Story: Hi, my name is Lucy, and I am starting this fundraiser on behalf of my good friend and artist, P Jean Oliver.
Jean’s dream is to complete a monumental, working-painter’s trip following Emily Carr's path and spirit to Haida Gwaii. To go for a month to paint on the beaches, and under the trees where Emily painted. This may be Jean’s last opportunity to complete a trip of this kind, an extended sketching, and painting foray into the wild forests Emily Carr so loved to capture.
The name, ‘Sketching Whales’, came to Jean while watching a video on Haida Gwaii. At one point a whale breaches the ocean surface, then disappears. Life is like that; fleeting, amazing, so hard to capture. It made her think of how hard, but how worth it to try to capture that kind of moment inside Haida Gwaii's wild trees.
Jean and I met over forty years when we both worked in an animation film studio in Ottawa. I moved back to the Windsor area for family reasons, and life took a different route, while Jean went on to follow her dream of becoming a professional artist. We bonded over our love of Emily Carr and the great spirit of her paintings.
Jean has always followed her heart; and draws strength and inspiration from Emily Carr as a muse. She headed west to be closer to the spirit of Emily, and to the trees and forests they both love. Jean is now around the age that Emily was when Emily completed her last excursions into the forests. Like Emily, Jean's health is challenging, and soon painting will mean staying close to home. Truly, this could be the last chance for a working expedition of this size.
Jean's life, career, and vision have mirrored Carr’s in many ways. Like Emily, Jean has supported herself with her art, and teaching art to children, sacrificing much for her art, including being with a partner. In many ways, a hard-won path in Jean’s art career is only now beginning to take off; as it did for Emily around the same period in her life.
I would really like to see this happen for her. I know that this trip will inspire her, and lead to even greater canvases. I love Jean’s creations and have a collection of her artwork myself. Please help if you can and support someone who is a true Canadian artist, and a pilgrim in the legacy of Emily Carr. I would love to see her dream come true.
Funds will be used to cover costs not covered by the Canada Council of the Arts grant (which hopefully will be approved in the new year). Money is needed now for the up-front costs to book travel, and accommodations for 2024. She hopes to spend the month of July 2024 in Haida Gwaii, and the months following completing the canvases the work inspires, culminating in an Artist in Residence in a major hotel in Victoria, BC.
You can find more information about P Jean Oliver at:
Facebook: P Jean Oliver Artist and Writer
Studio All Sorts: In Emily Carr’s “The House of All Sorts”, Victoria, BC, Canada
Gallery: Central Art Studio and Gallery, Victoria, BC Canada