Grace Lake, 1931
oil on paperboard
25.4 x 30.4 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 6450)
Carmichael's drawings played an important role in his working process throughout his career. Shown as they are here in a group, they take on a journalistic quality, tracking his travels around the region as he searched for subjects that would convey the beauty of the area and his love of space and light. Though he continued to use drawings as the basis for larger works, he also began thinking of them as complete works of art. Defined with a formal graphite border, mostly titled and dated, and rarely superimposed with grids for enlargement, they reveal his interest in making them topographically sound and geographically specific. For example, "Frood Lake and Bay of Islands", 1929 (no. 48) was the study for oil sketch "Grace Lake", 1931 (no. 32), which in turn was the study for a larger oil painting, also titled "Grace Lake" (University of Toronto Art Collection).