Art Page 47.2

Great Canadian Artists

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

The familiar green and yellow boards and the fascinating interior full of thousands of CW's fabulous pen and ink drawings, so beloved by millions of Canadians who were exposed to them during their student days, in the decades after World War II.

Generals had just finished orchestrating the killing of millions of people. Clearly people were sick of them and their handiwork. A new type of hero was required.

CW and his vision of Canada as a land of hope and promise came along at a most opportune time. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants fled war-torn Europe for something better in Canada.

Above Hans, a 9 year old Swiss immigrant, was among many who spent countless hours in the early 1950s, leafing through these books, utterly enthralled with the nuggets of information about Canada he found there.

Inspired by CW and the members of the Fab Five, in later years he would make numerous Canadian heritage film and television documentaries on the people, places, and events of Canadian history.

His Canada-specific programs would be honoured with 136 international film and television awards, including 41 Platinum, Gold, & Silver medals.

It is a record of excellence unmatched by any other Canadian documentary maker.

He would create numerous heritage web sites including:

Go to Feedback from Around the World

Picture Gallery of Canadian History - CW Jefferys 1943, 1945, 1950 editions, autographed presentations
Orig. books - Size - 15 x 20 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
Prov - From the Estate of Dr. Hugh Charles Templin, Fergus, ON

To Whom it May Concern at Goldi Productions,

I wanted to express my gratitude for your website, "Canada's First Peoples."  While teaching the First Nations unit to my Grade 4/5 class, your website was invaluable!   The lay out, pictures and information under clear headings really helped us find information for our projects.  Thank you again!  We've been blessed by your work.  Meredith Dykstra

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

JD Kelly, another member of the Fab Five, has caught Newfoundlanders at their favourite national sport - killing things. You know, Beothuks, Afghans, whales, baby seals, capelin, cod, lobster...

Entitled Wealth of Our Seas it reminds us that the cod, which once teemed in the billions in the world's richest fishery, were literally wiped out in the 1990s by Newfoundlanders and their take-no-prisoners attitude to living things. A 500 year fishery wiped out; then the capelin... They are now busy wiping out the lobster industry as well, as those supplied to the huge urban areas like Toronto, are smaller and smaller with every passing year, none given the chance to grow to maturity.

Below a Newfie in a national pose - about to kill something that was living. Thankfully, Newfoundlanders hadn't targetted humans since the Beothuk days. Then they exported General Hillier... And the rest they say, is... the first general in Canadian history to lose a war... The Newfie philosophy, as famously spouted by the good general, as "to be able to kill," did not translate well to Muslim shores...

Go to JD Kelly

The Wealth of Our Seas - JD Kelly c 1930s

Orig. gouache wc - Size - 54 x 76 cm
Found - Brampton, ON
Annotated and initialed in JD Kelly's hand, Prov - JD Kelly friend collection

Newfoundland is the only part of Canada where an Indian group of people were systematically hunted down and killed, until they were exterminated: the Beothuks in the early 1800s..

So Newfoundlanders had to turn to other things. You know: whales, baby seals, cod, and capelin. In the 1990s the capelin - a small fish stock, which once teemed in enormous clouds that darkened the waters along the shore - were literally wiped out.

When JD painted this, in the 1930s it was unthinkable that the fabled Newfoundland cod fishery would ever disappear.

But the brutal efficiency and the thoughtless, unlimited extermination policy promoted by Newfoundland politicians like John Crosbie - to get votes with the locals and an unending supply of product for his wealthy family's fishing plants - did the dirty deed. Corporate greed, and a poorly educated work force, killed off not only one of the world's richest natural resources but 500 years of gainful employment for a people.

And a chance to make a living at home.

Newfoundlanders now famously have to go to Alberta and Ontario to find work to feed their families. But there, no one is allowing them to kill things.

Which is why Newfie General Hillier went to Afghanistan... in search of "detestable murderers and scumbags" that he would "be able to kill."

The Power of CW Jefferys

The books that most profoundly affected me, as a boy of nine or ten, were the three small green volumes of CW's Picture Gallery of Canadian History, which I discovered in a rural public school in south western Ontario, in 1951.

I would leaf through the thousands of images often, mesmerized by the endless array of historic artifacts and personalities which CW had drawn to document the heritage of the development of Canada.

After all, this was the stuff that made up the newly adopted country for a young immigrant.

How big was CW's impact on this young boy?

I had probably last looked through CW's books in 1956, when I left public school, and the books, behind.

In 2010, when I suddenly saw this large pen and ink drawing appearing, without a proper title, at a major Toronto auction house, I knew instantly who it was: CW's image of Lord Selkirk in Manitoba. (The auction simply listed it as "Cementary (sic) Gathering").

55 years after having last seen it, and having paid it no special attention, among thousands of other CW drawings, I still knew, in a flash, who, and what it was.

Don't be a dupe... use a loupe...

The Eyes have it... Left Lord Selkirk's eye from this original pen and ink drawing, hugely magnified, shows no uniform pattern, or grid of rows of dots, like those that entirely cover the Queen Victoria photomechanically reproduced photo right. That's how to tell if it's an original - and valuable - and the Queen Victoria photo copy, a reproduction or repro - and cheap.

