For Miller Brittain, variously described as a mystic, a war hero, a madman and a drunk, there was only one constant--art. Born in Saint John, New Brunswick, in 1912, he painted most of the time in or near that city. Personal, social and religious upheavals were all reflected in his art, in aching, obsessive works that people didn't understand, and much of the time didn't buy, though now they are worth thousands. The film is a powerful reconstruction of the life and career of this misunderstood Maritime painter, and his relation to other Canadian artists.
In this short film from the I Can Make Art Like... series, a group of Grade 6 students are inspired by Maud Lewis, the celebrated Nova Scotian folk artist who painted scenes of country life. With the help of artist Kyle Jackson, they create a folk art painting of their own downtown neighbourhood. Informative, touching and filled with the magic of creation, this film shows both the power and simple pleasure of folk art.
Alex Colville is recognized as one of Canada's most important artists. His realist works hang in major collections across the country and abroad. This production looks at his early years in Amherst, at university and his experiences as a war artist during the Second World War. Many of his paintings are shown and Colville talks about his work and the role of the artist in society. This filmstrip shows, as well, the influences on Colville's paintings.
This short film encapsulates the life of P.K. Page, a Canadian woman who has reached international stature as both a painter and a poet. Through an exploration of her life and art, the film shows how her powerful works have extended beyond their inherent confines into the realms of anthropology and ecology.
This documentary follows Haida artist Bill Reid, from British Columbia. A jeweller and wood carver, he works on a traditional Haida totem pole. We watch the gradual transformation of a bare cedar trunk into a richly carved pole to stand on the shores of the town of Skidegate, in the Queen Charlotte Islands of B.C.
In this revealing study of Norval Morrisseau, filmed as he works among the lakes and woodlands of his ancestors, we see a remarkable Indigenous artist who emerged from a life of obscurity in the North American bush to become one of Canada's most renowned painters. Morrisseau the man is much like his paintings: vital and passionate, torn between his Ojibway heritage and the influences of the white man's world. Jack Pollock, the Toronto art gallery owner who discovered Morrisseau's paintings in the early 1960s, comments on what makes them so unique.
Margaret Peterson is a retired painter, now living in Victoria, British Columbia, where this production was shot. The film explores the psyche of the painter through her paintings, through interviews, through an interpretive commentary by the director of the film, and the improvised riffs of a saxophone soloist. The film is a scrapbook of ideas, memories, opinions, interpretations and paintings that render the artist eventful rather than biographical. Beyond the Sun reveals a character very much attracted to primitive religion and a painter drawn to colour abstraction, both qualities typical of the 'beat' movement of the 1940s and 50s.
Paraskeva Clark, artist, socialist, feminist, is her own woman at her own cost. This film is a cameo of an irascible and oftentimes touching artist whose work has won her a place in exhibitions and private collections. Born in Russia in 1898, she eventually married a Canadian and moved to Toronto. Because her canvases reflect a strong social conscience, she had to struggle hard to earn a place in the nation's ultra-conservative galleries.
This short film is part of a series entitled I Can Make Art and focuses on the work of Emily Carr. In this film, kids examine Carr's unusual world and the inspiration for her haunting landscapes. Drawing on this inspiration, they then attempt to create a giant forest mural on a window in their school. The series is comprised of six short films that take a kid's-eye view of a diverse group of Canadian visual artists.