By Angela N. Grigor
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Additional info for Arthur Lismer, Visionary Art Educator
We felt topography but not colour. The fact was we could neither draw nor paint. "26 Lismer had to come to terms with the harsher Canadian landscape: "I used to wonder why there was no twilight in this country. Twilight was when all the creative things were done in England. It was the half hour between sunset and daylight ... it gave people half-tones. My feeling was that in Canada people had no half-tones ... The quality of the country which came through first was the outstanding contrast between storm and calm, warm colour and cool, fall and spring and so on.
Halifax was not only ideally situated in its proximity to the ocean, but in winter the harbour remained free of ice. During World War i it was the centre for the Canadian military, with the Citadel as the heart of operations. Several other forts on the outskirts of the city which housed thousands of additional troops. The forts and harbour were well guarded by gun implacements and in the air by planes from the newly built American naval air base situated near the port. As well, anti-submarine nets protected the harbour entrance.
Although he enjoyed his work and, to an extent, his training at the Sheffield School of Art, it was a strenuous period for him. Starting at Eaden and Place early in the morning, his day did not end until classes at the art school finished at 8:30 or 9:00 o'clock at night. 33 The weekends gave him the opportunity to escape from the city, and with friends from the Heeley Art Club, he roamed the surrounding countryside. The club had been formed by a group who enjoyed working out of doors in the tradition of English landscape painters.
Arthur Lismer, Visionary Art Educator by Angela N. Grigor