The reproduction here of the watercolour Lake McArthur is an example of the result of [the artist’s] mountain wanderings. This lake is above timberline, rising, treeless, in the pure air, and Phillips is inclined to think, after all his eyes have seen in the Rocky Mountains, that is is the most beautiful of all the lakes in that region whcih holds so much that is lovely in its iron grasp. […] It was painted from a sketch made in 1936 and was purchased by the Art Association of Montreal in 1940.
In 1936, Phillips was invited to illustrate a book entitled Colour in the Canadian Rockies by Frederick Niven. Phillips travelled to Banff with his wife, all expenses paid, and proceeded to visit the most famous sites in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks. The result was a series of 32 watercolours which were reproduced in the book when it was published the following year. In addition, Phillips made a number of pen and ink drawings for the book. These drawings are in the collection of the Glenbow Museum.
The titles of the watercolours as given in the book are as follows: