Ted Godwin

About the Artist

Ted Godwin was born in 1933 in Calgary, Alberta. His early interests were music and art, but at age 14 he chose to pursue a future in art. In 1955, after studying at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Art (now the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) in Calgary, Godwin became a television artist and a  neonA rare, inert gaseous element occurring in the atmosphere to the extent of 18 parts per million and obtained by fractional distillation of liquid air. It is colorless but glows reddish orange in an electric discharge and is used in display and television tubes. For more information on neon, go to: “Neon” Paints Neon at Wikipedia WebElements on Neon   sign designer. He worked at these occupations in Lethbridge, Calgary, and Regina between 1955 and 1963.

He and his wife and fellow artist Phyllis moved to Regina, Saskatchewan in 1958, a time when the arts were beginning to flourish in Saskatchewan. Godwin soon found like-minded colleagues in Arthur McKay, Kenneth Lochhead, Douglas Morton and Ronald Bloore (McKay, Morton, and Bloore are all also presented in this Theme, Beyond Representation). They became known as “The Regina Five” as a result of the 1961 National Art Gallery of Canada exhibition, Five Painters from Regina.

Within this group Godwin, who was 27 at the time, was known as the “kid” or the “rising star”. Godwin and his fellow artists embraced the  AbstractImagery which departs from representational accuracy, to a variable range of possible degrees. Abstract artists select and then exaggerate or simplify the forms suggested by the world around them.  (Artlex.com)   Expressionism(with an upper-case E — the more specific sense) An art movement dominant in Germany from 1905-1925, especially Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter, which are usually referred to as German Expressionism, anticipated by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746-1828), Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890), Paul Gauguin (French, 1848-1903) and others. See an article devoted exclusivly to Expressionism, which includes examples of Expressionist works, quotations, etc.  (Artlex.com)  movement and furthered their knowledge and camaraderie by attending many Emma Lake workshops with famous American  Abstract ExpressionistAn artist who paints in the Abstract expressionist style.  painters like Barnett Newman.

In 1964 Godwin became a professor at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus, where he taught  paintingWorks of art made with paint on a surface. Often the surface, also called a support, is either a tightly stretched piece of canvas or a panel. How the ground (on which paint is applied) is prepared on the support depends greatly on the type of paint to be used. Paintings are usually intended to be placed in frames, and exhibited on walls, but there have been plenty of exceptions. Also, the act of painting, which may involve a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's other concerns which effect the content of a work. (Artlex.com)  until he retired and moved back to Calgary in 1985.

In retirement, Godwin continues to paint and mount one-man exhibitions in major art galleries. He has also embarked on a writing career and has written; Messages from the Real World: A Professional Handbook for the Emerging Artist, 2002; Lower Bow: A Celebration of Wilderness, Art and Fishing (Exhibition Catalogue, 1992) and Ted Godwin: The Tartan Years 1967-1976 (Exhibition Catalogue, 1999). Godwin received a Saskatchewan Book Award for his handbook for artists in 1999. In 2001, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Law degree from the University of Regina and the Alberta College of Art Award for excellence. In 2004, he became an Officer of the Order of Canada. He began writing his memoirs in 2007.

Godwin’s flamboyant personality and tendency to seek the unconventional have been driving forces in his life. He is always eager to live life to the fullest, take a risk and enjoy a hearty laugh. As he admits himself, “I have had a journey you wouldn’t believe.” (Godwin, 2007)


Being Part of the Regina Five
Emma Lake and Barnett Newman
Interview with Timothy Long - The Regina Five
On Not Becoming a Musician
Tartan Paintings
Why He Came to Regina in the '60s
Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning