Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Inspiration: Mina Forsyth

Mina Forsyth, four sisters, 1972

Mina Forsyth, Champion fiddler, 1985 (source)

Mina Forsyth, Clear July Wash Day, 1985 (source)

Saskatchewan Artist Mina Mabel Forsyth was born in 1920 and passed away in 1987- she received her BFA from the University of Manitoba, and her MFA from Michigan State university, after which she taught at the the University of Saskatchewan.

I love these paintings- they are so full of life. I really enjoy it when you can see the painters brushwork; when you can imagine the movement that their arms made when that brushstroke was made. Paint is such an interesting medium because you can capture all that- the speed and intensity of the artist, whether they were enjoying it or not- you can always tell when a painting is worked to death by the artist- it just exudes that tight feeling of frustration- the layers of paint and short brushstrokes translate for you. These are so wonderfully loose- they seem effortless- like a breathing exercise- my shoulders relax just looking at them. The slightly out of control quality in these works makes them feel dream like to me- I feel that bouncy sort of feeling that would be present in a dream about hanging laundry on a clear July day- like your arms are made of elastic and they just stre-e-e-e-tch to put the laundry up.

The looseness of her brushwork is not really a bar to some serious feeling though- as the top image- Four Sisters- conveys such melancholy, it makes you wonder at the complexities of a sibling relationship. An ease sits in those sisters- but also a fine tension in the distance between them. It's beautiful work- and thought provoking as well which is such a wonderful balance.

(Monday Inspiration 2014 is all about Canadian Artists. Even after completing a BFA from a Canadian University I realized that I don't know much about Canadian art beyond the group of seven, so I'm setting out to remedy that- if you have an artist you think I should look up- let me know in the comments- Thanks!)


  1. I get the sort of bounce free spirit feeling from the strokes as well....maybe I need to take up painting-don't know

  2. The colours remind me of Les Fauves and/or Expressionism. I was surprised that she was born and worked much later than that movement.