"Devil's Head Mountain"
Margaret Shelton,"Devil's Head Mountain," 1981, watercolour on paper, 13.25" x 19.75".
By Marcia Johnson
Margaret Shelton took an intensity of vision and the formative influences available to her in the 1930s to become one of Alberta's most unique wood-cut and watercolour artists. Mentors A.C.Leighton, H.G. Glyde and Walter J. Phillips each brought a unique style of teaching and conveyed new techniques to this vibrant student. Leighton introduced her to tonal chromatics; Glyde exposed her to the realism and social narrative prevalent in England at that time. Long acknowledged as the Canadian master of the coloured block print, Phillips introduced Shelton to Japanese influences. An attention to detail, the stylization of water elements, and the integration of flattened simplified forms within a narrow tonal range are prevalent in her work. By the mid 1940s and '50s, Shelton was a productive force with her own individual style. This October, Collector's Gallery in Calgary is showing primarily watercolours and rarely seen prints from Shelton's estate.