Walter J. Phillips (1884-1963)
The Stump, 1928
colour woodcut on paper (edition: 300)
17.1 x 23 cm

Printed on Goyu paper from eight cherry-wood blocks, this is the fourth print in the 1928 portfolio of seven colour prints entitled The Canadian Scene. Phillips provided the following commentary:

Many who have travelled regard the Lake of the Woods as a scenic trifle. The monotony of outlook, where every island, every headland and every bay seems the same, deceives only the casual or dyspeptic observer. I am always glad to be back there and, wherever I may have been, feel tempted to record some of the beauty that is everywhere apparent beside those peaceful waters.

It would be hard to find two localities that differ so much in aspect as this and the West Coast—the one is imposing, dramatic, colossal: the other quiet, friendly and restricted. The coast scenery is on the largest possible scale; this lake is dependent for interest on such decorative trivialities as tree-traceries, sunlight and shadow, lichen-covered rocks, and translucent water.

If the lake wants in magnificence, its its waters lack the rhythmic movements of the sea, if its islands have not been pushed up very far, it still appeals with an intimacy that makes every rock and every tree a possible shrine of beauty. Here the pictorial interest, more often than not, centres in the foreground, and an arabesque of branches, a pattern of foliage, or rocks, and frequently boathouses, docks and boats and perhaps their reflections. Immediately below the stump represented in this print and hidden by the foliage on the shore, is the cottage we occupied for several years. The near strip of water is the western end of Long Bay. At the other end is the town of Kenora.