Nfld. & Labrador

Painter Lloyd Pretty dies at 75, remembered for documenting rural life in N.L.

Renowned visual artist Lloyd Pretty, known for his idyllic scenes of life in Newfoundland and Labrador, has died at the age of 75.

Pretty's art 'will be treasured well into the future,' says Chris Buckle

In addition to his art, Lloyd Pretty loved the outdoors. He passed away this week after a battle with prostate cancer. (Submitted)

Renowned visual artist Lloyd Pretty, known for his idyllic scenes of life in Newfoundland and Labrador, has died at the age of 75.

Born in Chapel Arm and later making his home in Stephenville, Pretty was a self-taught painter and printmaker, often depicting picturesque wilderness and simple moments in time in outport communities.

His artistic output slowed over the past decade after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer several years ago, with Pretty scaling back his painting to smaller works.

Pretty's family announced his death on social media Friday morning.

A gentleman and a skilled artist

Chris Buckle, owner of Picture It in a Frame in Corner Brook, says he knew Pretty for about 20 years, and represented Pretty and sold his paintings at his shop.

"I found Lloyd to be a very interesting person, he was a gentleman. He was a very skilled artist and he drew his inspiration from historical Newfoundland, and rural Newfoundland mostly," Buckle said.

"The natural beauty, the activities that people participated in, how they made a living, that was his main inspiration — in my opinion."

Chris Buckle says Pretty would visit his shop regularly and the two 'always had a joke and a laugh.' (Troy Turner/CBC)

He said Pretty had a very important contribution to the art of the province, one that could take years to be fully understood.

"Personally, I don't believe Lloyd got the recognition that he deserved as an artist in Newfoundland and Labrador. I think that will come," said Buckle.

"He did a great job of documenting our way of life here, our history and our rural way of life."

Pretty was a prolific painter, and his scenes often show the rural lifestyle in Newfoundland from years past. (Submitted)

Pretty's art was accessible and without pretension, Buckle said, because of Pretty's ability to show things just as he saw them, often painting scenes of a bygone era from memory.

"Art can have different purposes … it's not just for a certain type of person living in a certain area. It's wide reaching, and a bunch of different people can enjoy art work, and to me, Lloyd was the ultimate example of that," he said.

"He presented straightforward scenes of our history and our rural lifestyle and it was like a historical document to look at some of his artwork."

Pretty's artistic output slowed after his cancer diagnosis, but his focus turned to smaller pieces instead of larger works of art, like this one. (Submitted)

Buckle said Pretty would visit his shop every few weeks, and he was always happy to see him.

"We always had a joke and a laugh … I found Lloyd to be a really nice person and I'm really glad that I knew him."

It was Pretty's love of his province, a love that showed through his art, that will be his greatest legacy, Buckle said.

"My prediction is that his artwork will be treasured well into the future," he said.

"For people who have a connection with Newfoundland and Labrador and love our province, he certainly summed it up."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Troy Turner