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 Kenneth Walton With  (1906 - 1992)

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Lived/Active: Ontario / Canada/New Zealand      Known for: regional landscape, marine and war-time scene painting

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Fishing Scene
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Kenneth Walton With was born in 1906 in Sydenham, England, a suburb of London. His family emigrated to New Zealand when he was young, and he was educated at King's College, Auckland. He became a "cadet" sheep rancher but was passionate about art. At age 20 he worked his passage on a freighter back to England where he enrolled at the Heatherley School of Art in London, and also did some studies in France, finishing in 1928.

Kenneth With met a young Canadian lady in London and followed her to Canada in 1929. It being the Depression then, work in his chosen field was hard to find so he went west to the prairies to work on the grain harvest. Love drew him back to Toronto where he married Isabel Ritchie in 1931. He found work as a commercial artist there during the Thirties, while also developing his own style of landscapes.

During World War II he served with the Royal Canadian Navy in the English Channel and later in Ottawa, Canada. As a lieutenant-commander he continued in the naval reserve through the Korean War. His wartime paintings were acquired by the British Admiralty and the Canadian government.

Kenneth With's great love was Georgian Bay where he owned an island for 50 years. This scenery was the source of inspiration for the majority of his work for the rest of his life, recording the Bay in its many moods in watercolours and oils.  He was really happiest painting the islands of Georgian Bay, where the vivid scenery was best suited to his detailed realistic style and his subtle washes of colour.

His watercolour shown on AskART was one of a series painted on the Etamamiou River, in the Province of Quebec. He was flown in there in the 1980s by a group of businessmen who fished for salmon every year. He found this a difficult commission because of the uniformity of the landscape.

He illustrated the 1934  edition of Beautiful Joe, written by Marshall Saunders, published by McClelland & Stewart, Canada. His later commercial art included illustrating textbooks for the Ryerson Press of Toronto and publications for the United Church of Canada.
He was also often commissioned to do portraits in pastels, oils or watercolours. His subjects were frequently children, but he also did some prominent Canadian figures; for example, Ellen Fairclough, Canada's first woman cabinet minister; and Charles Gundy of Wood Gundy Inc; this painting hung in the main lobby of Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.

He had few shows because he seldom kept enough work on hand for exhibition.
Today his work is in private collections in Canada, the U.S. and England. He also did some work in Europe in oils, watercolours, and pen and ink, but they are mostly in the hands of his family including in the homes of his four children and grandchildren.

He kept painting up until a few weeks before he died at 85. His wife died later the same year.

Written and submitted by Margaret Graham, daughter of the artist with assistance from Dick With, son of the artist.

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