Tag Archives: arts

Group of Seven … or is that ten?

English: Six of the Group of Seven, plus their... Six of the Group of Seven, plus their friend Barker Fairley, in 1920. From left to right: Frederick Varley, A. Y. Jackson, Lawren Harris, Fairley, Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, and J. E. H. MacDonald. It was taken at The Arts and Letters Club of Toronto. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I’ve been busy putting together posts about Canadian painters, as you’ve seen.  As promised, my “pièce de résistance” is the Group of Seven.  Today’s post is of the group as a whole.  In the next few days, I will post about the artists themselves.

They were a band of Canadian landscape painters, during the 1920 to 1933 years.

The original seven painters consisted of:

  1. Franklin Carmichael
  2. Lawren Harris
  3. A.Y. Jackson
  4. Frank Johnston
  5. Arthur Lismer
  6. J.E.H. MacDonald
  7. Frederick Varley

Later, A.J. Casson was invited to join the group in 1926; Edwin Holgate became a member in 1930; and LeMoine Fitzgerald joined in 1932.

Emily Carr was working closely with the group, but was never an official member.  The other famous painter often associated with the group is Tom Thomson.  Thomson was an inspiration for many of the group, but he died before the group became official.

Thomson, MacDonald, Lismer, Varley, Johnston, and Carmichael  met one another while  working for the design firm Grip Ltd, in Toronto.  In 1913, A.Y. Jackson and Lawren Harris joined the group of artists.

Financial support came from Harris, and a Dr. James MacCallum.  Together they built a Studio Building in the Rosedale ravine in 1914.  MacCallum also land on Georgian Bay, near Algonquin Park, and these became a place where artists often met for inspiration.

Unfortunately, the group did separate during World War I.  Jackson and Varley were official war artists.  After the war, they met up again.  In 1919, they had decided to create an official group, and soon began calling themselves the Group of Seven.

By 1920, they held their first exhibition.  Some of the encouragement and support they received came from Eric Brown, who was the director of the National Gallery.  There were mixed reviews, but in short order they found fame and recognition.

After Frank Johnston left the group in 1926, A.J. Casson became a new member.  When J.E.H. MacDonald died in 1932, the group announced that they had disbanded.  A new association was formed, to be known as the Canadian Group of Painters.

Six members of the group, along with four of the artists’ wives, are buried at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in a small patch of consecrated land, which is bordered by trees.  They are A.Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer, Frederick Varley, Lawren Harris, Frank Johnston, and A.J. Casson.

The National Gallery of Canada compiled a retrospective show of the group in 1995.  The Canadian rock band Rheostatics were commissioned to write a musical score for it.  You can find that music on their album, “Music inspired by the Group of Seven.”

I suppose that some of the criticisms of their art was that they would paint areas seemingly untouched by humans, but in fact these same places were habituated for many years.  Personally, I do not care about this, I think their paintings are beautiful and that is what art is about.  Isn’t it?

You can find the Group of Seven’s large collections at the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, Ontario), the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, Ontario) and at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection (Kleinburg, Ontario).

Some of the recognition they received were:  Canada Post issued “The Group of Seven” stamps on September 18, 1970.  Canada Post issued stamps,each depicting, art from all ten members on June 29, 1995.  The Royal Canadian Mint issued 7 pure silver coins, each one depicting each artists’ works, in 2012-2013.

If you would still like to learn more, I recommend the CBC Archives, and the Canadian Encyclopedia.


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Applauded White & Armstrong

Today I am introducing two Canadian Women painters, who are still showing us their beautiful art.

✔  Shelagh Armstrong was born in 1961 in Owen Sound, Ontario.She is a Canadian illustrator, and was the recipient of the 1985 Will Davies award. She launched her illustration career in the Canadian book industry, and worked with publishing houses such as McClelland and Steward and McGraw-Hill.  She has received commissions from Canada Post for two Canadian stamps – Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and Canada’s International Year of the Older Persons.  She was also commissioned by the Royal Canadian Mint to create various coins.

illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong
Published 2002

Armstrong currently resides in Toronto with husband,graphic designer Paul Hodgson.

