As a Canadian, most people have probably seen the famous face of Queen Elizabeth on our coins. Charles Pachter is a well known artist who painted Queen Elizabeth in Mounties’ uniform sitting on a moose! We met him at the “In Conversation” event at Noel Ryan Auditorium, Mississauga Central Library. The event was to promote the Museums of Mississauga’s newest exhibition, Charles Pachter and Margaret Atwood: The Journals of Susanna Moodie which is on display now at Bradley Museum.
Mr. Pachter is a contemporary Canadian artist who currently lives in Toronto. He has won awards such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal. His art can be seen in many prominent places such as the Prime minister’s residence. Some examples of Mr. Pachter’s work are Metro Mourning, The Hiya Dolls, Vers le Soleil and of course, Queen on Moose.
Queen on Moose, originally titled Noblesse Oblige, was painted during 1971-1973. This painting is very renowned but when it was first revealed, it whipped up a few controversies about being “a piece of mischief.” However, when he met Queen Elizabeth in person years later after the painting got famous, he told the Queen that it was all thanks to her that he could make a living. The Queen simply said, “How amusing!”
So why is Pachter attending the event? For the launch of the Charles Pachter and Margaret Atwood: The Journals of Susanna Moodie exhibition, of course!
Susanna Moodie was an English-born Canadian author who wrote about her experiences as a settler in Canada, which was a British colony at the time. Canadian poet and author Margaret Atwood was inspired by it and published a collection of poetry about it in 1970.
“I was lucky because I went to summer camp with Margaret so we knew each other since we were teenagers,” Pachter said. “She sent me the original manuscript of the poems, and I fell in love with them, so I illustrated them.”
When we asked him what was his favourite color to use, he told us, “If I want it to be cool or quiet, I would go blue; If I want it to be hot and active, I would go orange.”
We also asked him about tips for kids who wants to be artists. “You have to be passionate about wanting to be an artist,” he explained. “It’s not easy, but if you have the hunger to be an artist, nothing’s going to get in your way. If you want to paint, if you want to create, you’ll do it.”