Monday, April 11, 2016

Emily's grave

Peace - oil on panel 'en plein air' - 9 x 12 - $250
Emily Carr's grave site in the Ross Bay Cemetary is very close to where my daughter Holly lives in Victoria.  
deer wander freely
in the Ross Bay Cemetary

When I was there in March I took these photos of the grave site markers.  She is buried with members of her family there.  It is a peaceful place; and lovely to see the humble little art curiosities and gifts that are frequently left leaning up against her grave.

When we were out walking in Victoria along St. James street on Good Friday, we happened across the family home of Emily Carr, where she spent her childhood.  It is a museum now, and it was closed on the day we were there, but the gates were wide open to the property.  Jeff and I were curious and went into the grounds to explore it and peek into the windows.  I enjoyed imagining what it would have been like growing up there.  

As we came around the yard, there was an old grey shed-like building in disrepair quite close to the old house.  We opened the unlocked door to reveal all sorts of artists paraphernalia jammed inside, alongside a small bed-shelf and other items of living.  

inside ' the Elephant'... brushes, photos, etc.

It dawned on me that this was a replica of "The Elephant", which was the nickname that Emily gave to her trailer that she would camp in when out painting in the woods.  I wonder if it was one that was created to be used in the movie 'Winds of Heaven',  perhaps left with the museum to be used for display afterwards.  It seemed odd to me that it was so exposed to the elements;  there was a large hole in the wall next to the open door, where rain and animals could easily have gotten in.  Whatever the reason it was there, it was like finding a treasure, albeit a faux one.
Canada is currently working a new paper bank note that will feature a 'prominant Canadian female figure'...I hope it will be either Emily Carr or another favorite Canadian artist Pegi Nicol McLeod.  


  1. I really enjoyed this post, Sally. I saw a wonderful exhibit of Emily's work in Vancouver many years ago and it has remained in my mind.
    I was particularly fascinated by the contents of the shed. As you mentioned, it is quite a concern leaving it open to the elements. Let's hope they get it fixed.
    Your daughter lives in a beautiful spot.

  2. glad you enjoyed the post Julie. Keep working on those beautiful ravens!

  3. Hi Sally, just catching up on your last few posts. Loved reading about Emily - hadn't heard of her before. Your painting is absolutely gorgeous!! So sunny and spring-ish!
    Love your previous posts showing your glorious spring outings. I'm sorry I will be too late to see all the beautiful spring blooms - but hopefully I will catch the tail-end of it.

  4. Thanks Wendy! I hope you are having a marvelous trip in New York and Boston! Wish I could have caught up with you, but alas it's not to be. I'm glad I could introduce you to one of our icons of Canadian painting. Check out Tom Thomson too, you will like the work of Canada's group of seven.


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