Monday, 13 August 2012

life on the coast: Sketches by Carol Reid

top image, The Lions in Blue (aka The Sisters)  second image, Mount Bruce, Saltspring Island third image, Mountain Rocks, Headwaters of Lynn Creek (North Vancouver)  final image, detail, Crow feathers and blackberries  
The top three images are from Carol Reid's Watercolour Sketchbook, a geographically organized compilation that tells very well the land-water-air-light that she has lived and loved. Born in Liverpool, England, Carol arrived in North Vancouver in 1946, age two, and grew up there. After some decades in central Canada, she returned home to the coast, beginning her water colour studies and continuing her forays into the variety of west coastal regions. Through this later period, she created the images so successfully brought together in the Sketchbook, capturing the flavour of life on the coast.

In this collection of paintings and sketches, the local region is beautifully, lovingly re-presented. Nearby islands large and small are well attended, and the painter brings us as far north as Alaska, a continuity of geographies that puts the lie to political divisions and segregations of the mind.

I well recall visiting Taiwan, and suddenly realizing that the reason that Chinese water colourists portray mountains the way they do is, that is what the mountains look like in that part of the world. In this part of the world, the west coast of North America, this is what the mountains look like: Carol Reid paints true. 

The fourth image is a detail from a larger experiment, Blackberries and Crow Feathers, a detail that has been keeping company with me in my work space in recent years. It does not appear in the book, but the blackberries and crow feathers do say home to me.  From the vast scale to the small detritus, the senses of this region are honoured and enjoyed through Carol's works.

Check out Carol's book by following the links, contact the artist via the site to purchase book in hard cover or soft, and to discuss the purchase of individual paintings.

For an early glimpse of Carol's art and aspirations, and a walk along the road to Stanley Park before the masses of urban development wholly ate up the route,

sources + notes:
Carol Reid Author's pages, Blurb,
CBC Digital Archives,
note, Carol's Blue Window website is between platforms at the moment, not accessible for viewing

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