Canadian Art Quotes

I’m feeling lazy this week, so instead of writing another post, here are a few quotes from some of Canada’s greatest artists. I’ll post more when I’m feeling lazy again.


Emily Carr

I think that one’s art is a growth inside one. I do not think one can explain growth. It is silent and subtle. One does not keep digging up a plant to see how it grows.

Be careful that you do not write or paint anything that is not your own, that you don’t know in your own soul.

The men resent a woman getting any honour in what they consider is essentially their field. Men painters mostly despise women painters. So I have decided to stop squirming, to throw any honour in with Canada and women.

Lawren Harris

Beauty is a living abiding presence completely untouchable by all the devices of man, such as moral codes, creeds, intellectual analysis, games and cliches, the acquisitive instinct, or lust for anything whatsoever.

Art must take to the road and risk all for the glory of adventure.

Every work of art which really moves us is in some degree a revelation – it changes us.

Norval Morrisseau

Among the Indians, as among other nations, some people are born artists, but most are not. I am a born artist. I have as much interest in my people as any anthropologist, and I have studied our culture and lore. My aim is to reassemble the pieces of a once proud culture, and to show the dignity and bravery of my people.

My goal is to break the barrier between the white world and mine. I wish only one thing, to be an artist and to be respected as one – and my paintings to be seen by all people.

My heart and soul is reflected into my mind and my mind is reflected into my hands.

Norval Morrisseau – 2014 Retrospective

If you are in Toronto, and even remotely interested in Canadian art, you need to visit the Kinsman Robinson Gallery. Their current show is a must see.


ABOVE: Norval Morrisseau, Shaman Preaching To All Things (4-panel), 1992, acrylic on canvas, 72 x 96 inches, Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto

BELOW LEFT: Norval Morrisseau, Two Shamans Blessing The Creation Of Life Forms To Benefit The First Nations Peoples, 1994, acrylic on canvas, 54 x 48 inches, Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto

BELOW RIGHT: Norval Morrisseau, Astral Thunderbird, 1978, acrylic on canvas, 70 x 39.6 inches, Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto

First, a bio:

Norval Morrisseau, (March 14, 1932 – December 4, 2007), also known as Copper Thunderbird, was an Aboriginal Canadian artist. Known as the “Picasso of the North”, Morrisseau created works depicting the legends of his people, the cultural and political tensions between native Canadian and European traditions, his existential struggles, and his deep spirituality and mysticism. Wikipedia

And now, a tiny review:

I am a huge Norval Morrisseau fan and I have viewed his work in the McMichael, the AGO, and the National Gallery of Canada. That said, of all the spaces I have viewed his work, the Kinsman Robinson Gallery is by far my favorite.

Why is this gallery such a great fit for Morrisseau? Because seeing one of your favorite painters in a small gallery is akin to seeing one of your favorite bands in a small venue – it’s more intimate, and less crowded.

Physical spaces aside, the art in this show is of exceptional quality. Morrisseau exhibited here when he was alive, and the gallery has been holding a retrospective of his work every other year since his death. They clearly have access to some of his most superb works.

I really can’t say enough good things about this little show; it’s easily one of the years best.

Norval Morrisseau – 2014 Retrospective runs until December 20 at the Kinsman Robinson Gallery.