New ideas come from collaboration: being open to other’s suggestions, information and viewpoints and implementing them. The Clara Harris archive is the result of this. Every individual who contacts me has something to contribute.
In the early days of the site I visualized a rotating exhibit of Clara’s work. Paintings would be shown and then removed to make way for other paintings with the intention of keeping the site “fresh”. But as the catalogue of paintings has expanded the purpose of the site is morphing into a permanent collection to be used as a reference tool. All paintings need to be displayed, studied and compared.
So here’s your first installment: a unique collection of eleven paintings that the owner intended to reframe and hang as a grouping. I say “unique” because some of the paintings deviate from Clara’s predictable style and composition. No specific measurements or details were provided and some of the photos are dark. You’ll recognize some of the scenes even though they are not documented. Enjoy.
This is one of the largest paintings in the collection. The ruggedness of the rocks, water and windblown pine trees are reminiscent of Northern Ontario, perhaps Georgian Bay. The frame is a typical “Clara” frame.
This maritime scene is similar to Clara’s Gloucester Harbour compositions. But the inclusion of more buildings adds more interest and gives more clues as to the actual location.
Here’s a floral still life painting that has a different touch: the oval shape of the frame. Usually Clara’s frames are rectangular. This frame lends an old fashioned look and showcases the shape of the floral
Clara had her favourite painting spots and the Bobcaygeon area was one of them. This is almost identical to her painting, “Summer, Road between Buckhorn and Bobcaygeon, Ontario” which is in the Summer section of the website.
The painting of this lone evergreen is atypical of Clara’s work. The rugged landscape with what looks like mountains in the background could be British Columbia. This would be the third known painting of Clara’s from that area.
Two more pastoral scenes. Both beautiful but unidentified. The second painting with the vantage point from a hill provides a wonderful view of golden fields. This could be the Owen Sound area with Georgian Bay in the distance.
This ethereal scene is the Port Hope Summer Art School. Clara painted the school from different angles but I think this is one of her best interpretations of the old mill and Ganaraska River. The green insert of the frame complements the various greens in the painting.
Last but not least is this still life: another atypical example of Clara’s work. This makes it more valuable. The frame with its inner blue band picks up the various shades of blue and lavender in the painting. As this frame as well as that of the Port Hope Summer Art School are similar they were probably done at the same time, by the same framer.
This is a significant collection that warrants clearer photos and more information such as dimensions and locations. As the owner intended to reframe the paintings, notations by Clara might have been found after the dust covers were removed from the backs of the canvases. As a precautionary note I advised the owner not to discard the original frames even though new ones would be installed. The original frames should be catalogued and kept as a reference as Clara might have chosen these frames to showcase her work.