Forest (Tree Trunks), 1938-1939
oil on wove paper, mounted on masonite
91.5 x 61 cm
Gift of Campbell Merrett, Westmount, Quebec, 1991
National Gallery of Canada (no. 36120)
Emily Carr's new painting tools - oil paint diluted with gasoline on inexpensive manilla paper - allowed her to experiment without concern for cost. The diluted oil paint gave her both fluidity and opacity, the strokes becoming forms of energy in themselves, expressing direction, speed, or strength as she intended. Light was no longer used dramatically as illumination reflected on the surfaces of forms or descending in articulated shafts. Light now simply filled the picture, dimly or brightly as the expression demanded. Through the transforming power of movement, forms became soft and plastic, finally vaporizing into air, light, and space.