In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven

By Jim Waddington & Sue Waddington
Introduction by Tom Smart

In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven
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Now available in a paper-bound edition

Nearly a century ago, a group of artists travelled into northern Ontario and farther afield to capture the raw, terrible beauty that lay just beyond the outskirts of Canada's cities and towns. Armed with sketchbooks, brushes, and paint boxes, ... Read more


Overview

Now available in a paper-bound edition

Nearly a century ago, a group of artists travelled into northern Ontario and farther afield to capture the raw, terrible beauty that lay just beyond the outskirts of Canada's cities and towns. Armed with sketchbooks, brushes, and paint boxes, they set off into the heart of the wilderness with the singular purpose of interpreting the landscape in a modern mode of artistic expression.

In July 1977, Jim and Sue Waddington set off on their own expedition to discover the places that inspired these artists. Determined to locate, document, and photograph the actual landscapes that inspired A. Y. Jackson, Franklin Carmichael, Arthur Lismer, Lawren Harris, A. J. Casson, J. E.H. MacDonald, Tom Thomson, and Frederick Varley, the Waddingtons began a thirty-six-year journey — tracking down clues, deciphering bits of information, tracing ancient portage routes, and exploring hidden inlets — all with the purpose of finding the very spots that gave birth to the work of the Group of Seven.

The result was an amazing story of discovery. In this paper-bound edition of their bestselling book, in which original paintings are paired with contemporary photographs of the locations where the original works were created, Jim and Sue Waddington invite their readers to come face to face with the elusive muses that enlightened and enriched this renowned group of artists.

Jim Waddington

While on a canoe trip in 1977, Jim and Sue Waddington located the place that was the inspiration for one of A.Y. Jackson’s paintings. This marked the beginning of their quest to find more of the special places chosen by the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson. Their search began in Killarney Provincial Park, but they followed the painters throughout Ontario, to the east and west coasts of Canada, to the Yukon and Northwest Territories, and, most recently, to Nunavut. They have learned about the painters’ habits and their techniques. Sue is an artist — a traditional rug hooker. Her rug-hooking designs have won awards in the Burlington Art Centre and from the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild. Jim is the photographer with no awards but plenty of rewards. They enjoy canoeing, camping, hiking, and the sport of orienteering. Although they have found some painting sites in cities and towns, they particularly enjoy the search for those sites that may be reached only by canoe or by foot.

Sue Waddington

While on a canoe trip in 1977, Jim and Sue Waddington located the place that was the inspiration for one of A.Y. Jackson’s paintings. This marked the beginning of their quest to find more of the special places chosen by the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson. Their search began in Killarney Provincial Park, but they followed the painters throughout Ontario, to the east and west coasts of Canada, to the Yukon and Northwest Territories, and, most recently, to Nunavut. They have learned about the painters’ habits and their techniques. Sue is an artist — a traditional rug hooker. Her rug-hooking designs have won awards in the Burlington Art Centre and from the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild. Jim is the photographer with no awards but plenty of rewards. They enjoy canoeing, camping, hiking, and the sport of orienteering. Although they have found some painting sites in cities and towns, they particularly enjoy the search for those sites that may be reached only by canoe or by foot.

Tom Smart

Tom Smart is Director and CEO of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. He is the author of numerous books on Canadian art, including books on Mary Pratt, Alex Colville, and Miller Brittain.

Reviews

"Fans will drool over the stunning comparisons of paintings with photos of the real-life counterparts. "

"[A] love note and a thank you letter to the Group of Seven and a travelogue for our spectacular Canadian wilderness. . . . I would like to raise my glass to Jim and Sue Waddington for their dogged determination, their beautiful photographs and their passion for both the Group of Seven and Canada's native landscapes. "

Joanne Fallowfield

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