Kate Braid

From the blog

Emily Carr: Rebel Artist

“The more isolated Emily felt from her family, the more she clung to the idea of painting. No doubt her sisters saw it as a mere hobby, a pastime. But Emily’s dream of becoming an artist was nurtured by the French painter C.A. de L’Aubinière and his English artist-wife, Georgina, who probably taught Emily briefly in 1886.

“She was in awe of them because they were the first ‘real’ artists she had met – but she was oddly disappointed when she saw their pictures. Their landscapes did not seem at all Canadian to her, though no one yet knew exactly what a ‘Canadian’ painting should look like. In the European tradition, landscapes were panoramas of peaceful meadows with the odd tree, a cow perhaps, beside a quiet stream. They didn’t look at all like the British Columbia Emily knew, where, just outside the city, endless acres of trees towered above an almost impenetrable undergrowth, and the cow was in her back yard.

Nonetheless, the two Europeans sowed a seed that made Emily sling an old pair of shoes across her rafters. Now, every time she had a little money she pushed it into the shoes. She had a plan.”

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Inward to the Bones: Georgia O’Keeffe’s Journey with Emily Carr


Emily talks of Freud.
I hate him.
It was this new man, Freud,
who made them see only sex
in my paintings.

But Emily slows me down,
shows me
the flowering of ribs and pelvis I painted today.
Here is your desire, she says.
See how you have wished it upon paper.
It is a woman’s mind, a woman’s hand, a woman’s voice
and you didn’t even know.
See how it shines from the inside, out.

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To This Cedar Fountain


These trees worked hard to get up here
one ring at a time. The prize is sky
and the freedom of birds.

Only three have reached the high blue dome
and now careen like honey bees
hover like hummingbirds one minute
soar like eagles the next.

These trees threaten to pull their own tops off
they stretch so hard, risking everything
to touch heaven.

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