Newsletter #185: October, 2020
© Chris Harris. All rights reserved.
A few days ago, I received my monthly National Gallery of Canada (NGC) Newsletter, and became aware of a painting exhibition titled “Canada and Impressionism: New Horizons” which is presently on tour in Germany and France.
When we discuss Impressionism today, most think of French Impressionist painters such as Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Manet, and Degas. A small group of these painters held the First Impressionist Exhibition in Paris in 1874, and it was considered a complete failure. Most of the newspaper art critics were hostile in their reviews, and most of the 3500 attendees came only to sneer and scoff at the paintings.
By 1881, seven Impressionist Exhibitions had been held, yet social acceptance moved at a snail’s pace. Many painters abandoned the new style while a few others pushed on with confidence and tenacity. The result; a small number of painters, by believing in their work, initiated one of the greatest art movements of all time. Today the current average value of the top 10 Impressionist paintings is $124 million; Paul Cézanne’s ‘Card Players’ has sold for $340 million.
Canadian Impressionist painters contributed significantly to this art movement, but remain relatively unknown. Katerina Atanassova, senior curator at the NGC, had an idea of representing these artists through a major touring exhibition. Atanassova says, “this exhibit is part of a larger vision to place Canadian art on the global stage. I would like to see each and every Canadian feel as proud as I do that our artists had something great to offer to that major discourse about the spread of Impressionism around the globe”.
Two wonderful publications which comprehensively describe Canadian Impressionism are; Canada and Impressionism: New Horizons by Katerina Atanassova and Impressionism in Canada by A.K. Prakash.
I hope I get the chance to attend this exhibit when it comes to the NGC in 2021.
Meadow Lake Road
I have always been inspired in my photography by the work of Canadian Impressionist painters, especially as it reflects Canadian culture and landscape. I have also been inspired by the few Canadian photographers who have adapted their craft to produce impressionist style photographic art.
Recently, I have been exploring photographic Impressionism.
Just as photography influenced the Impressionist movement by its ability to take a fleeting impression (snapshot) of a scene or social encounter, impressionist paintings are now influencing photography.
My greatest enjoyment is the escape from the relentless attempt to accurately record visual reality in extreme detail. I much prefer seeking the combined nuances of colour, contrast, and texture. The resulting images are visual impressions, which compared to abstraction, still have a reassuring resemblance to reality. Texturized landscapes, for example, emphasize the ‘feel’ of a place. They are literally impressions. These types of expressions truly excite me.
In honour of and appreciation for all Impressionist art, especially those many unknown Canadian artists, I thought I would use this Newsletter to share a few of my impressionist style photographs. As with all my work, all these Impressionist expressions are made in-camera with minimal post-capture editing. Enjoy.
Travelling Through Barkerville
Back Valley Road
Garden Aspen Forest IV
Every year over the past three decades, I return to these grasslands at Farwell Canyon over and over again. As my relationship with the land deepens, I try to capture those newly awakened feelings within the photographs I make there; each season offering new opportunities for expression. By using this Impressionistic style of image capture, I am making a photograph about this landscape rather than of this landscape. When I look at this image on my monitor, I don’t feel I am looking at a place 150km away; I feel I am actually there, absorbing the spirit of the land like I do when I am actually there. These visual ‘impressions’ have given new meaning to my passion for photography.
Mount Royal Cemetery
Mountain Wall. Protector of Trees
Farwell Canyon Winterscape
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
2–Day Workshops – 2021
“Freedom of Expression”
A Workshop in Photography as Art with Chris Harris
“This workshop explores an entirely new way that a camera can be used to create art. Chris’ enthusiasm, creativeness, and encouragement, is infectious. I came away excited to explore this new approach and to incorporate it into my photography”. D.C. – Bridge Lake Camera Group
For details, please visit the workshop page on this website
If you have an interest in these workshops, please email us indicating an ‘expression of interest’. We will notify you in advance when dates are released in the New Year.
7–Day Workshops – 2021
“Develop Your Creative Vision”
– – – – – – – –
One-week intensive photographic workshops
Chris Harris & Dennis Ducklow
Discover the possibilities of artistic expression. Representational, Impressionist, Expressionist, and Abstract image-making are all examined in depth. These workshops will put you on a path to becoming photographic artists.
Gabriola: May 3-10, 2021; Sept. 10-17, 2021
Expression of the Sea
Bella Coola: June 21-28, 2021
42 Replies to “Chris Harris Photography Newsletter #185, October, 2020”
Really enjoyed viewing your photographic impressionism in the images that you shared in this newsletter.
