Iconic Elevator, The
Landscape Art Publishing / 25 February 2022

The Iconic Elevator: Vanishing Horizons of the Western Prairiesby Fritz StehwienPublished by Landscape Arts PublishingReview by Michelle Shaw$29.95 ISBN 9780991964925 There are few more iconic images on the prairies than the majestic grain elevators. In the latest release from the Fritz Stehwien Estate, 37 works of art showcasing these aptly named Prairie Giants are collected together in a beautiful hardcovered book. Barbara Stehwien, who compiled The Iconic Elevator, says that the giant wooden structures under enormous skies left a large impression on the Stehwien family when they arrived in Saskatchewan and Fritz was fascinated by what he saw. “These old elevators add a scale to the vast perspectives like no other structures do. [They appear] to simply dot the landscape in the distance, [but] become quite momentous when up close.” She says the book is a tribute to the incredible visuals of the wide open spaces of Saskatchewan. The Iconic Elevator features images from around the province, including Yorkton, Swift Current, Marchwell, Sintaluta, Fleming, Melfort and Hanley. One painting shows a view from Meewasin Park and another features the University of Saskatchewan Elevator in 1982. Some paintings are simply titled Prairie Summer, Harvest Time and Winter Road. I particularly loved…

Of Prairies Past
Landscape Art Publishing / 25 February 2022

Of Prairies Past: Vintage Canadian Prairie Motifsby Fritz StehwienPublished by Landscape Art PublishingReview by Michelle Shaw$29.95 ISBN 9780991964994 When German -Canadian artist, Fritz Stehwien, arrived in Saskatchewan in 1968 he was enchanted by what he saw and began painting and sketching whenever he could. Of Prairies Past is the latest collection of his works, and features a variety of prairie scenes, both rural and urban, captured in oils, pastels, pen and ink and charcoal drawings. This small hardcover book features 39 different prairie motifs from the iconic grain elevator to tiny country churches, the University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatoon skyline. The North Battleford and Melfort Post Offices are featured (both in the 1970s), along with Whitkow Church (1990s) and the Medical Arts Building (1970s) at the University of Saskatchewan. One of Stehwien’s gifts is capturing moments in time. I loved his sketch of a milk delivery truck in the 1970s, delivering milk while the neighbourhood children, all bundled up, slide down the snowbanks on sleds. I was also fascinated to see a drawing of a ski jump pictured at the University of Saskatchewan. The drawing also dates to the 1970s. Naturally I turned to Google and sure enough the…

Power of a Paintbrush, The
Landscape Art Publishing / 18 June 2021

The Power of a Paintbrush: The Story of an Escape from the Prison Camp Stalag XXA after World War IIby Chantal Stehwien and Barbara StehwienPublished by Landscape Art PublishingReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$29.95 ISBN 9-780991-964963 I was familiar with the moving story of German-born artist, pacifist, and prisoner-of-war survivor Fritz Stehwien via the book Fritz Stehwien: A Retrospective. That earlier, softcover title included black and white and colour images of the prolific artist’s work, including landscapes, portraits, and still-lifes. Now Stehwien’s family has collaborated again to release a hardcover that celebrates the man (1914-2008), his art, and his story. The Power of a Paintbrush: The Story of an Escape from the Prison Camp Stalag XXA after World War II, revisits how Stehwien “relied on his artistry to survive [a] devastating time of war,” and the 30-page book includes a generous selection of high-resolution images of his original art, including oils, watercolours, and both pencil and charcoal sketches. “Fritz was always an artist,” and when the Second World War began, he was an art student at the Hamburg Art Academy. “He was drafted and forced to serve in the German army,” his family writes, first in France, then he was sent…

