Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Killarney, The Group of Seven and the 50 Years of Our Flag

The quartzite ridges of Killarney in fall are the inspiration for the upper left portion of the 50 Years of Our Flag Painting. This is the fall portion of the seasons portrayed in the project but more importantly this area owes its very existence to the conservation efforts of artists.  In 1931 A. Y. Jackson discovered that the area around Trout Lake was on the verge of being clear-cut. He and fellow artists successfully petitioned the Provincial government to rethink their short horizon plans. Trout Lake is now O.S.A. Lake named after the Ontario Society of Artists. A nearby lake was named after A.Y. and I have painted there a couple of times. Other members of the Group of Seven worked in Killarney including Franklin Carmichael, Arthur Lismer and A. J. Casson. The Group never returned to Algonquin after Tom Thomson died...  I devote an entire chapter to Killarney in my book “The Passion of Phil the Forecaster”.
The weather in this painting is another meteorological lesson. The short answer is that after a beautiful autumn day of painting, a strong rain storm was approaching from the southwest. The long answer follows if you dare.
Light southerly winds were about to intensify and veer to the southwest overnight as the deep low pressure area passed to the north of Killarney. The band of cloud in the upper left is a deformation zone heralding the low. Deformation zones (the double headed green lines) are my favourite prediction tool. The shape and orientation of this line of clouds tell a meteorologist everything needed to better understand the track of the low and the state of the atmosphere.  The warm front would pass north of Killarney on the following day bringing rain and overcast skies. A cold front with strong northwest winds and possibly even flurries would follow a day or so after. The sky is like a book but you need to learn the vocabulary. I will leave that for another day.
A.Y. Jackson and A.J. Casson from the Group of Seven both submitted designs for the Canadian flag… more on this later.
A.Y. Jackson's Lake

Deformation Zone Conceptual Model

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