Emily Carr was a Canadian painter, who is hardly known outside of Canada. She painted from the end of the nineteenth century through to the 1940's. Originally trained in England and France, she was well acquainted with the modernist movements springing up in Europe. On returning to Canada she was attracted and inspired by the native art and life of Native Americans and the environment in which they lived. However as she had initially no commercial success she abandoned painting and made her living by other means. However an exhibition of her work awakened a new interest and she started painting again in the 1930's.
The works from her second phase appear to be much looser and livelier than her earlier works, as she moved from watercolours to oils and drawing in charcoal. To me there is a wonderful spontaneity in her work with very free and expansive brush strokes. She captures the movement of the trees and undergrowth with wonderful freedom and on some occasions humour. At other times she captures the heaviness and oppressive feel of the forests in which she painted.
Her paintings of Native American objects such as Totem poles are obviously painted with love and understanding.
At other times she captures wider landscapes and skys, with an almost "Turnerish" on Van Gogh like abandon.
She obviously loved the environment in which she painted.
We almost nearly missed a notebook which she produced early in her career when she visited Alaska with her sister. This was full of really amusing cartoons of their adventures in Alaska, which you can see on an i-pad alongside the original notebook.
If you get a chance I would really recommend to this exhibition which goes on till March.