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John & Katharine Maltwood Collection

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John & Katharine

Notable B.C. Artists in the Collection - Emily Carr

M964.1.111, Chill Day in June, by Emily Carr, 1938-1939.
Chill Day in June
by Emily Carr, 1938-1939


M964.1.110, Windswept Trees, by Emily Carr, c.1930.
Windswept Trees
by Emily Carr, c.1930

Katharine Maltwood occasionally visited Emily Carr at her studio or at summer sketching locations in the environs of Victoria. It was in this period, 1938-42, that the two Emily Carr's in the Maltwood Collection were purchased. Both are in the thinned down oil on paper sketching technique Carr developed in the early 1930's. Windswept Trees is a rough sketch with loose brushwork and free flowing colours. The swirling organic forms are full of energy and intense with the spirit of nature. Chill Day in June,75 a more fully finished work, shows the dense blue-green forests of the West Coast set beyond the reeling airy images of single trees in a logger's clearing. The sky is paticularly dramatic, pulsating with a hallucinatory, cool white heat. Throughout sweeping rhythmic lines suggest the infinite depths of nature.

By the 1930's Emily Carr had given up her Indian themes and turned deep into the land itself to search life's rhythms. "Painting was her way of worshipping God. She equated movement with spirit and among the cedars and on the beaches of Southern Vancouver Island, she found such animation that her paintings rock and sway in joyous celebration."76 It was this search to reveal glimpses of the inner life of natural forms and her intense realization of the fundamental unity of all life that made Emily Carr's work so appealing to Katharine Maltwood.



All content on this page is copyright © 7 February, 2006
Rosemary Brown, the Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery, and the University of Victoria

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