Although Vreeland's Girl in Hyacinth Blue remains my favorite, I walso enjoyed this look at the life of Emily Carr, a Canadian painter I had never heard of before. Vreeland vividly describes Carr's passion for capturing the vanishing art of the Indians of British Columbia and her desire to find her own vision as an artist. The Native American characters in the book are poignant but dignified, and the sorrow of their fractured culture runs as an undercurrent through the entire book. Carr's character is well-drawn, particularly as she ages and questions the value of all she has worked for. I like the way Vreeland writes about art.
When I bought this book I really had no idea what it was about. The title and cover were what intrigued me. It turned out to be a truly excellent book, based on the life of Canadian artist Emily Carr who lived during the Victorian era. Truly magnificent.
I love Susan Vreeland's books and for some reason I hadn't read this before. I feel like this is her best. Emily, an artist in British Columbia, in the first decades of the twentieth century, has great depth of character, the focus on the Fauvist art movements and native Canadian tribal issues and artwork are well-researched and worked into a novel well.
I read this book through to the end, thinking it was a true story of the life of an unusual artist, and I suppose much of it is true. However, I felt outraged to learn--was it in the foreword, or at the end of the book?--that the whole story of the love affair with the French fur trader had been made up. That, and something in the tone of the writing, spoiled it for me, though I will admit that I enjoyed reading some of the parts that discussed the artist's technique.
By the author of "Girl in Hyacinth Blue," this is a fictionalized story of Emily Carr, a young Canadian artist in early 20th century British Columbia, whose love for the art forms of the native tribes - particularly totem poles - becomes a source of strength and delight, as well as public rejection and, ultimately, redemption.
This is the story of artist Emily Carr who, overcoming the confines of Victorian culture, sets off on her own to paint the rugged frontier of British Columbia and its indigenous peoples just before the forces of history changed them forever. A glorious novel about courage, genius and the pursuit of vision against daunting odds.
A lavish historical novel about a pioneering woman artist and the untamed country she loved. Before Georgia O'Keeffe redefined the desert landscapes of New Mexico and Frida Kahlo revolutionized the art of self-portraiture, Emily Carr blazed a similar path with her boldly modern and inventive renditions of the British Columbian landscape. In The Forest Lover, Susan Vreeland brings to life the astonishing career of this fiercly independent adventurer and painter.
Overcoming the confines of Victorian culture, Carr set off on her own to paint a rugged frontier and its indigenous peoples just before the forces of history changed them forever. Ranging from tribal villages in the Pacific Northwest to artists' studios in pre-World War I Paris, Vreeland tells her story with gusto and suspense, giving us a glorious novel about courage, genius, and the pursuit of vision against daunting odds.
Emily Carr was a painter in Victorian British Columbia, whose career was defined by her commitment to paint the Indian totem poles of the region. She never married, and painted until her death. Susan Vreeland, the author, used documentation to begin her fictionalized account of what Emily's life must have been like. The story weaves fact with supposition. The result is an enchanting tale that takes us on a journey of discovery and enchantment of a lifestyle that was soon to disappear from the world forever. Lovely book, and I highly recommend.
The more I listened to this autobiographical tale, the more I was drawn into it. Little is known of the life of Emily Carr, but this story could be real. Emily Carr was captivated by the spirit of the natural world in British Columbia and the indigenous people who lived there, both of which were regarded as having nothing of value by the newcomers to the province. The forest that she loved was wanted only for its timber, as it is today. The people that lived there were worthless, dirty, heathens to be Westernized by missionaries. Only in the east and Europe was she accepted as a genius artist. She was accepted by the artists of the Group of Seven, Canada's internationally acclaimed painters. This story does much to imbue us with the spirit of her love for the woodlands and the woodland people and of her struggles for recognition for herself and the people whose world she loved.
i found this book on a flight and it looked interesting. i hadnt planned on reading it for a while but someone requested it so i decided to pick it up.
im still not sure what i think of it. i picked it up because its about emaily carr, an artist id never heard of, but on the back of the book they compare her to my favorite artist, frida kahlo.
(im not sure why- they were both female artists, but thats where the comparison ends)
the story was good- emily carr was ahead of her time, not appreicated, and was shunned for painting canadas native people. her family was a mess, along with her friends, but they made a great group of characters. it wasnt a fast, exciting read, but i stuck with it and am glad i did.
it did make me want to learn more about her, but i dont think ill be reading any of susan vreelands books any time soon.
I had a tough time getting interested in this storyline and plodded along reading it but eventually decided I'd had enough. Thought I'd be interested in this adventurous artistic woman but the writing just didn't grab me.