Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"sketch"


i recently read a book that delwyn mentioned wayyyy back in bloggy history
when she was writing about another emily.

the book entitled "sketch" was written by the canadian artist emily carr.

a very long time ago i came across emily's artwork.
forest, british columbia


"above the gravel"


"above the trees"

shortly after i came across her artwork i picked up an amazing book written by emily many years ago entitled "klee wyck" so i was familiar with her writing. her style consists of gently detailed brief bursts of observation that allow insight into her own inner workings as much as those around her.

"sketch" places her in 1902 at the age of 21 (see the photograph of her above) as an art student whose health was so affected by overwork that she was placed in a sanatorium for eighteen months. her depiction of the sheer drudgery and artificiality of that experience is a bit overwhelming at times but there are moments of lightness:

"it's a bad, mad, crazily brambled snarly place riddled with rabbit holes; it's a bedlam of bird song. nobody goes there; i just came upon it by chance. here! i picked this posy for you there - all wild."
"i must see this place, scrap, is it far?"
"too far for you."
"tell me the way."

"immediately after our noon dinner i slipped out the side door without anyone seeing, past my birds' cage, skirted the san's big field, crossed the highway, found the lane that dwindled into a narrow footpath and ended in the warren. it was indeed a wilderness! tired i flung my body down upn the hot earth and shut my eyes, leaving free my other senses - feeling, smelling, hearing."

brambles clutched and wove themselves about everything. under the tangle of gorse and broom bushes gaped the cool mouths of rabbit holes; deep in them rabbits were sleeping, waiting for the cool of evening to release the kick in their long hind legs. like the rabbits, i too was soon fast, fast asleep."


to learn more about emily (and i mean much much more) then the very best place to visit is the webpage dedicated to absolutely everything emily which you can find right here.

30 comments:

Margaret Pangert said...

hi Steven~ Loved it! Something very expressionist or fauve to it. I was struck with her obsessive interest in rabbits and their warrens, as though she was swirling from cubicle to cubicle and going down the rabbit hole! I love the sweetness in her face, a very vulnerable young lady.

acornmoon said...

This post brings to mind the work of Van Gogh.

Kay said...

thanks for introducing me to emily carr....i immediately love her!!...i have a bedlam of birdsong here every morning..and i look forward to reading more about her 'hodge podge life'...you find such amazing things to tell us about steven..thanks again.

Delwyn said...

Hello Steven

The second image reminds me of The Scream for some reason...maybe the reverberations...but the third I find lovely - being a blue and green tree on sky kind of person...

thanks for telling me about your Emily...

Happy days

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

I think a fascinating look at how minds work in so different ways.

I wonder what the value of the paintings are these days?

Your observation of me in the wig made me laugh. I didn't expect this reverse feeling -- trying to make others laugh and getting it back.

steven said...

hello margaret, her later writing is richer and more focussed. she was a really bright and talented woman whose effect on the canadian painting scene was initialy minimized by vurtue of the time and of course her gender. she is now respected for the tremendous influence she had as well as her amazing artwork itself. have a lovely day. steven

steven said...

hi acornmoon, yes it has something of his swirling paint strokes. steven

steven said...

hello kay - i would recommend her book "klee wyck" over the one featured here but the website i linked at the bottom of my post will tell you more about her and her writing/painting. have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

hi delwyn, i love the fluidity of her work but i especially love the open sky and forest scenes as well!!! have a lovely evening by the river. steven

steven said...

hello abe - emily carr paintings are usually over a million a piece nowadays!! clearly she was an inspired and clever person, but not entirely recognized for her true worth in her own time. the mark of many an important artist!!! have a great day abe!!!! steven

Alaine said...

Steven, thanks for that link to Emily. I had a brief look; my gosh, she must have had either a pen or a brush in her hand every hour awake! I'll go back for a longer browse soon. Cheers.

steven said...

hello alaine - the creative energy flowed through her like a river!!! steven

ellen abbott said...

Enjoyed these. Thanks steven.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Steven, thank you for this lovely feature of Emily Carr. She was quite the woman. Her work is just so quintessentially British Columbia - green, lush, bigger than big, often forcing you to look up. Truly a Canadian treasure this Emily Carr.

willow said...

I adore Emily Carr and posted on her last year sometime. Her paintings of trees are simply magical. And I particularly like her strong self portrait. Super lovely post, Steven.

Golden West said...

Those are some strong images and remind me a great deal of German expressionism. Thanks for introducing me to yet another new talent from the century gone by.

jinksy said...

Found 'Klee Wyck' where I could read some of it online. Now I'd really like to get my hands on the proper book, to read it all!

The Bug said...

I agree with Delwyn - the second painting definitely evoked The Scream. I really like her style a lot! Maybe I can find some prints - definitely can't afford $1,000,000 for an original!

Barry said...

I am a big fan of Emile Carr's artwork, but hadn't read her book. I've seen several of her paintings at the AGO and the McMicheal Gallery at Kleinburg, and you really need to see the originals to appreciate the textures.

Thanks for this excellent post steven.

Linda said...

Emily Carr is loosely considered one of the group of seven who included way more than seven artists. She would be the only female and the only westerner, although the eastern artisits did travel out west. Her style has impressionist and expressionist elements. You can tell she lived in a rainforest. The green and blue paint she used always looks damp, like it has been sitting in the rain. Mossy and still vibrant after all these years. Great post, Steven! I'm missing the sunflowers, but the fall red colours are nice too.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Where do you find all these wonderful writers and pictures steven - you seem to have a never ending supply.

steven said...

hello ellen, i'm glad you had a look see!!! steven

steven said...

hello bonnie - i agree. she is so much a treasure and not entiely overlooked bu somehow marginalized next to the group of seven. but i like her as a person. eccentric, talented, driven. an amazing woman. steven

steven said...

hello weaver - my memory is rich with artists and musicians and writers. my search engine is richer. i dig and dig and dig to get beneath the surface where i am told there are riches!!!! it's all true. steven

steven said...

hi linda - i teach my grade sixers that emily was part of the group of eight - reduced to the group of seven when they realized they couldn't include a girl (for whatever reason!!!). she belongs right up there with them in terms of her vision, her unique depiction of the canadian landscape. i love that you see the damp in her work. it's so present. it's such a vital piece of her seeing of the coast. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

hi barry, i remember as a young boy going to the mcmichael. my buddies and i cruised the rooms quickly - looking without seeing. at one point i was on my own, in a room with some very big paintings. i remember one was a lawren harris. my favourite group of seven artist. i felt the paintings in that room barry - you know what i mean by "felt"! since then i've only seen group of seven paintings in two dmensions. not a bad thing but not th best!!! have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

hi golden west - there are some elements of german expressionism in her work for sure. then there's something deeply and intimately canadian. thanks fo visiting!!! steven

steven said...

awww thanks willow very much!!! i really love her work and have a huge book of her artwork that i share with my class just because so many women get shoved off to the side!!! sweet evening at the manor. steven

Dervish said...

the textural richness of her work has always appealed to me; the almost tactile quality draws me in, and makes me imagine living surrounding by the fantastical landscapes she presents.

Kathleen said...

oooooooo.....aaaaaaaaa.......beaUUUUUUUUtiful!!!

I didn't realize she was considered one of the Group of Seven.

Gorgeous paintings. Oh, how I wish I could paint!

Do you suppose to "overwork" meant to have OCD in today's terms?