Friday, June 17, 2016

Annora Brown - Connected to the Earth

Joyce Sasse - Annora Brown believed that in order to best capture the essence of the region, she had to work in close relationship with all the elements.

This becomes obvious as you read her autobiography and study her work.

In “Old Man’s Garden” she talked about gossiping with the flowers at the same time she strove to catch their vitality on canvas.

There’s nothing she loved better than going on field trips. In the 30’s she and a friend would spend over-night in the Porcupine Hills. Their equipment was a coffee pot, food wrapped in damp tea towels and a tarp to huddle under. Always, too, there was a flashlight so she could continue sketching after dark.

“The wailing of wind … the barking of the coyotes … the honking of the geese … This was my world,” she wrote.

In the early post-war time when gasoline was rationed, longtime artist friend Doris Hunt tells about them spending a bright sunny day sketching elevators on the edge of Fort Macleod. By the end of the day, even Annora resolved she’d had enough of this subject! However as they were making supper a storm blew in. Lightening struck a nearby storage tank and Annora sprang into action. Within moments after the cloudburst subsided, they were off “to paint puddles”. Of course the puddles were beside the elevators. Hunt wrote “we gazed at dark, glistening elevators, the sky, now clear at the horizon but still filled higher up with tatters of storm clouds in violent movement, the whole mirrored in the pools of water which covered the roads ….

“The finished painting which I saw years later over-awed me… (There was) a single elevator, surrounded by a vast space in 3-dimensions .. the clouds reflected in the puddles, all communicated … structured space. By including the small figure of the horse and rider picking their way between the puddles, the rider indicated it was a space of great magnitude.”

On Hunt’s recommendation, an Ottawa citizen happily purchased this 1946 oil painting titled “Puddles”.

Annora Brown articles republished courtesy of the Fort Macleod Gazette

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to comment. Comments are moderated before being published. Please be civil.

Infinite Scroll