Monday, June 27, 2011

My Favourite Canadian Art

By Cyn Gagen

carr gitwangakqueen charlotte islands1912

Gitwangak, Charlotte Islands, 1912, Emily Carr

Tonight on In the Zone, Roberta and I shared Canadian art in honour of the Canada Day holiday coming up on Friday. I began by sharing my three favourite Canadian artists:

carr totem walk at sitka  1907 carrBigRaven1931

Left: Totem Walk at Sitka, 1907, Emily Carr Right: Big Raven, 1931, Emily Carr

Emily Carr (December 13, 1871 – March 2, 1945) She was both an artist and writer who was greatly inspired by the Native Canadians of the Pacific Northwest Coast and did a lot for sharing the culture of the Pacific Northwest with others. She was one of the first painters in Canada to use a post-impressionist painting style.


Blunden Harbour, 1931, Emily Carr

There is a free stained glass pattern of the painting above available here: I could see it working well for paper crafting, art quilts, and many other things as well.

Carr didn’t receive much recognition for her work until she was quite a bit older and later in her life, the focus of her work moved from aboriginal themes to landscapes with a particular fondness for forest scenes. She was a contemporary and friend of the Group of Seven.

harris_lighthouse Father Point 1930

Lighthouse, Father Point, 1930, Lawren Harris

Lawren Harris was born in Brantford Ontario on October 23, 1885 and died January 29, 1970. He was well known as a member the Group of Seven and in fact, A. Y. Jackson (another member of the Group of Seven) has been quoted as saying that Harris was the one who provided the stimulus for the group. I’m actually not a huge fan of the Group of Seven as I find most of their work quite dreary but in the 1920s, Harris's work began to simplify his paintings and make them more abstract and colourful.


North Shore Lake Superior, 1926, Lawren Harris

This is when I start to really develop a love for his work. I quite love the cold, stark landscapes he began to focus on of the Canadian north. Around this same time he also stopped signing and dating his work because he wanted people to judge art on its own merit and not by the artist or when they were painted which I found a really interesting concept.

peelbeforethebath1892 PeelAftertheBath1890

Left: Before the Bath, 1892, Paul Peel Right: After the Bath, 1890, Paul Peel

Paul Peel was born here in London Ontario on November 7 and died in his sleep in Paris at the age of 32 from a lung infection. He was a Canadian academic painter. Academic art is a style of painting and sculpture influenced by European academies or universities. He received his first art training from his father at a very early age and later studied under experts in the US and Paris.

PeelYoungBiolgist1891 peelyoungbotanist1888

Left: The Young Biologist, 1891, Paul Peel Right: The Young Botanist, 1888, Paul Peel

He won a medal at the 1890 Paris Salon for his painting After the Bath which made him one of the first Canadian artists to gain world-wide recognition within his lifetime. He was well known for his pictures of children and nudes with a sentimental slant to them. In fact, he was one of the first Canadian artists to paint nudes.

I shared information about Inuksuit and showed how to make a small version for yourself. If you’d like to see more about them, check out this blog post:

If you’d like to see the show’s playback, here’s the link:

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