Sunday, October 4, 2009

A group of seven on The Group of Seven

Acrylic on gessoed hardboard, #163
16 x 20'' - 2009

Once again, a play with words inspired the painting itself. A bit daunting to paint in this size for me, as my artwork is usually smaller. The Group of Seven was an alliance of Canadian landscape painters that formed in the 1920's and were heavily influenced by the French Impressionists. They painted landscapes in the Georgian Bay, Algonguin Park, Muskoka and Algoma regions of Ontario. Later, they ventures to British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, Nova Scotia and the Arctic. Eventually, other artists joined the group or were closely associated. The McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinberg Ontario, contains 6000 pieces of art from The Group of Seven.

The book, The Group of Seven was published in conjunction with the exhibition, The Group of Seven: Art for a Nation, organized and circulated by the National Gallery of Canada. It was written by Charles C. Hill, then curator of Canadian Art at the National Gallery.

The popularity of The Group of Seven has not diminished. Their art is very sought after by collectors. The art cover on the Book is Island-MacCallum Lake by Lawren Harris. Many of his paintings have fetched upward of one million dollars at auction. In 2007, Pine Tree and Red House, winter, City Park II went for 2,875,000$ C, including premiums. Harris was a founding member and past president of the Federation of Canadian Artists, from which I am an elected member since 2004.

For this painting, the book itself was the fun part, the bottom of the bowl was an exercise of concentration and trying to see things as they are. The PLU sticker was an add on, and that lime in particular was taken from another photograph as my source.

Part of my solo show- Near & Far - October 16-30, 2009.


  1. Your are very talented man, moonlighting you say?
    A nurse, a wonderful noble profession, your artwork is amazing!!!

  2. I don't even know how you did this, Alvin!

    Oh this is quite, great!!

    You reproduced the book's fonts so accurately. You must be part machine!

    I love the turquoise color of the book's dust jacket.

    You even managed to get the letters reflected onto the glass bowl! Wow!! Nice touch!

    Just a stunning painting all around!


  3. Melanie & Dean, thanks for stopping by and for your the comments.

  4. I had to come back again and look at the pieces from your show all together. They are all amazing, but this one is my absolute favorite. At first I was attracted to the colors, but then when I look at it further I am just in awe of your skill. The bowl is fantastic. The thing I particularly love about your work is your ability to make a still life look uncontrived. Congrats again on your show. Really great work.

  5. Thanks Kari for that very generous comment. I always try to approach a still life as if it could happen in a normal setting. That the main subject matter seems somewhat anchored with the rest of the image, not just in a nothing space.