Saturday, January 13, 2018

A Contrast In Artistry

One of the changes in the Canadian collection included setting a large series of paintings together in this room as you see here, with a contrast in the foreground: an outstandingly crafted traditional birchbark canoe.

The painting at the far right in the above is this one. Lawren Harris painted Afternoon Sun, North Shore, Lake Superior in 1924 some years after the first of his many trips to this mighty lake. 

Franklin Carmichael was one of Harris' fellow members in the Group of Seven. The Upper Ottawa, Near Mattawa is a 1924 oil painting capturing a high view of the Ottawa River. Mattawa is a village some hours northwest of the capital, and still a rugged area today. Carmichael uses the lone pine as his central focus, a concept often used by his colleagues in the Group.

War Scenes is the title of this 1926 work by a Blackfoot artist named White Wolf, using pictographs in the style of his people to recount history.

A tunic, mittens, and knife sheath are presented here. These are replicas of an outfit from the 1800s that was typical of the Gwich'in, and done from 2002 into 2003 by six members of the tribe. Maureen Wright, Karen Colin, Emily Francis, Patsy Krutko, Cheryl Moore, Karen Wright-Fraser, and Lucy Ann Yakelaya crafted these items as a replica of the original. The Gwich'in would wear these caribou hide items in summer in their homelands- the Mackenzie River delta and the northern stretches of the Yukon.

Burnt Land is a 1915 oil painting by Tom Thomson, depicting the aftermath of a wildfire.

Northern River is another Thomson, done in 1914-15. 

The Jack Pine is one of Thomson's iconic works, finished in the winter before his death in 1917, based on an oil sketch at Grand Lake, a place he spent time at in Algonquin Park. The location in question is preserved today in the park- a hiking trail leads to the very spot where Thomson painted at, though the pine itself is gone.


  1. These photos are all teasers in that they leave me wanting to know more...more about the subjects, more about the artists. I especially liked the painting of Lake Superior's North Shore, having spent time in that area.

  2. More wonderful paintings! I also like the canoe.

  3. Another fine series of artworks depicting history William, beautifully shown here, merci beaucoup ✨

  4. Great photos of these incredible works of art.. Those Canadians caught the essence of the landscape, that’s for sure.

  5. Hello, I love the paintings, very pretty. The canoe is outstanding. Happy weekend to you!

  6. I love today's paintings, especially the Franklin Carmichael. It is as if we are on those rocks with him.


  7. Repeating myself...The Group of Seven is one of my favorites.

  8. I like the way they have hung those pictures together like that. It has a sort of homey look to it.

  9. @Lowell: that area is a beautiful part of my country.

    @Marleen: the canoe suits that spot well.

    @Grace: you're welcome.

    @Tom: it certainly is.

    @Marie: they did indeed.

    @Eileen: thanks!

    @Janis: that's true.

    @Red: they were amazing artists.

    @Sharon: it does, yes.

  10. gorgeous canoe ... curious if their construction is more long lasting compared to the ones you can buy in the store?? ( ;

  11. Lovely museum display shots ~

    Happy Weekend to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  12. Some wonderful artworks, William.

  13. The Thomson works are wonderful! I also love that canoe - it is beautiful!

  14. I love the work of the Group of Seven which I was first introduced to when staying in Toronto. Whilst there I also visited the McMichael Canadian Art Collection out in the countryside at Kleinburg which houses a large collection of Tom Thomson's paintings.

  15. I've always liked Tom Thompson paintings, and also the later abstract work of Lawren Harris. There are many Group of Seven paintings at the McMichael Gallery in Kleinburg, not far from me, and also at the AGO in Toronto. I think it's time for another trip to one of the Galleries.

  16. @Beth: this is a lot longer lasting!

    @Carol: thanks!

    @Catalyst: indeed!

    @RedPat: Thomson was quite talented.

    @Rosemary: it's been years since I've been to the McMichael, but it is an amazing collection.

    @Shammickite: art is always good to spend time in, and both of those galleries are well worth it.

  17. A wonderful collection of paintings and a beautiful canoe.

  18. Being an avid canoeist, I'd love sometime to paddle and actually honest-to-goodness birchbark canoe.

  19. That really looks a wonderfully crafted traditional birchbark canoe...

    All the best Jan

  20. Nice variety of art works again, William.

  21. 'Northern river' is my favourite.