Ralph Wallace Burton (1905-1983) was a well known Ottawa Valley artist who was a student of, regular painting companion and friend to A.Y. Jackson, Maurice Haycock and Stuart D. Helmsley.
Burton was born in Newington, Ontario and first studied art for three years under Prof. Chaume. He then studied art professionally in Ottawa (1923–24). Burton also served with the RCAF from 1940-1947, but continued to paint during this time. While serving in the armed forces, he studied at the Banff School of Fine Arts under A.Y. Jackson and later went on sketching trips with him in the Rockies.
In 1949, Burton was back in Ottawa, and held exhibitions of his paintings at Photographic Stores. He continued to go on sketching trips with A.Y. Jackson in Gatineau, Quebec, as well as with Maurice Haycock.
Over a period spanning more than 20 years, Burton and Jackson travelled the lengths of Eastern Ontario and Quebec, as well as Alberta, Alaska and the Yukon territory together, depicting the environs, physical structures and, less frequently, the people of the regions they visited.
Burton is often referred to as a plein air artist whose body of work focuses largely on natural Canadian landscapes in formidable climates.