Toni Onley was born in 1928 on the Isle of Man, where he received his early training and was influenced by the work of the great British watercolorists.He came to Canada in 1948.
After moving to British Columbia in 1955, he studied in Mexico, at the Instituto Allende, and in London, England, where he studied etching and re-established his landscape roots with the Norwich School of Watercolor Painting. His course was now set toward the work he is best known for today: landscape of simplicity and power.
Public collections of Toni Onley's work include those at the Tate Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London England; the National Gallery of Canada; the Seattle Art Museum; the Vancouver Art Gallery; the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.
Mr. Onley was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, 1999. In 1999 he was also bestowed with an Honorary D. Litt. from Okanagan University College.
Toni was killed tragically on February 29, 2004 at the age of 75. He had been piloting his LA4 Buccaneer amphibious plane when it crashed into the Fraser River and became submerged.
A Silent Thunder.Prentice-Hall, 1981
Onley's Arctic.Douglasd McIntyre, 1991
The Walls of India.Onley/Woodcock, Lester & Orpen Dennys, 1985.
Toni Onley's British Columbia, A Tribute.Raincoast Books, 1999.
[photo: Yukiko Onley]