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Fred Ross

Fred Ross, b. 1927, O.C., O.N.B., LL.D, R.C.A., is a Canadian artist.  The letters following his name indicate that is a member of the Order of Canada, of the Order of New Brunswick, of the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts and that he has received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of New Brunswick.

As I read the names of the Galleries where his paintings and drawings have been exhibited, I think of the Maritime Provinces.  Ross lives in St John, New Brunswick, but the list takes us to other galleries and it is a very long list.

In 1948, Mr Ross won a travelling scholarship that allowed him to study under muralist Pablo O’Higgins in Mexico, where he met Diego Rivera and possibly his wife, surrealist and outspoken artist Frida Kahlo.

From our point of view, Ross’s greatest achievement is his art.  It is.  One cannot separate an artist from his art.  But the Galerie Walter Klinkhoff also tells of a happy marriage to Sheila Urquhart:  “In 1954, Ross married  English ballet dancer and dance instructor Sheila Urquhart who was his greatest love, his muse, model, sometimes manager and mother of their three children.”

The Lady in Black…

I like the Lady in Black and I congratulate the person(s) who bought the painting.  Collectors often purchase a work of art, let it ripen, and then resell it.  Art, as you know, is an excellent investment, but I rather hope the owner(s) of this painting never part with it.  It has drama.

Ross is a good artist.  The touch of white Ross placed just below the lady’s right eyebrow shows an unusual mastery of color as do the reds and pinks that highlight her cheekbones.  We then see hot pink earrings and those lips, those lips so red.  A touch of white, a paler shade of white, creates that richer red.

As I look at her, I hear her say, “so you think I’m lovely?”   But she may be telling you something else.  Don’t you love the curvy lines of the hat and those of the collar?  The collar suggests a long neck, the neck of a dancer.

This is a bold painting.  Bold and somewhat exotic.

(This work is featured with permission from the Galerie Walter Klinkhoff.)

© Micheline Walker
3 July 2012