Art At Home LIVE | Emily Carr

Wed May 13 1:30 PM

Vancouver Art Gallery

Emily Carr
Untitled, 1931-32
oil on paper
Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery
Emily Carr Trust

Thinking in Shapes and Colours

Wednesday, May 13 | 1:30 PM


Let’s make Art At Home!

Join Christina Jones, Family Programs Coordinator, twice a month on Wednesday afternoons to hear stories about the incredible lives of artists and their approaches to art-making in a LIVE Art At Home session on Zoom.

Experience the power of storytelling through art, and discover a new activity that you can try with your family at home!

In this Art At Home Live session, we will think in shapes and colours, taking inspiration from the one-of-a-kind artist Emily Carr, who experimented with her painting style by abstracting the shapes and colours that she saw while travelling into the deep forests of Northwest Coast of British Columbia.

Together, we will learn the story of Carr’s incredibly unique life and how her style, subject matter and ideas changed over her career. Looking closely at the countless shades of green in Carr’s work, we will discover colour theory.

Paint alongside us! All you need are primary colours (red, blue, yellow) and black and white. If you don’t have paint, you can still learn along with us with crayons, pencil crayons, markers or even just pencils!

If you have a photo of a forest or a landscape that you love, you can use it in this session as a starting point. We will then transform the colours and shapes into an abstracted painting.

Get involved! Submit questions as a family when you register or during the Zoom presentation using the Q&A function. You can also engage with your fellow attendees and host during the event using the Chat function.

New to Zoom? Learn how to register and attend a webinar here »


Born in Victoria, BC, Emily Carr (1871–1945) is widely regarded as one of the most important artists of her generation, recognized for her paintings of forested British Columbian landscapes that investigate the shapes, colours and rhythmic changes in nature.

Carr began taking art lessons when she was a child and continued her studies in San Francisco and England, where she most likely first began sketching outdoors. In 1911, she went to France to study drawing and painting. She returned to Canada with a completely new approach to painting. She worked directly from her subject matter and used vibrant colours, broken brushstrokes and minimal detail. Her work achieved a newfound immediacy and freshness.

In the summer of 1912, Carr travelled north to visit Indigenous villages on the Skeena River and Haida Gwaii, and in the fall she produced the first of her major canvases that featured Indigenous cultural forms, including poles and longhouses, using her recently acquired Modernist painting skills.

In the 1930s, Carr became devoted to the landscape, particularly the forest, in her work. Greatly influenced by her exchange of letters with Lawren Harris, a member of the Group of Seven, Carr sought to capture a sense of the spiritual presence that she experienced in nature. Her work became increasingly abstract as she experimented with shape, form, colour and movement.

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