Thanks very much for sharing. Excellent images!
Thank you for enjoying Ernie!
Thank you. Beautiful!
This was an enjoyable read Chris, I always appreciate your knowledge and understanding on the broader arts. I come away having learned something new. There were many that I liked, though I will single out “Mountain Wall. Protector of Trees” as a very fine example. It is a very delicate image and your rendition and capture is most beautiful!
Appreciate your thoughts and words Chris. Thanks.
Thanks…are you viewing these from Scotland? Impressionist Scotland; I’d love to do that!!
I am looking forward to joining you and Dennis at Bella Coola next June.
Me too Phil…see you there for more good times.
So enjoy each of these images, Chris. You are truly a pioneer, just like those early impressionist painters.
Dennis…you are a treasure. Merci.
…..magnificent ‘FALL feeling the ‘chill and envelope of crisp !
Enjoy each and every day Og!
What a lovely way to start this wet, cold morning – enjoying these inspiring images rather than reading the news headlines. Thank you, Chris.
Reading your comment on a raw, damp, and cold morning also made my day!! Thanks.
Chris, I would love to see Katarina Atanassova put together a Chris Harris – Impressionist Photographs exhibition at the NGC! Beautiful work!
You’re a sweetheart Fred!
Hi Chris. Thank you for sharing your feelings through your images. I feel I am inside the impressionistic images too. I can feel your impassioned expression through the images.
Adbhuta…I’ll take you with me in spirit next time I head out to the grasslands! Like the old days!
Hi Chris, I Love all your impressionist art works that you create with your camera imaging! So enjoyable!
Much appreciated Connie!
Hi Chris. Thank you for your inspiring work. I believe your work is on par with the Group of Seven, Or maybe Emily Car. Canadian Impressionists. I just came back from a trip following some of their footsteps near Wawa Ontario on the north shore of Lake Superior. Beautiful too. I’m looking forward to when I can go to one of your workshops. Love love, love your work..
Wow…that’s a compliment. So appreciated. They are my mentors, my inspiration. Thank you. Chris
Chris: I always feel like I enter something deep in my soul when I view your impressionist photos. They move me so much.
You make me feel very happy Joan. Always great to hear from you.
I adore the clothesline!!! Love love love it!!!
Like the good old days!! Thanks.
What can I say, Chris…? Your impressionism continues to impress and inspire me. Thank you!!
Glad you enjoyed them Ron. Great to hear from you!
As a painter myself, I am most impressed with your new works portraying impressionism through your photographic work. For me, the most stunning are,Expression of the sea, Mountain Wall…, Paper Birch (a beauty), Retired Pilings, and, of course, I love the Painters Table!!
As you know, much of my work has been inspired by yourself and late husband Tony. Thanks so much!!
Chris, what a pleasure it was to meet you in September in 100 Mile House and reminisce over our time together in the Cariboo Tourist Assoc many years ago. I’m very much enjoying the 2 books you offered me. They are companions now to “Spirit in the Grass” which I received as a gift upon leaving the Cariboo.
Your collection of photos in this issue of your Newsletter remind me of the impressionable paintings we had hanging in the Red Coach Inn guest rooms many years ago. The artist’s last name was Ewart I believe? They conveyed feelings which I had experienced as a cowboy, rounding up cattle on a large ranch in the Okanagan, much like many of the ranches in the Cariboo & Chilcotin! The large prints of the original paintings were truly inspirational. Titles such as High Country, Heading Home & others with cowboys on horseback, created “Feelings” I will never forget. Guess that’s what Impressionist Art, like your current photography is all about. Love 💗 it. Thank you! 🙏
Thanks for reconnecting Terry. Memories abound!
Just viewed your beautiful photographs. Here in England , lockdown hovering nearby, your photographs have lifted my spirits and blotted out the gloomy newspaper headlines. Thank you for sharing your great Gift !
Much appreciation is heading your way across the Atlantic. Thanks for contacting…health and happiness are also heading your way! Chris
This is a fantastic collection of images with many of then resembling paintings rather than photographs Thank you got sharing your excellent, and hard, work. Dick Dailey
Thank you for your kind words and inspiration Dick. Chris
A perfect day to savour your imagery, Chris – thanks!
I hope it improved your day!! Thanks Bill.
Do you use a monitor calibrator? Do you think its necessary for excellent prints?
The quick answer Valerie is YES, always.