Saturday, July 8, 2017

Painting Canada

Tom Thomson and The Group of Seven

In the early decades of the 20th century, circumstances brought together
several artists who explored and fell in love with various Canadian landscapes.
They agreed that the country's magnificent wilderness regions
needed to be recorded in a painting style that captured an untouched beauty
of the landscapes that inspired them.
Tom Thomson's paintings...The West Wind and The Jack Pine are 2 of the Group's most iconic pieces.
A large collection of the work from The Group of Seven can be found at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto...the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa...the Ottawa Art Gallery...and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario.
A. Y. Jackson's Red Maple (1914) was painted in Algonquin Park.
The artists of this group travelled throughout Ontario...from the southern wilderness areas to those of Lake Superior...and further north into the Arctic searching to brush-record Canada's beauty.

Wild Women Painters of the Wilderness”: Linda Sorensen, residing in the Madawaska Valley (in the Ottawa area), the daugher of a long-time friend, attended Lord Nelson High School in Burlington and was fortunate in having Robert Bateman as her Art teacher. Today she is a painter of recognition, who with a couple other artists in her locale, travel to Algonquin Park and by canoe, search locations to 'wilderness-paint'! This past year they published a wonderful table-top book displaying their work.
Linda comments: It is my aspiration to convey my vision of our natural world
and its beauty...and in doing so, to inspire humanity to respect nature
and be stewards of our wilderness and wildlife habitat.

Robert Bateman: Born in Toronto and residing in Burlington several years, he is a highly recognized Canadian Wildlife artist of birds, animals and their woodland habitats who states, “Nature is an infinite source of reason, inspiration and environment. Enchanted by the natural world around me, my sensibilities extend beyond a passion for conservation.
(As the writer of this article, I am so fortunate to have a couple sizeable
numbered prints of his of wolves and the other an eagle;
in addition...several small framed prints hang in my bedroom.)

From Sea to See: Celebrating 150 Years with 150 Works of Art.
Regina Haggo, art historian, public speaker, curator and former professor at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, teaches art at the Dundas Valley School of Art. Weekly, in The Hamilton Spectator, she publishes articles of interest. To celebrate Canada's 150 birthday, she wrote and displayed colour renditions of Canadian artists, whose works are presented currently at Gallery on the Bay...located at 231 Bay Street, N. In Hamilton.
The exhibition comprises 150 paintings, prints, sculptures and textiles
by 25 artists celebrating Canada. The landscapes are complemented by images
of human figures, animals and birds.
In addition to works by their current stable of artists, they invited three others who paint the Yukon, Nunavut and The Northwest Territories. Four colour pictures appeared in The Spec's June 30, issue.
Fiona Ellis, one of the invited artists offers drama and colour in
McKenzie Mountain Barrens, Nunavut”
We find ourselves in an uninhabited tundra landscape that moves upward along a narrow river, painted white with occasional blue and mauve dabs. Diagonal streaks of mostly mauve and yellow add a strong sense of mood and movement to the sinuous hills.
Michael Dobson's Double Harvest
paints Alberta as a sunny and spacious place. He divides his composition into two almost equal parts, placing low-lying farmland under a big blue sky.
Jody Joseph took to the streets of Dundas in a series of house paintings.
Each home flew its own flag, but there was a statement of unity, pride, allegiance
and identity that related them to one another.
The home illustrated was a two-storey white stucco of heritage era.
(Each of the foregoing paintings was titled with a phrase from our national anthem.)

The fourth illustration published was a Woodland Buffalo designed silk scarf
by Angela DeMontigny...a well-known native Canadian designer
who grew up in Vancouver and now lives in Hamilton.
The skull of a buffalo, centred on the scarf reflects the importance of the buffalo
to the plains nations. Woodland flowers embellish the skull
and eagle feathers encircling it refer to the artist's Cree/Metis heritage.

From Coast to Coast to Coast
Last evening CBC had a wonderful musical presentation from Canada's provinces and territories...each honouring Canada Day. I was impressed with all...especially from Nunavut. What a delight it was, ending the day, uniting the peoples of our vast nation...“our home and native land”!

Merle Baird-Kerr...written July 2, 2017

1 comment:

  1. TOM WRITES: "Hi excellent write-up...
    I really enjoyed it!"