In this paper, I would like to discuss and evaluate the works of such Canadian artists as Emily Carr and Jack Bush, who represent different schools of painting, impressionism, and abstractionism. I have chosen them because their principles are very dissimilar to one another, and each of them produces a peculiar effect on the viewer. As regards Emily Carr, it should be pointed out that she drew her inspiration from French impressionism. In part, she relied on the principles developed by Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet and many others. Her artistic manner can be characterized by the fluidity of the palette, which means that one color seems to flow into another. Secondly, it can be observed that she often takes a very unusual angle on the subject that she portrays. Among her most famous works, one can single out such as Totem Forest, Scorned as Timber, the Beloved of the Sky, Above the Trees and so forth (The Center for Canadian Studies, p. 1).
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The feature, which interests and attracts me most, is her attempts to combine her own impressions with realistic descriptions of nature. In her picture, Scorned as Timber, Emily Carr tries to depict the impact of human beings on the environment, she deliberately focuses on the image of the lonely tree, the only one, which has not been cut down; the tree embodies the vulnerability of nature (The Center for Canadian Studies, p. 1). Her works are very symbolic, and this is also very appealing because symbolism gives much room for interpretation. Furthermore, many of her landscapes are renowned for the masterful use of colors. Emily Carr strives to recreate the dynamics of reality. For example, the smoothness of the lines is meant to render the movements of the clouds or the breath of wind. This effect is very difficult to achieve, it takes prodigious skills to do it. Thus, Emily Carrs works are so distinguished because the author tries to interweave impressionism and realism into a single entity, this is by far the most interesting aspect.
Speaking about Jack (John) Bush, I have to acknowledge that I am not a devotee of abstractionism. Certainly, this is just my subjective opinion, yet, I will try to substantiate it. First, the images are so vague, that it is not quite clear, which idea the artist wants to render. Under some circumstances, it appears that abstractionist pictures are virtually meaningless. Jack Bush is most famous for such paintings as Sea Deep, Yellow Thrust, Green Loop etc (Fenton, p. 1). One cannot deny, he brilliantly plays with colors, but in my opinion, his works are too schematic. Additionally, in the vast majority of cases, the palette is very extremely monotonous. Of course, some people can disagree with me by saying that in this way Jack Bush invents new artistic forms. Like many abstractionists, Jack Bush employs geometric figures for instance rectangles, however, since the time of Kazimir Malevich and his Black Square, this technique has become obsolete. Perhaps, I am making a generalization but occasionally the adherents of abstractionism develop new grotesque and unusual approaches to painting only to justify their lack of skills and proficiency. This is why such style does not appeal very much to me. My opponents may argue that this is a way of self-expression but in this case, the expressive means are very limited and narrow.
- The Center for Canadian Studies. “Emily Carr’s Vision of the Pacific Northwest” (2001).
- Terry Fenton, Canadian Encyclopedia. “Bush, John Hamilton”, 2002.