By Kathleen Lynch
Emily learned lessons from San Francisco art school.
Practice draperies behind still-life bouquets and pottery forms
Transposed to lofty cedars cloaked in draperies of overhanging boughs,
Embuded with life and movement the fabrics never knew.
Expressed herself in metaphor – in paint and prose.
A Rushing Sea of Undergrowth
Vegetation cascading down a forest glade
Pale green and yellow ochre froth topping tumbling waves.
Loggers’ Culls, a weeping eye in the sky
Shedding tears of sadness on the clear-cut below.
Tear drops formed by tops of spindly trees left standing,
While billowing hand of Mother Earth reaches skyward from raped Earth.
Forest BC, Is it a hooded goddess? Head bowed in supplication,
Emerging Forest’s majesty.
A sky reflection like a mountain peak above
Illuminating, focused on, the animated form.
Old and New Growth; Forest Light. “The cylinder, the sphere and the cone.”
Famous quote repeated from Cezanne, recorded in a letter to Bedard.
In fact common guide in 19th Century art texts for beginning students.
Little used by Cezanne, but literally taken to heart by Emily
With her cone-shaped evergreens and tree trunk cylinders.
Happiness! Shimmering impression of a back-lit tree, painted on the Gorge.
Gift to Myfanwy Pavelic in exchange for printing Emily’s name
On unsigned canvases, when Emily’s writing faltered.
Chosen by Myfanwy from a group of works. Emily inquired, “Why this one?”
“Because it makes me happy!” the reply.
“Then turn it over,” Emily said, revealing her own title: “Happiness.”
Copies of the paintings referenced in the poem will be included in an exhibit at Emily Carr House in early June 2017. Oil on canvas after Emily Carr by Kathleen Lynch.