Read this for book club and enjoyed it.
It was very interesting to read a book written by a famous artist, and one written when she was over 70 years old. She remembered a lot! She had a hard life, I think. However, this contributed to her work.
The book is about her early life and her later struggles as one of the only modern painters in Western Canada. No one appreciated her work until she was much older. I loved reading about old BC and of course, Emily Carr is BC's pride and joy so I can't help but feel proud of her. There were a lot of Canadian feelings, especially regarding the "Old World" versus the new.
One thing that surprised me was how many women artists there actually were at the schools. This is the late Victorian/early Edwardian age, and yet, there were a lot of female students at the art schools in San Francisco, London, and Paris. So her book and life is not so much about a struggle as a female artist, but more about being a Modern artist, and especially trying to bring that to Vancouver and Victoria. Reading about Carr studying Impressionism in France and then being in New York and seeing the new Abstract art movement was fascinating. These things have been around for a long time now, but they were all new to her, and had different impacts on her work. The Group of Seven was her saviour, and once she got to know them, her whole world changed.
She hardly writes about specific paintings. The only one really referenced was "The Indian Church" which is said to be her best work. She was unhappy about it because Lawren Harris said it was her best, and she didn't want to be at her peak.
After reading this, I had a new appreciation of her work.