The paintings of Jean-Paul Riopelle are known around the world. But the painter himself remains private, inaccessible. This documentary attempts to learn more about the man behind the artist, the creative genius behind the work. As we follow him in his day-to-day activities, we see him working in his studio, relaxing with his friends, attending an exhibition of his paintings, and hunting and fishing in the heart of the Quebec wilderness--a source of deep and continuing inspiration for him.
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.
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.
This short documentary focuses on prairie sculptor Joe Fafard. If there's one thing Joe knows, it's cows. He knows the way they tuck in their forelegs to lie down to ruminate and the way a calf romps in the barnyard. He also knows his friends and neighbours in the farming community of Pense, Saskatchewan—and he sculpts them all in clay, as eloquent and quirky miniatures. Joe's work has been exhibited throughout Canada as well as in Paris and New York, and this film offers a glimpse into his process, his aesthetic, and the charming prairie community in which he lives.
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.
This documentary is about Canadian artist Deryk Houston, who in 1999, had a life-altering journey to Baghdad. Unable to remain an outside observer of the crisis in Iraq, Deryk travelled to witness first-hand the impact of international sanctions on the Iraqi people. Compelled to speak out, the artist embarked upon a unique nature art project designed to call attention to the situation of the children of Iraq. Using rocks, gravel and hay, Deryk began to create large-scale art installations in the image of a mother and child against diverse landscapes around the world.
Set against a background of her paintings and the Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, landscapes they depict, this short documentary is a portrait of the life and work of one of Canada's foremost primitive painters, Maud Lewis. Emerging from her youth crippled with arthritis, Lewis escaped into her painting at the age of 30. She had never seen a work of art and had never attended an art class but her paintings captured the simple strength, beauty and happiness of the world she saw - a world without shadows.
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 feature documentary, art and business collide with a look at how artists and artistic integrity achieve success in the marketplace. Sketches on artists and the art world are combined with exploration by the filmmaker of his own relationship to art. The film features artists General Idea, Mendelson Joe, Jack Pollock, Arnold Edinborough, Vera Frenkel, Colette Whiten, David Buchan and Pat Fleisher.
This short documentary showcases the work Paul Kane painted in the Canadian northwest in the mid-1800s. Travelling overland west to the Pacific in the mid-1800s, Kane immortalized the area’s great Indigenous Peoples, Chiefs, ceremonies, war parties, buffalo hunts, rapids and waterfalls. In this film, his canvases are projected with lighting that brings to life every glowing detail.
Ages 16 to 17
Arts Education - Visual Arts
History - Canada 1946-1991
Have students research Canadian contemporaries of Riopelle, comparing influences, styles, connections to Canadian geography and history. Art students can ask: what is the artistic process? Is it planned or spontaneous, and why, with what effects? Have students experiment by representing the same subject with different media in order to discover the inherent effects of different art media on content and meaning. Have students express and explain their response to a challenging Riopelle piece.