Fir Tree and Sky, c. 1935-1936
oil on canvas
102 x 69 cm
Bequest of Mrs. J.P. Barwick (From the Douglas M. Duncan Collection) 1985
National Gallery of Canada (no. 28992)
Throughout her life, Emily Carr remained a deeply religious person, her initial Christian faith being transformed over time to find a vital expression through her art. Theosophy, which she discovered through Lawren Harris, with its emphasis on the eternal truths underlying all thought, led her to a comprehension of the artist's role as articulator of universal principles. The themes - "jungle," path through dense woods, young "dancing" trees, field at the edge of woods, sea and sky - became the particulars through which she could express her own definition: "God in all. Always looking for the face of God, always listening for the voice of God in Nature. Nature is God revealing himself, express-ing his wonders and his love. Nature clothed in God's beauty of holiness." It was this joyful and lyrical idea that motivated the works of Emily Carr's maturity.