There, I said it. I adore her, her work and always get a lift from viewing her art.
My beautiful daughter took me to the Vancouver Art Gallery last night. They have the longstanding Emily Carr exhibit which includes her “Tree” paintings, forest paintings and sketches. It doesn’t include any pottery or baskets but seeing those paintings again is enough, and awe inspiring.
Emily Carr ( December 13, 1871 – March 2, 1945) is the most famous Canadian female artist. She was many things besides a painter. She was an explorer, a teacher, a basket weaver, a writer, a traveler, potter, with much of her art inspired by the first nations.
I was a student of painting at one time (oil painting) and sold some of my paintings before moving on to painting furniture then many, many other creative endeavors. Growing up in Canada, on the west coast, we heard about the modernist artist, Emily Carr (born in Victoria, B.C.) from an early age. The paintings of hers that speak to me the most are the nature and native paintings though she presented many other subjects and styles. I love the flow, movement, modernism, whimsical nature, color and life in her landscape, forest and tree paintings especially. Her autobiographical work was, Klee Wyck (a name given to her by the Ucluelet, meaning, “Laughing One”) and I believe she used that name as a mark on her pottery as well. The book chronicles her life with the First Nations.
Emily Carr was also close with the famous “group of seven”, a group of Canadian landscape painters, representing Canadian nature.
Though she was not first nations, she spent a long time with them and they are very well represented in her art. You will see much of Totem poles and first nations art in her works.
Her painting, The Crazy Stair (The Crooked Staircase) reached $3,393,000, a record for an Emily Carr work at a Canadian auction.
The Crazy Stair
Looking at her Tree paintings, you can see the style is representative of the mood of the forest. You will see movement and bold brush strokes, flowing ribbons and waves of shapes and color, an art nouveau swirling tree trunk, an ethereal forest scene, a whimsical landscape, a Van Gogh sky. I hate to call in other artists styles but it helps give a sense to those who do not know Emily Carr’s nature work. She presented a range of styles throughout her life, her later works putting her on the map, so to speak.
Here are a few images of Emily Carr paintings.
One of my faves of Emily Carr, Loggers Culls, 1935
oil on canvas
You can view more information about Emily Carr, her life and works HERE
the Vancouver Art Gallery
A Emily Carr inspired perfume is coming soon :)