Inspired by Emily Carr

“It is wonderful to feel the grandness of Canada in the raw.”

– Emily Carr

In our class today at Blessed Sacrament Catholic School we were inspired by the Canadian artist, Emily Carr. We used chalk pastel, oil pastel and acrylic paint to create our own pieces inspired by her Plumed Firs painting.

Emily Carr was born in Victoria, British Columbia in 1871. She was the second youngest of six children. She grew up surrounded by the rugged landscape of British Columbia which inspired her passion for nature, animals and art.

Emily Carr studied art in San Francisco, London and Paris and returned to Vancouver to teach art to children.

Carr was inspired by the indigenous people of the Pacific North West Coast. Her painting style has been characterized as a modern approach to post-impressionism. Her favourite subjects included aboriginal themes, landscapes and in particular, forest scenes with tall trees.

Carr used charcoal and watercolour for her sketches, and later house paint thinned with gasoline.  Her later work was oil on canvas or paper.

When she was 57 years old, the National Gallery of Canada was organizing an exhibition of West Coast Aboriginal art and Carr was invited to participate. Here she met members of the Group of Seven, and in particular, Lawren Harris who was to become her mentor.  Harris told Carr, who had felt unappreciated as an artist, “you are one of us.” This acceptance re-energized her career.

Emily Carr died on March 2, 1945.

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