Happy New Year Break-a-Brusher’s!
Our third winter workshop season is kicking off soon! The Break-a-Brush “Canadian Winter” is becoming somewhat of a tradition for us and we’re once again profiling some Canadian greats: on February 7th, our focus will be on the Group of Seven with A.Y. Jackson.
When I first encountered the works of the Group of Seven, not long after my arrival in Canada, I remember being most attracted to Alexander Young Jackson’s work. He seemed to be the quintessential group of seven-er. A landscape painter through and through, he never ceased to be connected to the Canadian scene: whether out in the country, back in the studio, or encouraging others, A.Y. (as he liked to be called) supported a strong vision of Canadian landscape painting.
It’s the lack of pretension which impresses – there’s a directness and honesty in his work. I can’t really think of a statement piece as for some of the other members, rather it’s the quality of the body of work. Season after season, he painted to paint. A wonderful colourist and master (post) impressionist, his vibrant style remained relatively unaffected by changes around him. He sought out remote regions, nearby streams and villages, the never ending changing seasons, and throughout his long career remained true to his vision:
“The obedient in art are always the forgotten… The country is glorious but its beauties are unknown, and but waiting for a real live artist to splash them onto canvas.” A.Y. Jackson, 1913.
He sketched, painted, encouraged and wrote. A.Y. Jackson was a real painter’s painter. Across the intervening years, I feel as though he welcomed me as a Canadian.
On 7 February, join us for a day inspired by A.Y.’s legacy: you can check out this and the five other sessions in our winter workshop series on the courses page of my website.