Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Relenting again

with 18 comments

Okay, maybe I was a bit hasty last time in writing off Jasper National Park’s Maligne Lake, whose northern end we drove to on September 5th. Compare the rugged mountains that loom over the lake with the closer one that imposes itself, smoother and lakeless, on anyone who looks to the left of the direction that yielded the first view. In both cases, even so late into the summer, patches of ice remained on the mountains.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 14, 2017 at 4:41 AM

18 Responses

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  1. Quite a contrast in surfaces but all equally slippery I would think.


    November 14, 2017 at 5:41 AM

  2. The simplicity of both images and the remarkable smoothness of the mountain in the second kept nagging at me. I felt as though I’d visited those mountains: which of course I haven’t.

    Finally, I pinpointed the source of the feeling. Some time ago, Gary Myers featured the work of a Canadian painter, Lawren Harris, on his blog. Harris was one of the founders of the Group of Seven, and over the course of his career became more of an abstractionist. This selection of images is representative. When first introduced to Harris’s work, I remember thinking that the abstractions were gorgeous, but that no mountain would be that smooth. Clearly, I was wrong.

    It’s easy to see how the shapes and forms of the Canadian Rockies could lend themselves to abstractions, in painting or photography.


    November 14, 2017 at 7:16 AM

    • As an aside, I smiled when I saw “North Shore, Baffin Island II”. Look at those clouds. I seem to remember seeing similar cloud shadows recently.


      November 14, 2017 at 7:21 AM

    • As Gary Myers said in the post you kinked to (thanks), it’s a shame that Americans don’t know more about Canadian artists. When we were in Calgary we took a personal step to remedy that by spending hours in the Glenbow Museum. (We did a similar bit of self-educating at the Te Papa Museum in Wellington, NZ, two years ago.) In checking the Glenbow’s website again now I found that just three weeks after we flew back to Texas the museum inaugurated a show including late and therefore particularly abstract paintings by Lawren Harris:


      While still in Calgary I’d noticed that some interesting shows were coming up and was sorry that we’d have to miss them.’

      I’m with you in seeing how the forms of the Canadian Rockies lend themselves to abstractions.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 14, 2017 at 7:57 AM

    • Coincidence: this morning we went to a monthly meeting of the Tuesday Morning Music Club. The person in whose home we met this month just returned from British Columbia, and on a table in the living room was an art book she brought back with her: The Group of Seven. We had a chance to browse it and appreciate the paintings.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 14, 2017 at 1:19 PM

      • While I was out, an e-mail from Travel Alberta arrived. In it was a link to a current Canadian landscape painter:


        Steve Schwartzman

        November 14, 2017 at 1:27 PM

      • That is a coincidence, and a happy one. I’m sure I’ll never make it to the Canadian Rockies, but I can hope that one day works by Harris, or any of the Group of Seven, might be exhibited somewhat closer to home.


        November 14, 2017 at 10:52 PM

        • I wouldn’t write off the Canadian Rockies just yet. Your Toyota may yet venture farther north.

          By the way, when we visited the Glenbow Museum in Calgary we bought a ceramic mug with a painting on it. I checked just now and found that it’s by A.Y. Jackson, one of the founders of the Group of Seven. I don’t think I noticed that at the time; I just liked the painting:


          Steve Schwartzman

          November 16, 2017 at 9:35 AM

  3. Such a magnificent landscape. I’m glad you relented and showed us more.


    November 14, 2017 at 9:34 AM

  4. OOOOO the top image! JOY!


    November 16, 2017 at 7:28 AM

    • Then you’ll want to visit the Canadian Rockies, which is replete with scenes like the one in the first photograph.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 16, 2017 at 7:35 AM

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