Going to art museums in other countries is one of my favorite things to do. Well, honestly, going to museums in the US is also a best-loved pastime of mine.
Since I have gone to so many museums over the years, what really fascinates me now is finding artists who have been unfamiliar to me. So, I don't go to just any museums if I can help it. No, I want to spend time in museums that house work by artists that are particularly well known in their country, but maybe not so well known in my own.
Several years ago, when visiting Montreal, Canada, I was introduced to Emily Carr. Emily Carr was born in 1871, and made her living as an artist when doing so as a woman was difficult.
Like me, Carr had an endless love of nature, particularly trees in the forest. Rather than capture the location indicating every blade of grass and leaf on the trees, she was more interested in her perceptions and feelings regarding the place she was committing to paper or canvas. I do the same.
Here is a quote by Carr that illuminates her thoughts. " A painting must be more than a copy of the woods and fields: it must be about space, colour, and light. The painting itself was more than what was before us—it had a life of its own independent of the objects or places it represented. Therefore, colours did not have to 'match' those of nature; instead, they should express the artist's feelings about the subject."
An interesting bit of trivia about Carr's technique is that she diluted her oil paint with gasoline. I, on the other hand, use water mixable oil and no solvents at all. I can't imagine what gasoline must have done to Carr's health, but there is no evidence that she was adversely impacted by it's use. She lived to the age of 74.
My heart beats in sympathy with Carr's goal in making landscapes, I make every effort to express how I feel about the place I am visiting. Here are some of my recent pieces along with some of Emily Carr's work.
You will see that our art is very different. That said, Carr's work ethic, tenacity, and love of nature inspire me immensely.
Do you see any similarity between my work and Emily Carr's? Let me know in the comments below.
On the Way, 12x12 inches, Pastel ©Lynn Goldstein
Three Reds #2, 24 x 18 inches, Oil on Linen, © Lynn Goldstein
Wood Interior, Oil on Canvas by Emily Carr
Totem Walk at Sitka, Watercolor on Paper by Emily Carr