30″x36″ – 2020 – Acrylic on Canvas
A few years ago I was introduced to the remarkable work of Lawren Harris. He was a member of the Canadian ‘Group of Seven’ and an avid painter of the Rocky Mountains. Lawren’s landscape work is almost timeless with its abstract clean lines and pioneering modernism. Someone brought up his style in reference to mine- the shapes, lines and bold color. I could hardly believe that my little paintings were even mentioned in the same sentence as his masterpieces! It wasn’t until I experienced his oil paintings first hand at the AGO in 2018 that I really fell in love with his work.
Upon hearing about the Federation of Canadian Artists “Group of Seven 100th Anniversary Exhibition” I thought this was an excellent opportunity to pay homage to artists that helped shape the landscape (pun intended!) for future Canadian artists – myself included. And without a doubt it was the unique and legendary style of Lawren Harris that I wanted to honor.
The Burgess Shale
Many times I have traveled through the Rocky Mountains of Canada and the US. There is something powerful and grounding about the mountains; their immense size, rugged shapes and ancient geologic history. The Rockies were formed 55 to 80 million years ago when tectonic plates began sliding under the North American plate, uplifting layers of rock, creating the peaks and valleys of the mountains. They were then further sculpted by erosion- water, wind and ice.
The Burgess Shale is a layer of sedimentary rock dating to about 508 million years (middle Cambrian) that extends throughout Yoho National Park and the surrounding mountains. Being particularly fond of Yoho, and the paleozoic fossils of the Burgess Shale, I was drawn to portray Mt. Burgess and Emerald Lake in this painting.
I absolutely love most of Lawren’s works but the colors and shadows in ‘Isolation Peak’ have to be my favorite. I felt that the turquoise water of Emerald Lake and the brown shales of the Burgess fossil beds really jived with the warm and cool tones. So for my own painting I took a lot of inspiration and reference from his 1930 oil on canvas piece.
Group of Seven 100th Anniversary Exhibition
“2020 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Group of Seven. Group of Seven founders, including Lawren Harris, Arthur Lismer, and A.Y. Jackson were also founding artists for the Federation of Canadian Artists. We’re honoring their 100th Anniversary with a celebratory exhibition of member artwork, inspired by the group, their style and favorite subject matter.”
A huge thank you to the Federation of Canadian Artists for accepting ‘Mt. Burgess’ into the exhibition! It will run at the Federation Gallery on Granville Island from February 18th until March 1st, 2020.
The exhibition will also be available to view and purchase works online via the Federation Gallery website: https://federationgallery.com/
‘Mt. Burgess’ 2020 – 30″x36″ – acrylic on canvas – UV Polymer Varnish – sold