Biography of SONIA CORNWALL

CORNWALL, Sonia (née Cowan) (1919-2006). Born in Kamloops, British Columbia, Cornwall attended the Strathcona Girls School, Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia (1930/34). She studied painting at the Provincial Institute of Technology, Calgary Alberta (1946); and through the UBC Extension Program Fine Art Workshops held at her family's Onward Ranch near Williams Lake, British Columbia (1960s/70s). Largely self-taught, however, Cornwall gained most of her training and experience by attending the UBC Extension Workshops held at the ranch. The workshops were given by such Canadian dignitaries as A.Y. Jackson, Joseph Plaskett, Herbert Siebner, Molly Bobak, Peter Aspell, Jack Hardman, Zelko Kujundzic, Cliff Robinson and Jim Willer. All became personal friends, but none more so than A.Y. Jackson who visited the Onward Ranch on several occasions, and to whom Cornwall owed much for her understanding and development as an artist. Considered the 'grand dame' of Cariboo region painters, she worked in oil and watercolour and painted the grandeur of the local landscape and life on the ranch – its animals, its buildings, its activities - in a strong, fresh, sometimes humorous, but always powerful and personal manner.  Her work has been exhibited throughout British Columbia including the Kelowna Art Gallery (2000).

 

Biography courtesy of The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction: Volume IV: S-Z

 

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