Dorothy Perehudoff

Obituary of Dorothy Elsie Knowles Perehudoff

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We are deeply saddened by the passing of our much-loved mother and grandmother Dorothy Knowles Perehudoff, one of Canada’s most prominent landscape painters, on May 16, 2023 in Saskatoon. A recipient of the Order of Canada, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, Honorary Doctor of Laws University of Regina, the Senate of Canada Sesquicentennial Medal, and - most recently - the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal, Dorothy passed away surrounded by her loving family at the Hospice at Glengarda.

Born in Unity, Saskatchewan in 1927, she grew up on a farm with her parents and three older brothers, Paulden, Robert and Douglas during the Depression. It was a happy way of life mostly spent outdoors including going to get the cows on her bicycle, often with her cat riding on her shoulder. Her attachment to the natural environment would inspire her throughout her long art career, which began in 1948 after taking an art class at the Kenderdine Campus at Emma Lake in Northern Saskatchewan. Little did she realize the Emma Lake workshops that brought in artists and critics from outside the prairie sphere would be a big part of her life for decades to come.

As is widely known, it was where the influential New York art critic Clement Greenberg encouraged her to keep painting from nature regardless of the contemporary predominance of abstraction. It is also where composer John Cage asked her if she was “the one painting those beautiful landscapes.”

Following a Bachelor of Arts in Science at the U of S in Saskatoon, and becoming a registered laboratory technologist, Dorothy briefly attended Goldsmiths School of Art in London, England, before marrying the celebrated Canadian Colour Field artist William Perehudoff in Paris in 1951. When they returned to the prairies, they raised three daughters, exhibited their work nationally, internationally and were a key part of the arts community.

Dorothy studied many artists such as Raphael, Monet and Pissarro, though her own work always came back to her Canadian roots. The landscape revealed itself to her in a unique way and she was able to coax this vision out from the soil and sky onto the canvas, whether it was the fierce strength of the mountains, the fall colours in Quebec, or of course, the fields, river valleys and boreal forest of Saskatchewan.

An avid gardener and voracious consumer of novels, Dorothy was happiest on painting trips to the Rockies with her family and close friends, or out in the fields battling mosquitos and strong wind to capture a particular light or swiftly-moving cloud. (She was less excited when a mountain lion gave her a steely stare from the bushes.)
She was kind, humble, strong and encouraging, and is greatly mourned by her daughters Rebecca (Scott Minton), Catherine (Graham Fowler) and Carol (Mark Simpson), her grandchildren Molly Minton, Charles Fowler (Zoë Thiery fiancée), and Stephanie Fowler, and sister-in-law Elizabeth Cheveldayoff.

A service to celebrate Dorothy’s life will be held at Saskatoon Funeral Home at 338 4th Ave N, Saskatoon, SK  on Sunday, May 21, at 1:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation


Celebration of Life

1:00 pm
Sunday, May 21, 2023
Saskatoon Funeral Home
338 - 4th Avenue North
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
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