ArtworksGoodridge RobertsStill life with Fruit and Flowers1904-1974CAD 18,000
Inscriptionssigned, 'G. Roberts' (lower right)
Roberts Gallery, Toronto;
Private collection, Town of Mount Royal, Quebec;
By descent to private collection, Calgary.
In this presentation we are offering a fine selection of still life paintings by Goodridge Roberts. He was one of Canada’s most versatile artists, equally brilliant in his depiction of the still life as he was in the landscape as he was with the nude, usually but not exclusively the female.
In the context of researching the career of the Norman McLaren painting we are offering in this sale, we came upon some insight on the creative process of an artist he offered which goes a long way to explain the artistic interest of both figurative and abstract artists alike. In my opinion it explains the excitement and challenges of an artist like Goodridge Roberts particularly in his paintings of the still life, but in other subject matter as well.
In Norman McLaren’s 1991 publication titled On the Creative Process, edited by Donald McWilliams, Norman McLaren wrote:
“As a painter, one of your trainings is to see a thing as an abstract thing. When you look at a group of objects, it’s not just this object and that object, it’s also the relationship between the two, the shading, etc. You analyze it, it’s no longer a crucifix or a plant leaf. It’s a green shape with a curve and a darkening on one side. I think the painter automatically sees a scene as an abstraction — even in the process of doing a painting that is completely realistic.
In art, you want to stress some things which you feel are important. If you eliminate the things that aren’t important you arrive at the things you want to say very quickly.”  (see http://onf-nfb.gc.ca/sg/100122.pdf, Norman McLaren, On the Creative Process, edited by Donald McWilliams, 1991)
Unlike many Canadian artists who found inspiration in the landscape, Roberts was not a painter of winter. In the colder months he resolved important compositions with objects in his home and studio. A juxtaposition of sometimes the same objects, but with relationships different from other works, Roberts achieves a different but aesthetically satisfying work.
 Norman McLaren, On the Creative Process, edited by Donald McWilliams (Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 1991) p. 43.3of 6