Scenic Bridges
Landscape Art Publishing / 17 March 2021

Scenic Bridges: A Collection of Bridge Motifs by Fritz StehwienPublished by Landscape Art PublishingReview by Michelle Shaw$29.95 ISBN 9780991964987 Scenic Bridges, the latest release from the Fritz Stehwien Estate, is a delightful visual study of bridges around the world, in particular Saskatoon, and also reveals a gifted artist’s creative development and perspective through the years. Saskatoon is well-known as the City of Bridges (eight to date) and this beautiful hardcover book features a number of them. But it also goes beyond the city, featuring bridges near Borden and The Battlefords as well as bridges further afield including the Calgary Centre Street Bridge, and the Blue Water Bridge in Sarnia, Ontario. Bridges are obviously something that continually fascinated Stehwien and he was known to sketch and paint wherever he went. Many of the bridges in the book are from his travels around the world, including Taiwan, Austria, Germany, France and Holland and span the years from the early 1940s to the 1980s. One of the things that struck me about this book is that Stehwien has captured specific brief moments in time that would otherwise have been forgotten. A number of his artworks, for example, show bridges in Europe during World…

Absolute Prairie
Landscape Art Publishing / 21 November 2019

Absolute Prairie: Saskatchewan Landscapes in Watercolor and Pastelby Fritz Stehwien, Compiled by B. StehwienPublished by Landscape Art PublishingReview by Michelle Shaw$19.95 ISBN 9780991964956 Absolute Prairie presents a collection of iconic Saskatchewan images that are beautifully rendered by a man who was passionate about both his art and the prairie landscape he came to call home. Born and educated in Germany, where he was traditionally trained in fresco and mural painting, Fritz Stehwien immigrated to Canada and settled in Saskatoon in 1968 where he continued to express himself as a visual artist. In the foreword to this small, beautifully captivating collection of Stehwien’s work we are told that “for a man of few words and one who never held a camera in his hands his estate of thousands of works tells an amazing complete and fully illustrated life story.” This collection comprises 39 of his works and, while some scenes are instantly recognizable, there is a helpful list of the places he captured with his art at the back of the book. Subjects range from Pike Lake in summer, sunset on Wakaw Lake, the Saskatchewan River in Fall colors, a historic view to the University of Saskatchewan, moose grazing at the…

Fritz Stehwien: A Retrospective
Landscape Art Publishing / 18 September 2015

Fritz Stehwien: A Retrospective by Barbara Stehwien Published by Landscape Art Publishing Review by Shelley A. Leedahl $9.95 ISBN 9-780991-964918 The softcover book Fritz Stehwien: A Retrospective, originally published in 1993 and later released with an updated biography, was a family affair. The book-not unlike a gallery catalogue produced to accompany a major artist’s show-is prefaced by introductions to the German-born artist’s life and work by daughter Barbara Stehwien and daughter-in-law Nancy Robinson-Stehwien. What follows is 20 attractive pages of black and white and colour images of the prolific artist’s work, including landscapes, portraits, and still-lifes. First, the man. In the introductions we learn that Stehwien was the quintessential artist, always ready to capture the spirit of what was around him, and as such he lived a full and interesting life. “I have not known him to go anywhere without his materials,” his daughter writes, adding that if he didn’t have everything that was required, he would “improvise using the back of painted or printed matter, even restaurant napkins.” She says he would use “any old pen rather than lose an important moment.” The use of “moment” here lends a clue to the value the subject of this book saw…

In Black and White
Landscape Art Publishing / 14 May 2014

In Black and White: A Stroll Through Canadian Landscapes by Waltraude Stehwien Published by Landscape Art Publishing Review by Jessica Bickford $19.95 978-0-9919649-0-1 In Black and White: A Stroll Through Canadian Landscapes is a book unlike any other I’ve encountered. It is a collection of scissorcuttings, also known as papercuttings, which are an art form with a history that traces all the way back to sixth century China. Using only black paper and negative space Waltraude Stehwien creates evocative landscapes and cityscapes that are instantly recognizable to anyone who has travelled through Saskatchewan and Western Canada. The only text in the book is the title of each piece, and the only colours are the simple black and white of Stehwien’s artwork, but as you flip through each page, you can’t help but feel there is a story here. There is also a depth and a kind of warmth that comes from Stehwien’s work, and almost a sense of nostalgic serenity from the prairie scenes that are often devoid of people and wildlife. You can tell you are looking at something that took a lot of time and skill to create, and you can almost feel the chill winter wind, or…