Artwork by Doris Jean McCarthy,  Packing for the Canoe Trip, 1981

Doris McCarthy
Packing for the Canoe Trip, 1981

signed lower right
15 x 22 ins ( 38.1 x 55.9 cms )

Sale closed. Please contact us for details.

Stuart Reid, “Island Sketches: Thoughts on the Watercolour Paintings of Doris McCarthy”, “Celebrating Life: The Art of Doris McCarthy”, The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, 1999, page 231.
Writing of the common compositional arrangement of McCarthy's watercolours, which speak to the detailed and layered depiction of “Packing for the Canoe Trip”, Reid notes that McCarthy often “sets up the major horizon line at the golden mean of the page – a little less than two-thirds up from the bottom. There is a trademark 'folding' of the imagined space into a trinity: foreground, midground, far distance and sky; that recurs no matter her subject. It often seems as though the foreground is less distinct than the midground, fading into washes at the bottom of the page.” We witness this structuring within the Arctic watercolour, the eye drawn first to the colourful caravan in the “midground” of the composition, the surrounding landscape coming alive as the viewer's gaze settles within the composition.

Share this item with your friends

Doris Jean McCarthy
(1910 - 2010) RCA, OSA

Born in Calgary, Alberta, McCarthy attended the Ontario College of Art from 1926–1930 where she was awarded various scholarships and prizes. She became a teacher shortly thereafter and taught most frequently at Central Technical School in downtown Toronto from 1932 until she retired in 1972. She spent most of her life living and working in Scarborough, Ontario though she travelled abroad extensively and painted the landscapes of various countries including: Costa Rica, Spain, Italy, Japan, India, England and Ireland. McCarthy was probably best-known for her Canadian landscapes and her depictions of Arctic icebergs.

McCarthy's work has been exhibited and collected extensively in Canada and abroad, in both public and private art galleries including: The National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, and The Doris McCarthy Art Gallery. McCarthy also penned three autobiographies chronicling the various stages of her life: A Fool in Paradise (Toronto: MacFarlane, Walter & Ross, 1990), The Good Wine (Toronto: MacFarlane, Walter & Ross, 1991), and Ninety Years Wise (Toronto: Second Story Press, 2004). She was also the recipient of the Order of Ontario, the Order of Canada; honorary degrees from the University of Calgary, the University of Toronto, Trent University, the University of Alberta, and Nipissing University; and an honorary fellowship from the Ontario College of Art and Design. She died on November 25, 2010.