Earl W. North was born in Haskins, Ohio in 1904. He studied music as a child and became accomplished on the violin and saxophone. When he was twelve he began learning the watchmaker’s trade from his father Frank North, who founded a jewelry business in 1899. Earl continued in what became F. North & Son Jewelry in Haskins for over fifty years.
Earl married Vardinique Crozier in 1926 and took up painting the same year after Vardinique game him a sketch box for Christmas and introduced him to Karl Kappes, one of Toledo’s finest artists and teachers. Earl and Karl Kappes became close friends, and painted together until Kappes’ death in 1944. Earl also studied under Carl Gaertner of the Cleaveland Institute of Art and participated in summer workshops with Emile Gruppe in Gloucester, Massachusetts and Harry Ballinger of the Rockport Art Association. He began exhibiting in 1932 when his oil painting was accepted into the 14th Annual Toledo Federation of Art Society’s juried show at The Toledo Museum of Art and he subsequently became a regular contributor to this event.
Earl was an active member of the Toledo Artists Club and studied watercolor with Walt Dehner at Bowling Green State University. His creativity flourished throughout a sixty-three year period. He was honored with numerous one-man shows, including a thirty-day show at the Toledo Museum of Art. In 1972 his work hung in the Ohio Governor’s mansion. Earl’s favorite subject was the Maumee River in Northwestern Ohio, but he also drew inspiration from Northern Michigan, where he vacationed each summer and from locales in Maine and Vermont. Beauty, craftsmanship and a spiritual response to nature are hallmarks of his landscape art. Earl died in December 1989.