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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Seven Days of the Group of Seven—JEH MacDonald (1873-1932)

I’m off to Maine and Rye! I’m leaving some of my favorite landscape paintings for you—works by Canada’s mighty Group of Seven painters. I love them because they combine the freshness of impressionism with a love for the northern landscape.

The Tangled Garden, 1916, JEH MacDonald 
At the age of 14, JEH MacDonald moved with his family from England to Hamilton, Ontario. He studied commercial art in Toronto, where he was active in Toronto Art Student League. In November 1911, MacDonald exhibited sketches at the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto, which brought him to the attention of Lawren Harris. In January 1913, an exhibit in Buffalo of Scandinavian Impressionist paintings gave him a sense of how Impressionism could be suited to the wild northern landscape.

At first glance, The Tangled Garden appears to be a fairly conventional essay into impressionism, owing a lot to Van Gogh. But MacDonald’s background as a graphic designer is apparent in the closely managed composition, which leaves nothing to chance but still manages to appear utterly fresh.

The Supply Boat, 1915-16, JEH MacDonald  
Join me in October, 2013 at Lakewatch Manor—which is selling out fast—or let me know if you’re interested in painting with me in 2014. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops!

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