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Born July 7, 1910 in Calgary and raised in the Beaches area of Toronto, Doris McCarthy is recognized as one of Canada’s foremost landscape painters. Among her mentors and teachers at the Ontario College of Art were members of the Group Of Seven: Arthur Lismer, A.Y. Jackson, J.E.H. MacDonald and Lawren Harris. Doris graduated with honors in 1930 and began teaching at Toronto’s Central Technical School in 1931, a position she held for 40 years.
During these years Doris also enjoyed many painting adventures across Canada and abroad including a 14-month sabbatical in Europe in 1950-51 during which she painted full time. Doris also embarked on a year-long solo world tour In 1961, which she refers to as her ‘Long Year,’ with visits to Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, India, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Egypt, Italy, Spain, France and England.
In 1972, the year of her retirement from teaching, Doris made her first of many trips to the Canadian Arctic. A deep love of the North is evident in her ‘Iceberg Fantasies’ series, considered to be among some of her best known and celebrated works.
In 1977 Doris became reacquainted with former art student turned filmmaker, Wendy Wacko of Jasper. This marked the beginning of an on-going friendship filled with many painting expeditions together. In 1983, Wacko’s award-winning documentary, ‘Doris McCarthy, Heart of a Painter’ was released to wide acclaim.
Doris has received many awards and distinctions including: President, Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolor, 1956; President, Ontario Society of Artists, 1964; Canadian Woman Artist of the Year Award, 1983; The Order of Canada, 1986; Bachelor of Art in English, University of Toronto, 1989; The Order of Ontario, 1992; the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Centenary Health Centre Foundation, Scarborough, Ontario named in her honor, 1998; William Kilbourn Award in recognition of her lifetime contribution to the arts in the City of Toronto, 1999.
Doris McCarthy’s extraordinary career embraces more than 70 years of Canadian art history. Her paintings and liturgical art are found in selected galleries and museums including The Gallery at Jasper Park Lodge, Alberta; Wynick/Tuck Gallery, Toronto, Ontario and The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario. To all those whose lives Doris has touched, her endearing personal characteristics and love of life fully compliment her incredible talent to put brush to canvas.
“As a traveling companion on painting expeditions, Doris sets a grueling pace and looks forward to each canvas or piece of paper with renewed passion. Doris is a generous teacher and has always been willing to share all she knows of love, politics, religion, relationships and painting.” Wendy Wacko, artist/film maker.
“There is a level of animation to Doris, both as a person and in her work that goes beyond anything I have seen before... She doesn’t paint for a living. She paints because she’s alive!” Murray McLauchlan, folk guitarist/songwriter.
“I know some of the parts of Canada that Doris has painted and each time I have the pleasure of basking in her work I go back to where I’ve been and see things I’ve never seen before, or things I thought I knew but now understand differently.” Peter Gzowski, radio/television host.
The Gallery at Jasper Park Lodge and The Chateau Whistler are extremely proud to feature such a powerful body of work by one of Canada’s most important landscape painters.