A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 175: Saturday Life Quotes (and paintings) – Carr

Art-Canada-Institute-Emily-Carr-HR-Above-the-Gravel-Pit 1937

“Above the Gravel Pit” Emily Carr, 1937

“There is something bigger than fact: the underlying spirit, all it stands for, the mood, the vastness, the wildness.”


Emily Carr (1871 – 1945), as her simple grave marker states, was an “Artist and Author, Lover of Nature”. She was also one of Canada’s greatest painters. Often included though never technically a part of the Group of Seven, it was the Seven’s Lawren Harris’ appreciation and support of her work that gave Carr the boost she needed at an age when women were often not considered legitimate artists. As Harris said to her, “You are one of us.” She was influenced by the Fauves and drawn to the same themes as the Seven, a post-impressionist display of the spirit, the vastness and the wildness of Canada.

She was also a writer and had a beautiful way with words. For today’s Saturday Life Quotes, I give you some of her paintings along with her words.


“Autumn in France”, 1911

“You come into the world alone and you go out of the world alone yet it seems to me you are more alone while living than even going and coming.”

“A Rushing Sea of Undergrowth”, 1935

Art-Canada-Institute-Emily-Carr-HR-Odds-and-Ends 1939

“Odds and Ends”, 1939

“The artist himself may not think he is religious, but if he is sincere his sincerity in itself is religion.”

“Blunden Harbour Totems”, 1937

“You will have to experiment and try things out for yourself and you will not be sure of what you are doing. That’s all right, you are feeling your way into the thing.”
scorned as timber, beloved of sky 1935

“Scorned as Timber, Beloved of Sky”, 1935

“I think that one’s art is a growth inside one. I do not think one can explain growth. It is silent and subtle. One does not keep digging up a plant to see how it grows.”
carr-emily-canvas-autumn-woods 1911

“Autumn Woods”, 1911

“Do not try to do extraordinary things but do ordinary things with intensity.”


“Kitwancool”, 1928

“Let me not fuss and fret at my incompetence but be still and know that Thou art God.”

emily-carr-Indian-Church 1929

“Indian Church”, 1929

“It’s all the unwordable things one wants to write about, just as it’s all the unformable things one wants to paint – essence.”

maccauley point 1924

“MacCauley Point”, 1924

sunshine and tumult 1939

“Sunshine and Tumult”, 1939

A Year of Living Dangerously, Day 62: Growing Among the Trees

“Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.” – Karle Wilson Baker


Recently, I was talking with a friend about our shared love of hiking in the woods. Isn’t it interesting that we call it “the woods” or “the forest”? In our language we make it plain just whose domain it is after all. When we walk there, we walk among them and trespass, in a way, on their territory. Yet they are always welcoming. Like that great, good friend with whom you can sit in silence for hours and feel love and acceptance, they are a steady and comforting presence.

I have come to see trees as my friends. Some people might think me a tad crazy but, yes, I do talk to them on my hikes. I take a moment to thank them for letting me in their space, and to thank them for all that they give me. I will touch a tree or two on purpose during a hike, feeling the bark, the solidity and reassurance. Mostly, I find peace of mind among them like I find among no other living thing on the planet.

They exist by the millions in my part of the world but they have millions of different personalities and appearances. We owe them so much and they ask so little in return.

I love trees. That is probably obvious by now. What follows is a brief gallery of some of the photos I’ve taken of trees on my walkabouts in Ontario and Quebec, along with some words from other people about trees. I hope you enjoy it and I hope it inspires you, if you haven’t walked among them for awhile, to get out and greet the trees and let them help you grow a little taller today.


Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven. – Rabindranath Tagore


In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful. – Alice Walker


On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds. – Mark Tobey


The difficulty with this conversation is that it’s very different from most of the ones I’ve had of late. Which, as I explained, have mostly been with trees. – Douglas Adams


Like people, trees are all individuals. – David Hockney


I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do. – Willa Cather


Trees love to toss and sway; they make such happy noises.  – Emily Carr


I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. – e. e. cummings