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Sunday, 20 April 2014

McMichael Canadian Collection and Miracle Forest Walk

Saturday, we had planned to go to the McMichael Gallery in Kleinberg to see my favourite artist's work, Mary Pratt. It was fantastic to see so much of her work all together and in person. I love her work and I feel she is a much better, more genuine painter, than her husband Christopher Pratt. I've never been a big fan of him, or Alex Colville, though I did go to a showing in the mid 80s of Coville's work. Mary Pratt though many refer to her as a photo realist, is far from that. Much of her work is very abstract shapes which visually create the realism of the subject depicted. She worked from photo reference, or slides if you will, but they were reference. She also worked from life here and there. Lots of times, the subject an artist wants to paint cannot reasonably be accomplished from life. She loves what I love, exciting and unusual light through, on and surrounding material such as glass, metal, synthetic items, material, etc. She also paints the very things that encompass her personal world. She isn't gimmicky and her work seems raw and honest. Though I don't care for every single painting she's done, over all, I admire her.

We looked though I joked I'd skip them, at the Group of Seven's work too. Not a big fan, never have been (apologies) especially of the over painted cartoony large finished pieces by Harris. When you see what these guys were truly capable of in their small on site paintings on hardboard, the atmosphere they captured, it is hard to imagine why those other pieces even exist. Gawd forbid that all Canada would ever be known for artistically is that small  body of stylized churned out work and Emily Carr. That would not be good in my opinion, embarrassing. There are so many stronger living artists even. But, most of the Group of Seven's small pleine aire pieces are little gems.

We looked at the Morriseau work as well. Quite interesting, brings back college art history sessions, and I do very much like his work.

After we left the gallery, having bought an early birthday card for my Dad, and a cool little magnet for myself with a native artist's work reproduced on it, we headed outdoors for a walk through the forest that backs onto the gallery property which has quite long trails. There was a lot of post ice storm destruction results seen everywhere :-( We saw a few birds, cardinals, a fly catcher, chickadees readying a tree hole for a nest, gold finches, sparrows, a flicker, wood peckers, a vireo or warbler (not sure which) a cooper's hawk flying, a turkey vulture, 2 pairs of ravens, crows, robins, etc. We also heard the spring peeper frogs in abundance. There were tons of interesting little beauties in the plants and last year's dried foliage to be photographed. There was the Thom Thompson trees even, ones I am more used to seeing in the Muskokas than 45 mins from Toronto.Enough to keep my eyes busy all day :-)

Being Easter weekend though, the day would not be complete without nature's own rendition of "Jesus with Staff" silhouetted against the background sky light, looking as if he was just resurrected lol!

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