Willard Page - Adobe House in a Landscape - Oil on Canvas Board circa 1930 P3126
This is a marvel, one of Page's very best. A real sense of panorama. Measures 16" x 28", frame is 19" x 30 1/2". And his life is quite a story.
Born in Whiting, KS in 1885. Originally from northeastern Kansas, Willard Page and his wife, Ethel Eylar, visited a friend in Boulder and fell in love with the mountains. They moved there to Colorado and joined the Chautauqua circuit, touring the Midwest, performing dramatic readings and music. Page also made pastel drawings and gave "chalk talks", lectures during which he made sketches illustrating his topic of discussion. With the advent of radio, such traveling shows fell out of favor. Concurrently, Ethel became increasingly debilitated with severe arthritis, and Page had to develop new sources of income.
It was at this crucial point that Page began painting small landscapes that grew into his characteristic work. The intimate paintings capturing majestic views of the Rockies were popular with tourists as souvenirs that depicted the dramatic scenery and were easy to carry home. As Ethel's health declined further, the couple searched for a warmer, more suitable climate. In their makeshift RV, they wandered through New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona, camping and painting. They spent time in Prescott and Tucson in the early 1930's through the 1940's. Favorite Arizona scenes included adobe buildings and villages, desert landscapes with native flora and the Catalina and Superstition Mountains.
The first photograph shows Willard working in the camper/studio circa 1926. The second shows him sketching, perhaps on the Chatauqua circuit.