Emily Carr, Georgia O’Keeffe, Frida Kahlo and some other gals



A few days ago I visited Emily Carr House on Government Street here in Victoria BC.


Emily Carr House


I went with three lovely women – Shirlee, Susan, and Donna, girlfriends and art colleagues – who travelled from Salt Spring for a Victoria art get-together – first my studio, then Emily Carr House then a quick visit to Opus….and you can’t get out of there without spending some $$!!


The main reason we ended up at Emily Carr House was to view Jill Sharpe’s short film, Bone Wind Fire.


An ad for the film from Jill Sharpe's website


Using the words from their letters and diaries, the film gives impressions of the lives of three 20th-century  women artists – Georgia O’Keeffe, Emily Carr, and Frida Kahlo – and speaks of their creative process, the entry of their work into the public eye, the sometimes hurtful reviews they received. Their environments are shown with such specific detail and beauty – O’Keeffe’s sunbleached American Southwest, Carr’s dark and wet Canadian Northwest, Kahlo’s lush and steamy Mexico – and the film reveals their corresponding response in artwork.


Another teaser from Jill Sharpe's website:


Enjoy this clip from the 30-min documentary. Although it shows perfectly and intimately the differences between the three artists – their characters, their dress, their voice, their drinking habits (!) – it also reveals their similar thoughts about life and artmaking. I enjoyed the way Jill Sharpe used actors with their backs to you and voices that had the sound of place rather than a more obvious method of showing the personalities of O’Keeffe, Carr and Kahlo. I highly recommend seeing the film.


Here are O’Keeffe, Carr and Kahlo with a sampling of their work.


Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986)


Georgia O'Keeffe, Deer's Skull with Pedernal, 1936, oil on canvas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Georgia O'Keeffe, Jack in the Pulpit, 1930, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, DC
Emily Carr (1871-1945)


Emily Carr, Gitwangak, Queen Charlotte Islands, 1912, oil on canvas, Art Gallery of Ontario


Emily Carr, A Rushing Sea of Undergrowth, 1932-35


Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)


Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, University of Texas, Austin


Frida Kahlo, A Painting of What the Water Gave Me, 1922


I have always appreciated O’Keeffe’s work, have never been very drawn to Carr’s, and am not very acquainted with Kahlo’s but having seen the film, my interest is piqued and I have books about each on hold at the library. You’ll probably be hearing more..


I was curious to know more about why Jill Sharpe made this documentary about three seemingly disparate artists and came across this interview with her. This is part of what she has to say:


“I’ve always been fascinated by creative process; going deeper and deeper with the creative process as an artist myself. Creativity is an un-nameable thing buts it’s so important.

What initially got me started was there were these incredible women who followed their own voice and listened to their own voice at a very interesting time in art history when women were more models than painters. They were all defining their own vision for themselves. I thought that that was an amazing feat in the time in which they lived.

What was interesting about all three of those women was that their creative process was part of their whole life: a lifelong process and relationship with painting.”


And here are my three friends 🙂

Donna, Susan and Shirlee in front of Emily Carr House


That’s it for this time. What do you think about O’Keeffe, Carr and Kahlo? You know I’d looooove to hear from you. Just click on the comment link below. And as always, if there’s something in this blog you’d like to share, I encourage you to do so – just click the ‘share’ button.


Thanks for reading,


~ Gail


PS. I love this outfit of Frida’s (a copy). Check out the red crushed velvet (?) jacket on the chair.


Frida Kahlo outfit as seen in Emily Carr House




Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top

Sign Up

Thanks for your interest in my work. Please leave your name and email address to hear about my new works available.

Your email is precious and will not be exchanged, lent, rented, sold, or become viewable by any third party.