Sunday, March 14, 2010

Forest Lover...Painter Emily Carr...

...the Majesty of Trees, Totems, Raw Nature... An amazing and inspiring woman whose paintings move me... to a place of mossy verdant misty lifegiving fertile ground...

...did a multitude of things women weren't supposed to do at that time. Traveled alone, unmarried, was an advocate of Nature, advocate of tribal peoples and conservateur of their vanishing art through her art...

While watching the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver that took place this last month, I was moved more than I expected to be as they progressed. Somehow, in thinking of the totem poles as they were represented, my mind went to a favorite book, The Forest Lover, by Susan Vreeland. The story of Emily Carr. Canadian. Woman. Writer. Lover of Trees. Oil Painter. Fearless Traveler. Chronicler of Vanishing Totem Poles.

Then as the amazing stage changed again, as the giant totems began to become trees, even as she was already on my mind, I saw her there, honored. The style of the trees under which the dancers danced was that of Emily Carr. (I can't find a clip or shot of that yet; will add it to this post if/when I do.)

She studied oil painting in France when women of her time were not to venture past water colors, were not to travel alone, were best not to remain unmarried, and certainly were not to traipse about the huge wilderness that is Canada without husband or guardian or female companion. All of these things she did and more.

I urge you to become familiar with her, with her work, if you are not already.

After viewing her work, perhaps this March, as the waters return, and the greening begins, you will see her in the trees, in the greens, and in the invisible intractable movement that is being. ALIVE.

To me, she has been an inspiration. And her work holds a place cached in the stronghold of my most daring and most reverent heart.

Emily Carr; December 13, 1871 - March 2, 1945

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