The Shy Knitter

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Just going to have a look ....
Going to an art gallery can be much like going to a yarn shop. I am just going to look, one will convince oneself as they go in, but once inside the door it is all whole different matter completely. Case in point, Doris McCarthy is a Canadian artist with remarkable talent. Well into her 90's (I believe 97), she has been turning out tremendous paintings of Canada and the far north (about 100 canvases a year, although at this point she must be slowing down), and her work has resonated with me as other great Canadian artists (Emily Carr, The Group of Seven, Prudence Heward, Jean Paul Lemieux, and others...). What sets her apart is that she is her work is still affordable, mainly because she is still alive.
Two years ago, I bought this fetching little bookplate done in a woodblock print. I bought it because I was graduating shortly as a Library Technician and thought is was it was an apprapo gift to myself. The images of the cottage, canoe, trillium and other items spoke to me for all kinds of reasons that I won't get into it here. Finally, I could afford it. Heather and I had bought our house the year before, but it was still doable.

Last year we didn't go to her gallery opening. Perhaps the extravagance of spending a fair amount of money on a piece of paper no more than 3 1/2 x 2 " was a bit much to take, but I knew it was a good investment (as art often is) and as it was created in 1937 it was vintage (although not quite old enough to by an antique).
This year, she had another gallery opening, and I was going to go with Heather and our friend Lana to have a look around. Lana was so taken with Doris the first year we went, she went back in 2006 and bought a limited edition woodblock print called 'Domestic Bliss'. It is of a placed called Fools Paradise, which Doris built herself back in the day when Scarborough was out in the boonies (1939), and it sits on the bluffs. Heather and I went there in 2005, as she was bequeathing the property to the Ontario Heritage Foundation and they were commemorating the gift. It is a lovely little cottage on a wonderful piece of land. It is a place of calm, beauty and serenity.
So, when we got to the gallery and found that my little piece of paper went up $200 in 2 years, I thought I can't afford to buy something else, but I really can't afford not to. Heather agreed with me, and if (god forbid) Doris does pass on, her work would be financially well beyond my reach. Good thing I didn't leave my cards at home, but I probably would of found a way.
On a knitting note, I got these little beauties done in about two weeks time. I started them while I was of sick for about a week, and just finished them on Tuesday. I went to Montreal for work on the train, and got about 3/4 of one done going there and back (gotta love it). Heather has been going on and on about a hat with flaps, so I am currently working on this one for her out of the same yarn. I am still thinking about my next big project, but haven't had much motivation to do so yet....I am sure it will come to me at some point.


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