Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canadian artist Sarah Margaret Robertson was educated in Montreal, and began serious art studies at the age of nineteen on a Wood Scholarship to the Art Association of Montreal. There she attended life drawing classes and took instruction from William Brymner, Maurice Cullen and later Randolph Hewton.
During her last few years at the Art Association she joined fellow students, former students, several art teachers and other artists in the formation of the the Beaver Hall Group. A.Y. Jackson, the initial mover in the formation of the Beaver Hall Group, was the vital link between Beaver Hall and the Group of Seven.
Robertson’s influences were a meld of French Impressionism and Fauvism. Jackson said of her work that, “Sarah, gay and vivacious, painting her impressions of light and movement and colour…For her subject matter she did not go far afield, the subjects of most of her paintings were in or about Montreal…her painting which expresses a bright, eager spirit with very definite convictions, sensitive to all the beauty of nature – the sun, the wind, the trees and fields and flowers. She was the good artist, interested above all else in art, and not too much concerned with ideologies or about the artist’s mission in life.”
In ‘Ice Cutting’, Robertson tackles a common subject of the period but takes a folk art approach in rendering the figures and horses. Flat and blocky, they nevertheless exude a tremendous charm and strike fond memories for the viewer.
Robertson exhibited with the Beaver Hall Group, the Art Association of Montreal, the Royal Canadian Academy, the Group of Seven, the Ontario Society of Artists, the Canadian Group of Painters, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada. Her work is represented in numerous public collections including the University of Alberta, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. She became a member of the Canadian Group of Painters in 1933.