Emily Carr is my very favourite painter. I am moved to tears by her understanding of a beautiful, sentient universe – alive, dancing, swirling and breathing. Like her, I feel a profound reverence for First Nations’ art and culture. My children are Cree and Dutch-Canadian and I have lived in the north. I deeply admire her boldness, courage, talent and uncompromising style. Her trees and totem poles are particularly breathtaking.
As a child, I often went to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and was awed by the enormous totem pole that the central staircase wrapped around. When my husband and I traveled to the west coast a few years ago we were able to visit Sitka National Historic Park on a misty spring day. It is filled with Tlingit and Haida totem poles – some original, some recreated, all of them spectacular. I took many photos.
“Woman of the Deep Woods” is based on a detail shot of a feminine guardian of the deep woods, carved high into a totem pole. I made her eyes stand out to honour Emily Carr’s ability to see the world and create art in visionary new ways. I wanted the forest to move and dance.
On white cotton, I painted the figure using watercolours and the trees using Colour Vie Textile Medium. I machine quilted the outlines with black and invisible threads.
Woman’s Groundbreaking Accomplishment
Emily Carr was a Canadian author and artist, honored as the ”Mother of Modern Arts”. Her haunting, iconic paintings are richly spiritual, powerful and symbolic.
Whole cloth, hand painted.
Cotton, watercolours paints, textile paint.