I was in the Met yesterday, in the American wing, looking at all those early landscapes and interiors, and it struck me how very different the history of Canadian painting would look next to American. I noticed the tell-tale signs of a voyageur across the room, and sure enough, there was one in a canoe, heading down the Missouri. (Even then we were migrating south for work...) I had gone to see Anglo-Mania, which was fun and really, really made me want to go to London (it's that mad-Freddy hair and gad-about trousers tight into boots...).
My companion knew nothing about Canadian art not surprsingly, not even Emily Carr. So I provide this link to a CBC feature on Carr's work, an artist that has come to represent the west coast to be sure. A blend of the light of impressionist France (Normandy to be precise), the mood of the rain forest, the curiosity of Margaret Mead, and a bit of Gaugin's madness, Carr entered into the forests and managed to find completely modern textures and light. Quebecoise playwrite Jovette Marchessault has written a great play about her: Le Voyage magnifique d'Emily Carr, and west coast poet Kate Braid got a lot of attention for Inward to the Bone.