Thursday, May 22, 2014

Peonies for Emily

Acrylic on gessoed hardboard, 12 x 12"
Painting #221, 2014

For this painting, I decided to crop the image tightly and focus on the glass vase rather than the flowers themselves. The book is Canadian Paintings, Prints and Drawings by Anne Newlands published in 2007 by Firefly Books.

The art on the cover is by Emily Coonan (1885-1971), "Girl in Dotted Dress" c.1923, thus the title.

I can't recall seeing Emily Coonan's artwork in the past, so she was not familiar to me prior to publication of the book. After doing some research, it felt appropriate to give her flowers since she was a pioneer Canadian woman artist during a time when woman in art were mainly perceived as hobbyists. She studied under William Brymner as did many others of her contemporaries. Along with like-minded modernist painters, she was associated with the short lived Beaver Hall Group in her native Montreal.  She and Lilias Torrance Newton were the first woman to be invited to show with the illustrious Group of Seven. She was also the first artist to receive a travel grant by the National Gallery of Canada in order to go to Europe.

This painting is currently on exhibition in a group show at the Fog Forest Gallery entitled "In the Garden", from May 22 to June 14, 2014.

Fog Forest Gallery 
14 Bridge Street, Sackville, NB. Canada
(506) 536-9000 or .