Visit with Emily Carr

In British Columbia, I got to spend some time sitting with Emily Carr’s paintings, which I have loved for decades. At the Vancouver Gallery–the art museum–they had a show of her forest paintings. Much of her work is trees in any case, but seeing these all together, I was struck by how the center of each painting seems illuminated. A first I thought the forests were giving some kind of glow, but then I realized the paintings really do have an inner source of light–literal as well as figurative.

I spent long minutes with numerous pantings in the museum in Whistler, just bringing a portable chair up close and contemplating the art before me. These are just snapshots–it’s worth a google image search or an art book if you don’t know Carr’s work.

She shares things with Georgia O’Keefee–she’s a modernist, a painter of place, who has become an icon. She also painted the art work of First Nations in situ–small remote villages that were abandoned or headed that way.

Carr was a self-willed person–unusual in a provincial late Victorian society–and although no doubt considered an eccentric spinster in her day–in ours she seems an ecstatic artist and visionary.

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About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well ( The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

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