Critical Review of Paintings

CriticalReview of Paintings

EmilyCarr (1871-1945), was a post-impressionist Canadian painter, famedfor capturing the spirit of Canada through paintings. She neverreceived much recognition for her work until later in life. WildLilies(1890-93) is a still life picture that she handed to the sisters ofSt. Anne, Victoria, for taking care of her ailing sister. The drawingdepicts wild lilies in a vase on a table with overflowing flowers andsome have fallen on the table. The BeachScene with Stumps and Logsshows a beach with a house in the background and stumps and logs inthe foreground. TheSketch of Treesillustrates a swirling forest. Both artworks express the supremacy ofspirituality of nature.

Carrpreferred expressionism instead of reproducing nature in her works.The flowers depict her inner artistic essence that does not conformto imitation of exterior appearance of objects (Vancouver Art Gallery1). The dull green color of the leaves against a dark backgroundindicates that sought refuge and friendship in the environment. Itwas easy to see how the brush strokes create texture in the leavesand flowers. The white flowers signify new beginning, completion andperfection against a dark background. The flowers highlight how innerpeace can be derived from nature (Carr 25). The BeachScene with Stumps and Logsis an imitation painting that shows the beauty of landscapeContrary to TheSketch of Trees andWild Lilies, BeachScene with Stumps and Logs isbright and in warm colors.

Iwas fascinated with the Untitled Sketchof Treesthat contrasted with the theme of the WildLilies.The Sketchof Treesdepicts a swirling forest because everything seems to be in motion.The impasto technique where the brush strokes are visible on thesurface, creating an interesting texture creates interesting andbeautiful scenery that communicates with the viewer. The BeachScene with Stumps and Logshas visible brush strokes that create texture and interest on thestumps and logs. It does not have dark colors that denote fearinstead it highlights warmth and happiness (Baldiserra 20)

WildLilies, BeachScene with Stumps and Logsand Sketchof Treeshighlight flora in various forms. The flowers depict nature in itsquiet and calm state while the trees show its turbidity and strength.The beach scene shows nature in dead form in the foreground, its useto man through the house, and its natural and vibrant form manifestedthrough the trees in the background. Carr used swirling colors inthe forest, hence asserting the strength and spiritual of forests. Ienjoyed watching this painting because it creates an illusion ofmovement in the eyes, evoking a sense of a supernatural force in theair. The yellow color used in the opening signifies joy, energy andhappiness against the dark colors used in the forest that cause fearand anxiety. The dark frightening forest antagonizes the brightopening while evoking abundant spiritual vitality.The blue skycreates a feeling of calmness and lack of emotion while the swirlshint a spiritual presence. The light shining through the tree evokesan emotion of transcendence, ecstasy and spirituality. The thick andlong swirling brush strokes evoke a sense of sturdy movement thatmakes the forest look like a rolling green sea. The mood is ofregeneration and renewal against the struggles and hopelessness ofthe darkness.

Whilethe WhiteLilies signifiespeace and calmness, TheSketch of Treesdenotes movement while BeachScene with Stumps and Logsshows various forms and uses of nature.


Baldissera,Lisa. Emily Carr. Art Canada Institute. 2015. Web 17 June 2016.

Carr,Emily. GrowingPains: The Autobiography of Emily Carr.Vancouver, Canada: D&amp M Publishers, 2009. Print.

VancouverArt Gallery. EmilyCarr: A Biographical Sketch. 2016.Web 17 June 2016.