A Sense of Place | A Place to be Sensed: Vol. 7 – Treasure Hunting

Arthur Shilstone’s prolific career as a Master of Sporting Art produced a vast and diverse inventory of watercolor sporting scenes. Any Sporting Art enthusiast can find their sense of place within his body of work. With such a large inventory, however, we recognize the potential challenge of pinpointing that one exact scene (or 2, or 3….)  that brings a distinct ‘place to be sensed’ to a collection. We’ve decided to break down the collection into a few distinct categories and dive into the sparkling waters and abundant forests of a few select pieces. Today, we’ll be focusing on some of Shilstone’s hunting paintings.

Autumn – One of the more controversial seasons, people usually either love it or hate it. Some dread the end of endless summer days and the looming darkness of winter. Many others welcome the seasonal change, as it signifies a whole new set of ways to enjoy the outdoors – most notably in the sporting world, fall hunting! Arthur Shilstone was, of course, of the latter group of people, and paid beautiful homage to the harvest season with his paintbrush. Read on to get our take on some of these treasures:   

Behold The Power Couple of Shilstone’s Upland Game Paintings. ‘A Perfect Day’ is a perfect icon of the upland game hunting scene – a beautiful autumnal landscape of rolling hills and golden fields, sportsman at the center of the scene, anticipation surrounding the players. ‘Bird Down’ could very well be the same scene just seconds later, the anticipation finally broken, birddogs in pursuit of the downed target.

‘The Woodcock Hunter’ is one of our favorite pieces by Shilstone overall, especially as the days shorten and sunlight wanes. We see it as a reminder to pay attention to the darker, moodier beauty of the end of the year – the crooked grace of barren old-growth trees, the comforting artistry of thick, low-hanging clouds, the vibrant resilience of flora that refuses to hibernate.

Classic watercolor illustration at its finest. Much like ‘A Perfect Day,’ ‘The Duck Hunters’ is a perfect icon of the waterfowl hunting scene – a beautiful, expansive marshscape with sportsman and fowl at the center of the scene. The players are just distant enough in the scene to be obscured without verging on iconographic, placing the importance of the scene on the encompassing landscape and the players’ roles in it.  

Browse the rest of our selection of these treasures below, and let us know your thoughts in the comments! As always, inquiries for purchasing are welcome – please contact Fred at sportingartnews@gmail.com or (802) 598-8301.