Think about it... In the original sketch of Lord Selkirk's eye, you are seeing the actual ink of the sketch itself magnified - the actual original image, directly, personally, sketched by an artist, and the very paper on which he worked.

Repro you dupe... In Queen Victoria's eye, you are seeing only a photographic mechanical reproduction of the photo, not the real photo emulsion itself. Recopying the original surface mechanically - either the photo emulsion, or an original painting or print - with a camera and then creating a copy with a machine printer, creates and superimposes the grid of dots on the image.

And now, some 60 years after I had first seen his drawings, I thrilled to hold in my hands his original, the very paper on which he had slaved with his hand, his eye, his talent, his intelligence, and his boundless knowledge of Canada and Canadians.

CW's impact on me of conveying the people, places, and events of Canadian history, was profound.

As it was for generations of countless other Canadians.

Especially to immigrants, like CW and I both were, completely enthralled with the story of Canada, and all it meant in our lives as new citizens of our adopted country.

The art of pen and ink drawing is certainly one of the most difficult of the portrait arts, the artist having to use single lines, dots, and scratches, to give form, depth, perspective, and character to scenics and faces.

CW was a master. It took great talent to do some scratches with ink, up close, so that when you stepped back, you had a definite twinkle in Lord Selkirk's eye...

Heroes for a Nation, Then and Now - To me, and hundreds of thousands of immigrants from war-torn Europe, men like CW Jefferys made Canada the special place it was. He was a man who spent his life using his talent, and developing his skills, in the pictorial arts, to bring people together, and make them aware of the richness of their shared Canadian heritage.

He was a real hero to me and Canadians of the 20th century, not his polar opposites, the newly minted hero types of the 21st century, who gory in the military arts, like the divisive and bloodthirsty Canadian General Rick Hillier, who bragged openly that he loved his job of being "able to kill people," specifically the Muslims of Afghanistan, whom he called "detestable murderers and scumbags."

To immigrants like me, who came from lesser countries, he talked too much like a biker, a mafia thug like Joe Pesci, or a Third World Military Strongman, to appeal to those of us who prefer people alive instead of dead.

Modern generals - it was not always so - love to pile up the bodies as their life's work, and brag about it. To them it's immaterial whether it's men, or women and children. For them it's all about aping US Vietnam General Westmoreland and his success at piling up the "body count." He ultimately killed at least a million Vietnamese women, children, and men. And for what? A fine hero for America...

But General Hillier understood; to him killing is its own justification for a soldier. As he famously bragged, loudly and publicly.

"We are the Canadian Forces, and our job is
to be able to kill people." Canadian General Rick Hillier

But these are exactly the type of heroes Canadian immigrants sought to escape from Europe - and its notorious generals in uniform who also loved killing for its own sake: Hitler, Mussolini, Franco.

And why, in our day, Ugandans left to escape General Idi Amin; Chileans, General Pinochet... We could go on. But we don't need to. We now have our very own...

Eh... What! - Imagine the shock of refugees at arriving on Canadian shores and hearing General Hillier talk...

Little has changed since Westmorland, who called the non-white, non-Christians, "Gooks;" today's generals call them "ragheads" or the more socially acceptable "collateral damage." Still, it's what white Judao-Christians do to non-white Muslim people in their own countries. They are worthy successors to Charlemagne of France in the 8th century, when he converted the heathens with the Bible in one hand and the sword in the other. But today, embattled and enraged Muslims are not taking it lying down.

Refugees hoped to come to the Canada of hope, once represented by CW. And CW certainly looks displeased to see what has become of Canada of late, and the kind of heroes that have taken the place of the Great Canadian Artists he worked with to ennoble the Canada he envisioned for other Canadians.

Canada rose to national and international glory during the 20th century thanks to Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier who forecast correctly that it "would be Canada's century."

Thanks to him, Canada's best Prime Minister, and the tireless efforts of artists and historians like CW Jefferys and the Fab Five it was.

And seen to be so, around the world; even American tourists famously sported the Canadian flag on their backpacks when travelling internationally to avoid being targets because of America's murderous and racist foreign policy, and Canada's irreproachable fairness to people of all races and creeds.

It won Canada its only Nobel Peace Prize, for Prime Minister Lester Pearson for his work as a diplomat in promoting conflict resolution through peaceful means in the Middle East, and accommodation not violent confrontation with the world's 1.5 billion Muslims.

It was also the end of the glorious period of Canadian history.

In the 21st century Canada has begun a precipitous slide to hell in a hand basket, thanks to political and military leaders, and tribal fanatics, who slavishly pursued corporate, and patently racist agendas, that make it an embarrassment, indeed downright dangerous, to be a Canadian when travelling in the non-white, Muslim world.

If you can believe this Lester's current successor as head of the Liberal Party of Canada announced in June 2010, that he promises to keep the Canadian Forces fighting and killing Muslims in Afghanistan, against the wishes of the overwhelming numbers of people in Canada, but he will re brand them as a "training" not a "fighting" contingent.

