Royal. Winter scenes depict horse-drawn sleighs, while others show horse-drawn carriages.
The second subject was the wild ponies on Sable Island, off the coast of Nova Scotia. His Sable Island ponies are simple in composition, tracing the movements of the wild horses across the white sands and grassy sand dunes. The strong colours of the deep blue water and voluminous white clouds provide context and contrast to the ponies.
As a painter, Douglas Lawley seemed to keep apart from the art scene in Montreal and Canada; he wasn’t a member of artist associations.
However, he is considered one of Nova Scotia’s best artists, and interest in his works has slowly grown in the Maritimes and other parts of Canada. He died in Montreal in 1971.