Arthur Lismer celebrated the powerful beauty of the Canadian landscape in his own expressionist style. His paintings are characterized by vivid colour, deliberately coarse brushwork and a simplified form.
Lismer was born in Sheffield, England. At the age of 26, he immigrated to Canada seeking work as a commercial illustrator. It was at the Grip Engraving Company in Toronto that he met a group of other talented young artists and formed the Group of Seven. Together, they organized trips to explore and sketch the wilderness - capturing the spirit of Canada in their work, and setting Canadian art on a bold and original new course.
Although Lismer painted throughout his life, he devoted the majority of his time to art education. A gifted teacher, Lismer pioneered the field of child art education across Canada and around the world.
More than any other member of the Group of Seven, Arthur Lismer was drawn to the sea. His images of shoreline and the active water itself date from the early part of his career and continue to appear at intervals throughout his mature work.
He did many seascapes in the Maritimes, as he had lived in Halifax during the First World War, and continued to return to visit.He also painted seascapes in British Columbia.Lismer’s style had a raw vigour, and his fellow artist Harold Beament commented, “There was a controlled rowdiness in Lismer, a roughness.His turbulence showed through his training.”