Arthur Lismer RCA, Fallen Log in the Forest, Galiano, oil/wood panel
Fascinated by the richness of the west coast of Canada, Arthur Lismer would spend upwards of six weeks each summer painting both the wider ocean views and the inner forests.
In Fallen Log in the Forest, Galiano, Lismer’s bold brush-strokes, insertion of gestural lines and the textural approach in his application of paint emphasize the dense world of the West Coast rain forest. This painting conveys the intensely verdant forest floor with its new and old growth. Lismer commented that “you could get lost in the dense tropical growth.” The work is an exemplar of Lismer’s late career concentration on abundant foregrounds and tightly framed, compact compositions of vegetation, shorelines and forest growth. Splashes of lime and orange animate the surface to draw attention to the regenerative nature of the rain forest; the decomposing log serves as host to bring about new growth.