Artists find their muse in Headwaters

Wayne Townsend


For generations, the Hills of Headwaters region has been recognized by artists as a destination where inspiration can be realized. Their art has graced magazine covers, greeting cards, calendars, magazine covers, and can be seen hanging on the walls of collectors from around the world.

Local historian and former curator, Wayne Townsend and his partner John have a particular favourite. In their home on one of Orangeville’s historic, tree-lined streets, you will see the art of Thomas Albert Stone (1894-1978). Stone was born in Herefordshire, England in 1894 and moved to Canada in 1914. He moved to Alton in 1921 and took up residence in Cataract, where he lived until his death in 1978. Stone studied art at eh Ontario College of Arts and was awarded the Governor General’s Award in 1925, which a student at the College. Stone continued the study of his craft in Paris, France, but eventually moved back to Ontario, where he became a member and director of the Ontario Society of Artists in the 1930s. His primary mediums were oil and lithography , focusing primarily on the landscape genre, many of which were clearly inspired by his home based in the Hills of Headwaters.   Some of his paintings include “Snow and Ice, Caledon Hills”, “Fresh Snow, Belfountain”, “Bright Morning, Caledon” and “Winter Falls, Credit River”, to name a few. Stone was well known for his “great skill in the handling of snow, especially with the impressions of the gleam of waning sunlight on it.”

According to Signe Ball, publisher In the Hills magazine, “our hills, fields, forests, rivers and historic villages offer a fabulous visual resource. Not only do they change dramatically from season to season, but literally from moment to moment with the play of light and shadow.”

Thomas Stone, like so many artists before and after him, have embraced the spectacular beauty of the Hills of Headwaters to inspire their creativity. Today artisans and visitors can be found exploring the region, cameras or sketchbooks in hand, discovering their own muse in the Hills of Headwaters.