I decided I needed a bit of color in my copying, so here’s the next Emily Carr copy. (I deliberately print the web images that I use on poor quality paper — see the photo above) so I’m forced to work a bit harder in the copying process.
Emily Carr, Forest in British Columbia, 1932 — a web version
June Underwood, copy of Emily Carr’s Forest in British Columbia, draft 1. I’m sure it will be changed after the paint sets a bit.
I note a couple of things here: I can’t resist hyping the color, even when I know I’m doing it.
And part of Carr’s command of technique in her forest paintings probably came from her classical art training. Carr trained in Britain and France at the turn of the 20th century; she went to art schools known for their teaching of “conventional” (ie not impressionistic dabbing) techniques. She undoubtedly practiced drawing and painting classically draped statues for weeks and months.
I didn’t notice how like draped cloth her forest forms are until one of my friends said her memory of Carr’s forest was of cowled figures. Bingo! the drapery of the cloth, the drapery of the forest, along with its magnificent mystery. Now all I have to do if figure out how to paint like that.
I haven’t spent years studying the drape of cloth and how to depict it in paint. So I’m going to be slow at incorporating this. But I am reminded of a poem, the first 100 lines of which I once memorized: ” This is the forest primeval; the murmuring pines and the hemlocks,/ bearded with moss and in garments of green,/ stand like druids of eld….”
It’s Evangeline, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and he was writing of French Acadians, who were removed from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in the 18th century. Longfellow wrote his poem in 1847. The sense of the forest that Carr recognized and evoked still existed in the 1930’s.
But alas, I fear spandex has wiped out all ability to draw or paint draped Romanesque figures, whether trees or humans. — sorry, I couldn’t resist the spandex comment; I could have spoken of t-shirts as well. –June