Artwork by Doris Jean McCarthy,  Two Boats at Barachois

Doris McCarthy
Two Boats at Barachois

oil on board
signed lower right; signed, titled, dated “340711” (July 11, 1934), inscribed “This is a damned good painting of a particular period of my work - Doris McCarthy, 04/11/18 (November 18, 2004)” on the reverse
11.5 x 13.5 ins ( 29.2 x 34.3 cms )

Auction Estimate: $7,000.00$5,000.00 - $7,000.00

Price Realized $9,440.00
Sale date: September 24th 2020

Private Collection, Toronto
Painted in the Gaspé, this oil sketch demonstrates the confidence and aptitude already apparent in Doris McCarthy’s early work. The sinuous lines of the masts reflected in the water are reminiscent of Art Nouveau, a prevalent influence for Canadian modernists of the period. McCarthy allows the ochre underpainting to show through the cool blues and greys of the rippled water, livening the painted surface with contrasting hues. The horizontal forms of the landscape and the vertical lines of the masts direct our attention to the pair of small boats. The brushwork varies smoothly from top to bottom, becoming loose and direct at the watery foreground. Painted while in her early twenties, the work wonderfully depicts a scene which captures the effects of dappled light and the gentle movement of water.

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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.