Monday, 26 November 2012

Places to Paint: Agawa Canyon, (Algoma)

I'm very grateful to Jeff McColl for a comment he left on my post about Canada's Group of Seven at Algoma.  This alerted me to the fact that he's been putting an awful lot of effort into pulling together a portfolio of photographs on Google+ of the locations where the Group of Seven painted in the Agawa Canyon in Algoma.

Places to Paint: Agawa Canyon, Algoma, Canada
Some of Jeff McColl's portfolio of photographs matched to paintings by the Group of Seven
© Jeff McColl
Between 1918 and 1923 several members of the Canada's Group of Seven painted in the Algoma region including Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, Frank Johnston, J. E. H. MacDonald, and Arthur Lismer. To gain access to this remote area they rented a boxcar from The Algoma Central Railway, which had been outfitted like a cabin and was shunted to sidings near choice painting locations. From these locations they set out on foot or canoe to capture this untamed area on canvas. Their paintings brought this vast, rugged, and beautiful part of the country to fellow Canadians and the world.Wikipedia - Agawa Canyon
Below are links to Jeff's photos and the paintings by G7 artists at various locations.  Do read his comments as to location as it's obvious that not all the original locations are now accessible due to changes in growth of vegetation or changes in the course of rivers made as a result of floods.  He also provides photographs of what the locations look like in winter.

The links in the name of the artist are to the biography of the artist on the National Gallery of Canada website.
You can also read an article by Jeff - Paddling/Hiking/Photographing in the footsteps of Legends by Jeff McColl - in the Spring Newsletter of the Group of Twelve - Fine Arts Society of Milton 
Mention the Group of Seven to any artist or photographer and there are instantly visions of great Canadian Landscapes. I have known for years that the Group of Seven had visited the Agawa Canyon and when asked to describe the area I have said it was like paddling into one of their paintings. I have also known that fellow canoeists Sue and Jim Waddington of Burlington have a hobby that include working with the McMicheal Gallery in finding locations where they painted. They have been very successful in finding locations in Georgian Bay, Killarney and Algonquin Prov. Parks. They know that I frequent the Agawa area every year and they asked me if I could identify a few areas
All photos are copyright Jeff McColl. You can see more of Jeff's wonderful photographs of the Canadian countryside on Panoramio
Seems to me that the logical extension of all this work by these canoeists is a book - complete with maps and details of how to get to these places to paint!

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