EJ Hughes' Views

E.J. Hughes was born February 17, 1913 in North Vancouver but spent the first nine years of his childhood in Nanaimo. For over 70 years he painted the landscapes of Coastal British Columbia. He died recently, in January 2007, at the age of 93.

As a talented young man he was the first recipient of the Emily Carr Scholarship which allowed him to study in Vancouver under the stewardship of at least one of the Group of Seven artists, Frederick Varley. Over the years he accumulated other prestigious awards including the Order of Canada, the Order of British Columbia and Honourary Doctorate from the University of Victoria.

For six years during WWII Mr. Hughes worked as an official war artist and produced over 1000 drawings, 30 full paintings as well as other pieces. Many of these hang in the Canadian War Museum.

In 1951, Hughes was discovered by Montreal art dealer Max Stern who arranged to buy all of his paintings. This arrangement enabled Hughes to have the financial freedom to paint - which is all he wanted to do.

E.J. Hughes lived at Shawnigan Lake for over twenty years until he found it too busy and noisy (circa 1970) and moved to Cobble Hill. Hughes’s last studio, in a modest house in Duncan, was a spare bedroom, with a table and easel set close to a single north window. He painted there, in the afternoon, six days a week. Sunday was his day off. 

The vision of British Columbia, and particularly Vancouver Island, painted by E.J. Hughes is full of charm and vitality. Although he is often mentioned in the same category as Emily Carr, it is the opinion of this writer that his pieces appeal to a greater audience and his work holds its own among the best of Canadian art.

In 2004, his painting Fishboats Rivers Inlet (click to see)(1942) sold for $920 000 and yet people who knew Mr. Hughes hasten to describe him as the most modest of  artists and a real gentleman. We take delight that such a man is woven into the history of Shawnigan Lake.
The prize for this cache is a series of coordinates based on E. J. Hughes  paintings.  Each destination provides a view that Hughes saw and subsequently painted.  This project was inspired by one of the SLHS Directors and his wife (artist) who happened on a view that inspired a Van Gogh painting during a visit to France.
Many of these paintings can be viewed at: Shawnigan Lake Museum

48º 39.220 N

123º 37.422" W

The Views

Latitude Longitude Image

Beside the Koksilah River

48º 44.991 N

123º 39.386 W

Cowichan Bay and Mt. Prevost 48º 44.616 N 123º 38.094 W
Davis Lagoon 48º 57.854 N 123º 46.520 W
Qualicum Beach 49º 21.363 N 124º 26.416 W
Above Finlayson Arm 48º 34.049 N 123º 32.817 W
Saanich Inlet 48º 32.063 N 123º 33.559 W
Rose Island Shawnigan Lake 48º 35.738 N 123º 37.337 W
Old Baldy Mountain 48º 38.365 N 123º 38.402W
Entrance to the West Arm 48º 38.365 N 123º 38.402W
Looking South on Shawnigan Lake 48º 37.605 N 123º 37.349 W
The Public Wharf, Cowichan Bay 48º 44.427 N 123º 37.098 W