Artist Profile: Gordon Smith

Gordon Smith was born in East Sussex, England, raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and now lives in West Vancouver, British Columbia. Smith’s father was an amateur watercolourist, who took Gordon and his brother on frequent visits to the National Gallery and the Tate in London from an early age. Smith says that, as a family, they often walked in the English countryside, finding inspiration for their work. His father shared his love of painting and taught him to see the world with an artist’s sense of colour, shape and texture.

In 1933, Smith relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba, along with his brother and mother, where he attended the Winnipeg School of Art.

While serving Canada during World War II as an intelligence officer for Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Smith was severely wounded during the invasion of Sicily. He spent his convalescence in London, where he met Vincent Massey, Canada’s High Commissioner at that time.

Gordon A. Smith, Reflections, 2014
Gordon A. Smith, Reflections, 2014

In the summer of 2014, at the age of 94, Smith toured Canada House with High Commissioner Campbell. They spoke of the plans for the building as a way of representing Canada in the 21st century with its focus on Canada and Canadians. Inspired by the new vision for Canada House, Smith decided to create a special painting for the High Commission. That painting, Reflections, an intimate yet striking oil-on-canvas landscape, now hangs in the Cockspur Street lobby offering a natural, serene beauty to all who pass. 

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