Canadian artist Ruth May Pawson was born in Stratford, Ontario, but at an early age she moved to Regina, Saskatchewan. She attended the Regina College of Art, where she studied practical art under Augustus Kenderdine and the History of Art and Art Appreciation under Professor Gordon Snelgrove.
After graduating with an Associate of Fine Arts degree, she attended the Emma Lake Summer School, where she did outdoor sketching under Kenderdine as well as summer sessions at the Banff School of Fine Arts under A.Y. Jackson.
She became a teacher in elementary schools and also taught a children’s Saturday morning class at the Regina College of Art. It was while she was teaching at Davin School in Regina in 1952 that Pawson’s landscape painting ‘Late Harvest’ was selected by a committee of the National Gallery of Canada for reproduction as a silkscreen by Sampson-Matthews Limited.
The painting, a Saskatchewan harvest scene, was done along the highway west of Brora, a few miles north of Regina. The broad prairie, its scenery and moods, were a fertile source for her painting, where she strove to capture the feeling of limitless space, freedom and serenity found in the prairies.
Pawson exhibited regularly. Exhibitions included a show at the art gallery on 13th floor of the Saskatchewan Power Corporation in Regina in1970, and at the Dunlop Gallery at the Regina Central Library in Regina in 1975.
In 1976, the Regina Public School Board named an elementary school in her honour. For her varied contributions to the province, Ruth Pawson received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 1993. She was Secretary to the Regina Branch of the Federation of Canadian Artists from 1951 to 1954.
Pawson is represented in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Banff School of Fine Arts, the Saskatchewan Arts Board and elsewhere.