Which is what Conservative Prime Minister Harper has been calling the Canadian Forces there for the past three years... Lying among Canada's top politicians, and doing the bidding of corporate cronies and tribal fanatics, against the constant and clearly expressed wishes of the vast majority of Canadians, has become the only growth industry in Canada.

And it's getting steadily worse.

Lester is turning over in his grave.

Muslims beware. Your dying at the hands of Canadian troops is just beginning.

American travellers wisely, have stopped using the Canadian flag as a cover.

All because Canadian politicians of the Progressive Right, the Centre, and the Moderate Left - once occupied by the Canadian Progressive Conservative and Liberal parties - have decided to start - and continue - shooting Muslims, instead of talking to them, and are madly clumping together with their journalist calumnists to expand the political spectrum for Canadians by staking out new ground as the Fascist Right.

A Canadian Hero for the 20th Century
Fab Five Artist CW Jefferys

A Canadian Hero for the 21st Century
Newfie General "Killer" Hillier

Above CW looks sternly down on the wild-eyed Canadian General "Killer" Hillier, sporting his favourite hat, once favoured by German "Death's Head Hussar" General von Mackensen.

Hillier is famous as the only Canadian general ever to confess that he liked his job of "killing" people, that it was all he ever wanted to do since he was a boy in Newfoundland.

He is also famous as the only general ever, in Canadian history, to lose a war, urging from the beginning, the deployment of Canadian fighting troops to Afghanistan to kill and wipe out all the "destable murderers and scumbags." All Muslims, of course, in case you missed the point. Ever since, Canadians have fought a losing battle there, until in exasperation, the US replaced them in their theatre of responsibility.

Eh! What! - After fighting Muslims for several years - and losing ground every year - Hillier's successors are now trying to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by saying, "Hey we never intended to fight to win on the battlefield." They are preparing to make Hillier's defeat sound more palatable to taxpayers and history.

If you can believe this, the violence spouting general has been appointed Chancellor of Memorial University in Newfoundland because he and his sayings are what the "intellectuals" there apparently want to implant in the consciousness of young, impressionable Newfoundlanders. (Apparently he chairs Board meetings still wearing this getup.)

Not so strange really. Farley Mowat wrote passionately of the Newfie love of brutally killing whales, in "A Whale for the Killing."

And Bridget Bardot reminded us that every year hundreds of Newfoundlanders love to go out and bash out the brains of thousands of vulnerable and lovable young seal pups, while their mothers bleat in helpless agony nearby.

CW would get no traction with this crowd of what passes for intellectuals in the home province of the Newfie general.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A fabulous historical work, in pen and ink, from probably the finest ever artist in the medium, Canadian CW Jefferys 1869-1951.

As one of Canada's top artists of the 20th century, CW created literally thousands of his master works in pen and ink.

And more than any other artist in the world he lived to see more of his pen and ink drawings published.

This work is an original, one of thousands CW used to illustrate his three volume Picture Gallery of Canadian History, which was published between 1943-1950.

It is the finest document of its type, in existence, as it records, for all time, the people, places, and events of Canadian history, through thousands of illustrations of Canada's cultural, political, and military life, and the important people and artifacts over some 350 years.

Lord Selkirk Naming Kildonan, 1817 - CW Jefferys c 1945
Orig. drawing - Size - oa 37 x 46 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
Copyright Goldi Productions Ltd. - 1996, 1999, 2005

CW (Charles William) Jefferys - 1869-1951 - 2

1 2 3 4 5 6
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A letter which CW sent to a friend, along with a signed presentation copy of volume 1, shows exactly the secret of his success as an artist to get his work seen, appreciated, and published.

Exactly what every artist would like.

But most take the wrong approach and so the phrase "poor starving artist" has entered the English language.

CW, far from posing as a self-preoccupied artist type, who insists on shoving his or her particular vision of art down people's throats, is solicitous of people.

"I shall hope to see you and possibly tap you for some local knowledge. My job is only possible by picking everybody's brains."

He wanted to reference his art to the local experience, to fulfil a need as he saw it, not to force his "vision" on others.

Above all this immigrant wanted to make his art relevant to the people of Canada.

Rooted in the Canadian Experience.

Could there be a loftier goal for an artist?

Or a finer achievement?

Oh yeah! Sorry! Forgot!

Making lots of money...

Oh, and being lionized by the preening nouveau riche...

CW was writing to Dr. Hugh Charles Templin (1896-1970), son of the long-time editor of the Fergus News Record and creator of the rock gardens that are still a big tourist attraction downtown.

Hugh was also an author, having written a history book on Fergus in 1933. So he was intimately familiar with the history of Wellington County and is why CW was seeking him out.

The trio of CW's autographed books once belonged to Hugh. The letter from CW is glued inside volume 1, and was obviously a cherished memento as long as he lived.

Letter, CW Jefferys - 1945
Orig. letter - Image Size - 14 x 21 cm
Found - Toronto, ON