✔ The second Canadian painter I am profiling is Amelia Alcock-White.  She was born in 1981,  on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  She is known for her paintings depicting water, myths, philosophy, and the west coast.  She also donates and fundraises with her art for the organizations Shanti Uganda, Vancouver Aquarium, Art for life, and the David Suzuki Foundation.

Her current project is “Painting for Change” an art fundraiser for ocean conservation.  NightLight_Amelia_Alcock_White Alcock-White is represented by the Petley Jones Gallery in Vancouver.

Amelia’s paintings express the human condition and its relation to nature, the transitory character of time and the contrasting endurance of elemental forces. Psychological themes, primal emotions and archetypal figures all play a role in her works. Amelia fuses sentiment, intimacy and warmth with the enigmatic, giving her images an emotional subtlety that draws the viewer into her private world. Amelia’s work embraces elements of both magic and symbolic realism. Her first collection, Opener, explored dream-like and romantic themes. Her last show, The Art of Staying Afloat, examined the concepts of personal and symbiotic balance.  This is a direct quote from her Official Web Site.


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Bhat Boy & Thomas

These two next painters that I profile are local artists here in Ottawa (Ontario).

The first is the “teacher”, Bhat Boy.  He was born in London, England and  immigrated to Canada on a steam ship in 1966.  he became a naturalized Canadian and grew up in the Nation’s Capital with his parents – “a cleaning lady and a spy”.

BhatBoy Bhat Boy is well-known as a community activist and organizer in Ottawa. He has been an active member of the International Society of Art of the Imagination, since 1991. He continues to live and work in Canada’s National Capital. His hobbies include drinking tea, and drawing maps.

These words were stolen from his biography page on his site, Art by Bhat Boy. I recommend you visit his site, ’cause he does beautiful work!


Wiretapped. “I love the CBC 1 radio show Wiretap, with its lovable and melancholy host Jonathan Goldstein.” (source:

The next painter, as I said, is also based in Ottawa. His name is Chris Thomas. Much of his free time is spent painting in Acrylics. His style ranges from impressionism to the cartoonish; He doesn’t draw any great distinctions between the two ends of the spectrum.

Chris does amazing work! To see more of his work, visit his site at


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Still on the Books – can you believe it?

English: Balloon modelling.

Balloon modelling. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

British Columbia have a few laws that they never bothered to take off the books.  Some of them are wacky and ridiculous in this day and age.

People of Oak Bay, for instance,  seem to prefer cats to dogs. The law there says that you can keep as many as 5 cats “per parcel of land” but no more than 2 dogs over the age of 4 months. If the dog has puppies, you have a month to report the news to a License Inspector.

And in Victoria, it is illegal for buskers to give out balloon animals to children.


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Kasey’s Capable Hands

A heartwarming video from a great blog that you must visit if you have not yet! – tk

My Good Time Stories

I found this video that will absolutely touch your heart. After a horrific car crash, this man was told he would never walk, move, or speak again. Thanks to an indomitable spirit and some help from a monkey, that’s all changing.

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Posted by on June 13, 2013 in Reblogged, Uncategorized


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A Beautiful but Wrenching Song About the Earth

Jackson walking in a burnt down forest. This s...

This is Michael Jackson walking in a burnt down forest. This section of the music video was simulated in a corn field. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


This is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard in a long time. Even if you aren’t a Michael Jackson fan (it’s his song), you will enjoy this! Enjoy everyone! – tkmorin

A Christian Overcomer

Here is a beautiful but heart-wrenching song by of all people – Michael Jackson.

Give a listen  – if you have 6 minutes. I think it’s worth taking the time for this wrenching song about the earth.

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fun (Photo credit: hodgers)

This site is either a time waster, addictive … or entertaining.  You can discover for yourself! Just head on to:


Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Entertainment, Humour, Uncategorized


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