Muriel E. Newton-White
Muriel E. Newton-White was perhaps the epitome of the pioneer Northern artist. She was born in 1928 in Robillard Township near Charlton, Ontario. Her parents, who came from England in the early 20th century, were among the first pioneers of that area. They were survivors of the Great Fire of 1922, and were given a street car to live in to get through that first winter until a new cabin could be built.
Muriel spent almost a lifetime recording Northern Ontario life in one way or another. She wrote and illustrated botanical books, children’s books and books on local history. She worked in oils, acrylics, watercolour, egg tempera and India ink. She was adept at outdoor sketching, illuminating and mural painting. Many of her works can be found throughout the towns of Haileybury, Charlton and Englehart.
She volunteered extensively in the community and shared her skills by teaching. Her paintings and drawings are expressive interpretations of her Northern home. She was also very much at home within her church, as a spiritual mentor of many and a lay reader for many decades. She was the proud recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Thorneloe University.
After taking her schooling through Department of Education correspondence courses, Muriel received a scholarship which enabled her to spend four years at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. She graduated in 1949, then moved back to Charlton, then Haileybury and Englehart. Muriel spent her final years in the Extendicare home in Haileybury.
Muriel passed away on Sunday, November 13, 2011 and she rests in her home countryside of Charlton.