"Eternally Hopeful" 16 x 20, Oil on Canvas, by Annette Resler
Composed for the "Strong & Free" Sesquicentennial Exhibition at Okotoks Art Gallery, January 13 - February 11, 2017
To create an original work of art incorporating at least two symbols from the list of "Very Canadian Things" provided by the Okotoks Art Gallery.
I chose Group of Seven, the maple leaf and "eh" from the list of Very Canadian Things to be included in my composition of "Eternally Hopeful".
Having been present at the 90th Anniversary Vimy Ridge Memorial Rededication on April 9, 2007, it was without question that I would include the significance of that experience in my painting. "Mother Canada", a remarkable sculpture which is part of the Vimy Ridge Memorial, felt to be the perfect component to reflect a well known work of art by Lawren Harris, a member of the Group of Seven, known as "The Old Stump, Lake Superior". Harris' study piece, "The Old Stump, Lake Superior" became the subject for his renowned painting "North Shore, Lake Superior".
Influenced to create a similar composition in my "Eternally Hopeful" as "The Old Stump", I used the statue of Mother Canada in a similar, shape oriented landscape setting, including two prominent hills one sees on the Vimy Ridge vista. The draping of her robe serves as homage to the roots of the old stump.
The maple leaf, painted in a loose, almost abstract way, is intended to give a focal point for "Mother Canada" to be casting her view. The shape of the leaf represents the cradle of a nurturing nation into which we each play a part - past, present and future.
I have long stated that my definition of Canadian's use of "eh" is an acronym for "eternally hopeful". It seemed appropriate to give this title to my painting as it reflects my continued optimism for our great country. Accepting our past with humility while moving forward with honour, truth and reconciliation.