Artwork by Franklin Carmichael,  Old Barns, Miner’s Bay
Thumbnail of Artwork by Franklin Carmichael,  Old Barns, Miner’s Bay Thumbnail of Artwork by Franklin Carmichael,  Old Barns, Miner’s Bay Thumbnail of Artwork by Franklin Carmichael,  Old Barns, Miner’s Bay

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Consignor Canadian Fine Art
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703

Lot #9

Franklin Carmichael
Old Barns, Miner’s Bay

watercolour
signed and dated 1925 lower right; signed and titled on the reverse of the framing
10 x 12.5 ins ( 25.4 x 31.8 cms ) ( sight )

Estimated: $30,000.00 - $40,000.00

Provenance:
Private Collection, California
By descent to the present Private Collection, Toronto
Literature:
Megan Bice, Light and Shadow, The Work of Franklin Carmichael, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, pages 37, 39, 55, 65, 85 and 105
Joan Murray, Rocks: Franklin Carmichael, Arthur Lismer, and the Group of Seven, Toronto, page 17
In 1924, Carmichael had returned to his practice in watercolour after working primarily in oil paint with his fellow Group of Seven members. Favoured as the medium of choice to capture the rich rugged quality of the Canadian landscape, oil paint was considered the only ‘suitable’ medium in the landscape genre, however Carmichael was a master of watercolour and returned to his passion in pursuit of new frontiers.

Favouring rich colour and design, the artist captured the landscape with exaggerated form to accentuate the drama of the relationship between man and his natural surroundings. “Old Barns, Miner’s Bay” is an early and important work of Carmichael’s career as it typifies his response to his surroundings, emphasizing the emotional and sensory aspects of the scene around him. Depicted from a higher vantage point perched in a cluster of rocks, Carmichael evokes a feeling of the sublime as the viewer gazes above the old barn structures, patterned with dark shadows, and beyond to the bay, framed by layered hills. Bolds pops of cerulean, indigo and emerald speckle the scene of rural barns and expansive land dotted with autumnal trees. Strong contour lines enhance the character and mood of the scene, all design elements honed by the artist’s time as a graphic designer in Toronto.

Carmichael was deeply interested in the study of light as it was refracted by the cloud formations and reflected by the land and water beneath and sought to “present the interdependent relationships of the world he saw illuminated around him—order and tangle, delicacy and mass, man and nature.” The background bay and sky occupies nearly two thirds of the compositional layout, a strategy the artist often gravitated towards. The eye first rests on the foreground barns before naturally moving past the structures to settle on the grand vista beyond. A master of capturing the sublime with the delicacy of watercolour, Carmichael achieves a distinct drama in this work.
Sale Date: May 28th 2019

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Preview this item at:

Consignor Canadian Fine Art
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703


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Franklin Carmichael
(1890 - 1945) Group of Seven, OSA, RCA, CSPWC

In 1911 Franklin Carmichael left his hometown of Orillia, Ontario and moved to Toronto so that he might pursue his interest in art at the Central Technical School and the Ontario College of Art. Later, he was employed by the commercial art firm Grip Ltd. and, subsequently, at Rous and Mann. Except for a brief period when he studied art in Belgium, Carmichael worked continuously in the field of commercial art until 1932. Following that time he accepted a position as Head of Graphic Design and Commercial Art at the Ontario College of Art, a position that allowed him to devote more of his time to painting. Georgian Bay, the North Shore of Lake Superior, and the Mattawa region were places around Ontario that Carmichael sketched. In later years the La Cloche Hills area north of Georgian Bay became both a favourite painting location and the site of the family cottage. His La Cloche paintings depict the rolling hills, glistening lakes, and dramatic skies so characteristic of the region.