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Celebrating unique corners of the country from home

Celebrating unique corners of the country from home

on
August 11th, 2020
Celebrating unique corners of the country from home

Award-winning illustrator Emma Fitzgerald has a knack for capturing the quirks and charms of Canadian cities. Drawing from her background in architecture, Emma’s work takes readers on a tour of her favourite cities through whimsical sketches and snippets of conversations with no beginning or ending, just as you would hear them in real life. Her book Hand Drawn Halifax was described by The Globe & Mail as “a love letter to Atlantic Canada’s largest city.” Her latest, released in June, is Hand Drawn Vancouver, an homage to the city where she grew up. This week, Emma lends us her knack for sparking the reader’s imagination with three fellow artists with West Coast ties whose work celebrates their unique corners of the country.

When Emily was Small (children's book)

I enjoyed a sneak peak into author/illustrator Lauren Soloy's process when I visited her studio in Annapolis Royal, NS. She was completing the illustrations for When Emily Was Small, her first picture book, which chronicles a day in the life of a young Emily Carr. Having lived in Victoria for many years, Lauren was able to evoke the familiar deep green foliage of Carr's back garden in the James Bay area, and I love how Lauren's art and words celebrate Emily's connection to nature. This book is a great introduction to the famed artist and writer for young readers, and a meditation on childhood and the natural world for all ages. — Emma Fitgerald

Learn more about the book here.

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The paintings of Ben Reeves

I first met Ben Reeves in my printmaking courses at the University of British Columbia, back in 2001. He was the technician in the print hut, and at the time was mostly working in etching, drawing and installation. In the years that have elapsed, he has become one of my favourite painters, evoking lush landscapes with an amazing sense of colour. We both grew up on the North Shore, and I see in his work how the mountains meeting the city informs his experience of painting. He was always a patient source of information when I knew him, and I know he continues to be an educator, working as an associate professor in painting at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. You can view his masterful and experimental watercolour paintings on his Instagram account. — EF

View more of Ben Reeves' paintings here.


More recommendations by Canadian artists to enjoy at home:
Sky Blanket (3 minutes)

Meghann O'Brien is a professional snowboarder turned textile artist. The Haida/Kwakwaka’wakw artist from Alert Bay, BC works in several disciplines including basketry and weaving. I am inspired by how Meghann feels her experience of snowboarding still relates to the traditions of weaving, and how she finds her own way to interpret those traditions. Her work is painstaking, intellectual, and also beautiful. This short film by Darcy Hennessey Turenne showcases one of Meghann's mountain goat wool robes, and gives a visceral sense of her work. — EF

Watch the film here.

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