Hello Art Studio

Building Skills and Nurturing Creativity

Emily Carr Forest Paintings

Art Start May 2014

For this mixed media project, Art Start students learned about Canadian artist Emily Carr, who lived from 1871 to 1945.  Emily loved nature and is famous for her landscapes of the British Columbia wilderness where she lived.  She never married, but instead focused her time and energy on painting and writing. She sometimes camped in the woods with her dogs to be near her favorite subject matter, the forest.



Emily Carr wanted us to feel like we're standing in a forest when we look at her paintings. Her flowing lines and expressive brush strokes help to draw us in.  Can you smell the fresh air?  Feel the rough bark?




For their own forest paintings, Art Start students painted backgrounds first using tempera.  They learned how to double load their brushes with two or more colors, then let the colors mix on the page.  Ground and sky were painted with this expressive technique.  The following week forests were drawn with oil pastels; first black, then layers of color (see left).  Students were to show a variety of tree shapes and sizes, and to have elements of their composition appear to be "here, near and far" on the page. Scroll down to see the beautiful results!