Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Moments of Beauty

A special edition of Moments of Beauty this week, dedicated to that lovely symbol of Canada — the maple leaf. Happy Canada Day, all! The delicately lovely photograph is by blacktryst on Flickr.

The Group of Seven

Founded in 1920, the Group of Seven was committed to portraying Canada’s wilderness in a modern painting style — a break from the European tradition, and one that would reflect the Group's uniquely Canadian identity. The original members were Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Franz Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald and F.H. Varley. Tom Thomson was included in this circle of friends, but his death in 1917 meant that he never became a member of the Group. He was crucial to the development of the other artists, however, for as an avid outdoorsman it was he who awakened their interest in painting the northern Ontario landscape. More about the Group of Seven — and more examples of their beautiful paintings — can be seen here and here.

From top to bottom: Snow Clouds by Franklin Carmichael, 1938, oil on canvas (courtesy Franklin Carmichael/National Gallery of Canada); Maple Woods, Algoma by A.Y. Jackson, 1920, oil on canvas (courtesy National Gallery of Canada); Fine Weather, Georgian Bay by J.E.H. MacDonald, 1913, oil on canvas (courtesy private collection); Billboard by Lawren Harris, 1921, oil on canvas (collection of the artist).

The National Film Board of Canada

Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) produces and distributes documentaries, auteur animation, alternative drama and innovative digital content that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective. Over the years it has won over 5,000 awards, including 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies — and now you can watch a great selection of NFB documentaries and animated films online here, too. If you'd like to know what it's like to be a Canadian, it's the perfect place to start.

Sponsor Love

I'm really happy to introduce you to new automatism sponsor and fab blogger Jennifer of Bits of Beauty! Jennifer writes about fashion, design, beauty, travel — much more than I can list here actually, but it's beautiful, fun, inspiring and always a great read. Dash over here to enjoy. Shown above is a photo by Rodney Smith that accompanied a recent post by Jennifer on great reads, which I think illustrates perfectly the tone of her blog — smart and beautiful.
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