Paul Henry & Franklin Carmichael

When you call two places home, you spend as much time trying to bring them together as to pull them apart. And you find things from each place that lean against each other, perhaps only for yourself; ways to shrink the distance or to at least bridge it.


At the same time, you can always find things to oppose and juxtapose, things that leave you drawn and quartered by pins in maps that stretch across the ocean.


And both are false and true of course. Because it's always possible to see likenesses, to find common ground and a shared narrative, even if that sharing is your own projection and not something grounded in reality.


In that way, sometimes, when I look at Group of Seven paintings I find myself thinking about Paul Henry (1877-1958). And I wonder what he would have painted had he traveled to the shores of Lake Superior. Or what Carmichael (1890-1945) would have painting in barren Connemara. I could tell you similar stories, I suppose, from an art history perspective. Painters at the edge of it, away from the scene.


But mostly I like to look at them side by side and feel myself in both and in that way let them lean against each other and against me. Even if it's really just a fiction of my own selfish delight.

Image credits
1. The Turn of the Road (1941) by Paul Henry (via)
2. Cranberry Lake (1934) by Franklin Carmichael (via)
3. Unknown title by Paul Henry (via)
4. Grace Lake (1934) by Franklin Carmichael (via)
5. On Killary Bay, Connemara (1930-1939) by Paul Henry (via)
6. Bisset Farm (1933) by Franklin Carmichael (via)
7. Clouds at Sunset (1911) by Paul Henry (via)
8. Snow Flurries, North Shore of Lake Superior (1930) by Franklin Carmichael (via)

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