William G. Hobbs (1927-2012) was a medical school graduate of Bristol University in Britain, where he earned a degree as a general practitioner before he emigrated to Canada to begin his career as a physician and surgeon in the village of Gainsborough, Saskatchewan. He went on to become a respected physician in southeast Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba. His varied career later saw him serve as the mayor of Gainsborough, where he worked to rescue and restore the community’s train station to its original 1928 grandeur, converting it into an art school.
As an artist, William Hobbs is remembered for his paintings of prairie train stations across Canada. He enthusiastically painted stations found in tiny prairie communities, often donating money to their restoration. He regarded the structures as jewels of prairie architecture. His works typically portray a train arriving at a station with an aboriginal in a Hudson Bay blanket, and, quite often, a wind-blown Dominion flag and a dog barking at the train. Today, his paintings are found in rural railroad museums, international universities, private collections, and on the cover of Shirley Harris’s book, Forgotten Gardens, Abandoned Landscapes, and Remarkable Restorations. His works have been honored with numerous awards and one-man shows, and can be seen in museums and individual and corporate collections in North America, Europe, and Asia.
For more information on the artist, and to view a large sample of his works, go to http://canadaartist.ca