"All is grace, serenity and composure," says Helen Dow, who wrote the book The Magic Realism of Alex Colville. She adds: "This is a picture of a human being who has come to grips with reality." Yet, the skater is skating away from the viewer, not towards the viewer.
Completed in 1964, Colville's painting depicts a typical Canadian pastime, ice skating. The painter's wife, who served often as his subject, was an avid cyclist, swimmer and skater.