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David Milne, Painting Place, colour drypoint

© 2005 David Milne Estate

  • Milne in his Uxbridge studio, about 1942

    Milne in his Uxbridge studio, about 1942


Height: 120.000 mm
Width: 173.000 mm

American XXc Mounted Roy

PD 1986-10-4-38

Prints and Drawings

    David Milne, Painting Place, colour drypoint

    Canada, AD 1930

    Painting Place came about by accident. The artist, David Milne, had set out for a long walk near his home in New York State in 1926. He took a nap on Gambles Cliff above Big Moose Lake, and reported that 'The first blink on waking, before I lifted my head, introduced the frame.' The image was later reworked in three paintings and several prints, including this one, which was produced in 1930. The dead tree stump and painting materials in the foreground suggest the cyclical process of nature, with Milne's creative output becoming part of that cycle.

    Milne (1882-1953) was born in Canada but moved to New York City in 1903. At this stage in his career he worked mainly in watercolour. After moving to Boston Corners in New York State in 1916, he began to experiment with drypoint, initially using a neighbour's mangle as a press. In 1925 he abandoned watercolour painting for twelve years to concentrate on oil painting and printmaking. He returned permanently to Canada in 1929.

    Milne made this print using a unique method of printing in colour from superimposed plates that he developed. He removed the excess ink from his plates with a rag, leaving an uneven texture on the plate. By varying the wiping, each print becomes unique, with the wiping residue from each plate remaining as random flecks of colour. This version of Painting Place was printed to make money - it fulfilled a commission for three thousand drypoints (all inked and pulled by hand) to be included in the publication The Colophon. Milne had to create about eight sets of the plates and steel face them to protect the fragile burr as he printed so many.

    D. Milne Jnr and D. Silcox, David B. Milne: catalogue rais (Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1998)

    J. O'Brian, David Milne and the modern tra (Toronto, The Coach House Press, 1983)

    D. Silcox, Painting place. The life and w (Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1996)

    R. L. Tovell, Reflections in a quiet pool. T (National Gallery of Canada, 1980)


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