The Forest Lover is another book from Susan Vreeland that gives us an in-depth look at an artist's life. Emily Carr (1871- 1945) was inspired by the forests and the native culture of British Columbia. At a time when potlatches were banned by missionaries and totem poles were sold to collectors or chopped up for firewood, Carr set out to document what remained.
Vreeland's book is the story of Emily Carr's obsession with painting and of the difficulties she faced. (Provincial and Victorian, British Columbia was slow to accept this bold, impressionistic art.)
It's also the sad story (once again) of the treatment of the indigenous peoples at the hands of the government and the missionaries. It' s ironic to think that Christians banned the potlatch, in which wealthy people gave away their worldly goods to less fortunate tribe members.
Many of Carr's paintings remind me of Georgia O'Keefe's work.If you read the book, be sure to check out Vreeland's website where images of Carr's paintings are paired with the appropriate passages from The Forest Lover. Boy, the internet is great for this sort of thing!