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 Jack Henry Reid  (1925 - 2009)

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Lived/Active: Ontario / Canada      Known for: watercolor landscape and coastal view painting, graphics, teaching, writing

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Jack Henry Reid CSPWC (1925 – 2009) (1)

A painter, educator, author and graphic artist, Jack Henry Reid (aka: Jack Reid) was born in Toronto, Ontario and died in Orillia, Ontario, where he had lived for the last three years of his life. He exhibited and taught widely in Canada and elsewhere; it’s estimated that over ten thousand amateur and professional artists have taken his classes, seminars and workshops.

His primary medium was watercolors. His subjects were landscapes, snowscapes, mountains, rivers, tree studies, rural scenes and coastal views. His styles were Realism* and Plein-Air Painting*. The AskART images are excellent illustrations of his oeuvre.

Quote: "The things I want to paint have to do with water – snow, rain, fog and reflections. I'm fascinated by their translucent nature. And what do I paint them with? A water-soluble pigment! It's profoundly appropriate." Jack Henry Reid (2)

He is considered a self-taught artist. However, Reid acknowledges the ‘strong effect’ of the art classes he took at the Kiwanis Boys Club, Trinity College, Toronto beginning in 1935, and he refers to the teacher of the classes Tom Roberts (see AskART) as a mentor, whom he accompanied on sketching trips. Reid also credits the book Ways with Watercolor by Ted Kautzky (see AskART), which was recommended to him by Roberts in 1957, as being important in the development of his (Reid’s) watercolor painting fundamental skills.

Reid worked as a graphic artist until 1970 and then switched to painting full time. Since then, teaching has been an important part of his career. Over several decades he conducted numerous workshops in Ontario as well as across Canada, in England, Scotland, Ireland, Portugal, Mexico and the USA. He was also an instructor at the Schneider School of Fine Arts, Actinolite (near Toronto), Ontario (1979 – 1981); an Artist in Residence at Waterton Glacier International Peace Park, Montana, USA (1997); the author of three books: Watercolor Basics: Let's Get Started (1999), Watercolor Basics: Painting Snow and Water (2000), and Watercolor for the Fun of It: Easy Landscapes (2004); and he was the host of instructional TV shows and video seminars.

He was a member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colours* (1974 – 2009); the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto (1974 – 1991); Visual Arts Ontario (Director 1976); and the Canadian Conference of the Arts (1978). He exhibited with the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colours* (1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1981, 1986, 1989, and 1990); at the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto (1975 – 1980); and with the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours*, England (1977).

Reid’s paintings were the subject of solo exhibitions at Homer Watson House, Doon School of Fine Arts, Kitchener, Ontario (1972); the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto (1977); the Peel County Museum, Brampton, Ontario (1978); and Halton Hills Cultural Centre, Georgetown, Ontario (1987). His works have also been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at numerous prominent commercial galleries such as Assiniboia Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan; Cardigan Milne Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba; DeVooght Galleries, Vancouver, B.C.; Mayberry Fine Art, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Gustafsson Gallery, Brampton, Ontario; Harbour Gallery, Mississauga, Ontario; Koyman Galleries, Ottawa, Ontario; McDowell Gallery, Toronto; Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont, Jasper, Alberta; Pollock Gallery, Toronto; The Ethel Curry Gallery, Haliburton, Ontario; and York Fine Art Gallery, Aurora, Ontario.

His works are in several major Canadian corporate collections such as Cargill Ltd., Citicorp Limited, General Electric, IBM Canada, and George Weston Limited. According to the Canadian Heritage Information Network* and the Royal Collection Trust there are also paintings by him in the permanent collections of the Winnipeg Art Gallery (Manitoba) and of HM Queen Elizabeth II [The Royal Collection] (London, England).
In 1986 his work was selected by the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colours for their Diamond Jubilee Collection which was presented to Queen Elizabeth II for inclusion in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle and in a subsequent exhibition there. His other honors include, being named “Brampton Arts Person of the Year” (1989); the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada (1992); Honorary Member Brampton Arts Council (1994), and “Life member” of the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colours* (1998).
(1) Please note: There is an inconsistency in Reid’s birth year among our sources; 1925 is used by Jack Reid’s own book, the MacDonald and Westbridge dictionaries, the Canadian Heritage Information Network*, the Royal Collection Trust, and his obituary; 1928 is used by the Biographical Index of Artists in Canada  and the The Index of Ontario Artists. M.D. Silverbrooke

(2) Quote source: The Ethel Curry Gallery, Haliburton, Ontario.
Biographical Index of Artists in Canada (2003), by Evelyn de Rostaing McMann (see AskART book references)

The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar (see AskART book references)

Watercolor Basics: Let's Get Started (1999), by Jack Reid (see AskART book references)

A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume 7, Rakos to Sadowski (1990), by Colin S. MacDonald (see AskART book references)

The Index of Ontario Artists (1978), edited by Hennie Wolff (see AskART book references)

Canadian Heritage Information Network* (website)

Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour* (website)

Royal Collection Trust (website)

Visual Arts Brampton (website)

Robert McAffee Dedication to Jack Reid (website)

Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont, Jasper, Alberta (website)

Scott James, Club Archivist, Arts and Letters Club of Toronto (email – June 4, 2014)

Global News Toronto TV, “Canadian Watercolor Artist Jack Reid” Interviewed by John Dawe (1986) (available on YouTube)

Obituary – “Local, world renowned artist passed away yesterday”, by Sara Carson, Orillia Packet & Times, Tuesday, August 25, 2009

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

Written and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at
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