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Killarney
Whiterock E-mail
Written by Michael LeBlanc   
Camping, Watercolour on card, 26.4 x 32.4 cm :: Collection of Francis Chapman
Almost immediately after arriving back in Toronto after his war work, Eric set out on a canoe trip in the northern Ontario wilderness. He began to plan this trip during his last months overseas, and his starting point was Whiterock Lake, in what is now Killarney Wilderness Area. Fall was the prime season for sketching and painting: the bright foliage, moderate temperatures, lower angle of the sun, and lack of black flies or mosquitoes made this season, above others, the ideal one for artistic appreciation.

Franklin had introduced in Eric a love for this area, and his return became a daydream for him during the grim, grey days of the war. Harry Somers had just been discharged from the service, and as neither was engaged in more profitable work, they went together. It became for both men an intense and life-enriching experience.

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Nothing Uninteresting

The Work and Life of Eric Aldwinckle

By Michael B. LeBlanc

Print Book, 186 Pages

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Being a sensible man he did not ask what the painting I had in mind was. His assisting officer, not being a sensible man, did. I had feared this.

This was the man who had tried to get me to paint the Headquarters building in London. This was the man who had asked me to draw an ancient archway in London for one of his higher officials who was living above it and liked its history, and had whispered in my ear it would “do me good.”

This was the man who had suggested interesting subjects like “bomber command mess on Christmas eve” because he had never seen bomber command mess on Christmas eve.

-Eric Aldwinckle, 1944