30″x36″ – 2020 – Acrylic on Canvas

Mt. Burgess 2020

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

Mt. Burgess 2020 – detail

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.

Isolation Peak

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.

Lawren Harris ‘Isolation Peak’ 1930 – 42″x50″
‘Mt. Burgess’ 2020 – 30″x36″

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/

Federation Gallery
1241 Cartwright Street
Vancouver, BC, Canada


‘Mt. Burgess’ 2020 – 30″x36″ – acrylic on canvas – UV Polymer Varnish – sold


  1. Upcoming Exhibitions - Art By Di on 03/02/2020 at 9:06 am

    […] Mt. Burgess was accepted into the FCA Group of Seven Exhibition and will be on display at the Federation Gallery on Granville Island! More details here: https://artbydi.ca/2020/02/02/mt-burgess/ […]

  2. Jim Wright on 03/02/2020 at 3:59 pm

    Di, this is all so wonderful! I too love Lauren Harris’s landscapes, but I haven’t seen “Isolation Peak” before. When I saw your “Mount Burgess” at the top, I thought you were insightfully making the landscape more like living geology than Harris did. But I now think you’ve just taken further what he was hinting at. For that sort of reason, among others, you and your “Mount Burgess” are worthy of your place in the Group of Seven 100th Anniversary Exhibition. Thank you, Di, for your ongoing cycle of appreciating, responding, sharing, appreciating, respon. . . .

    • artbydi on 03/02/2020 at 5:05 pm

      Thank you so much Jim for your wonderful feedback and continuous support. It warms my heart and is very much appreciated!!

  3. Doug Jost on 03/02/2020 at 5:38 pm

    “Must…get……..oxy..gen……” Phew! That work just, and I mean it, TOOK MY BREATH AWAY! Stunning! Stunning! Stunning! You are BETTER than the esteemed Mr Harris! Keep up the super-amazing work that delights my eyes every time I see what you’re up to! Much love from Quebec City!

    • artbydi on 03/02/2020 at 6:42 pm

      Oh my gosh Doug thank you so much!! I cannot accept this! Thank you SO MUCH for your support!

  4. Debbie Jiang on 31/05/2020 at 11:01 pm

    I just discovered you on Facebook via the Howe Sound Marine Reference Guide and cannot stop looking and admiring your paintings! When I saw your Mt Burgess I immediately thought “Lawren Harris” and sure enough it was intentionally done to honour him! I have seen Harris’ works many times in Ottawa at the NAG and also at the McMichael, and must say that your paintings should be shown right alongside the Group of Seven’s! We need more west coast artists to show the rest of Canada the beauty Howe Sound! I love your style and your use of bluesand the mountain “layering”, but most of all the orcas which are my all-time favourites, especially the SRKW! Thank you for the colouring pages too!

    • artbydi on 17/07/2020 at 8:31 am

      Hi Debbie, I am so sorry for the delay seeing this message, thank you so much for your kind words and for sending the beautiful orca mask!

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