Home Art War Art Eric Painting “Mustangs in Readiness”
Eric Painting “Mustangs in Readiness” E-mail
Written by Michael LeBlanc   
Mustangs in Readiness :: Watercolour, 38.7 x 56.5cm, 1943 (War Museum of Canada)

This watercolour, “Mustangs in Readiness,” in the Museum of Civilization's collection, is Eric's 1944 depiction of Mustang fighters in England ready to intercept the enemy. In her collection of Eric's work Margaret Bridgman has a photograph of Eric standing at an easel working on this painting. Taken at face value, this photo depicts Eric completing the painting, although it could have been staged after the fact. This is not to say that Eric did not work al fresco; a clipping of a Toronto Star article by Gregory Clark (“War Artist Finds Out Eyes On Him All Time,” 1944), mentions Eric's backpack which contained a camera, paints, and water bottle, along with a hinged easel.

Eric Aldwinckle painting “Mustangs in Readiness” :: Collection of Margaret Bridgman

This photograph was in Eric's possession when he passed away in 1980, and this collection of photographs, drawings and other work was given to the care of his neice, Margaret Bridgman. They provide insights into Eric's work and methods that are missing from the collection of completed work and archives in the Crown's possession.


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My answer to this man’s query as to what my painting was to be was this:

“I am sorry I cannot tell you because what I see can only be described in form and colour, and I will show you when it is finished. To talk about it weakens the power to do it.” This same man, when it was finished, showed the least anticipation and the very least interest, for this man is unique and has purposes of his own too.

-Eric Aldwinckle, 1944