“I was inspired by J.E.H MacDonald and the art piece Distant Mountain. I admire MacDonald’s artworks and the way he travelled the Rocky Mountains to get inspiration from nature and recreate it by painting it, right then and there. I am inspired by MacDonald’s paintings and all his landscape artworks, as I also enjoy doing landscapes and mountains. When I looked at his artworks, Distant Mountain stood out to me because it reminded me of my grandfather’s home. Growing up my grandfather was my inspiration to start painting. He taught me lots in the short time I had with him. The very first painting I did was a mountain when I was nine; at the same time, he introduced me to acrylic paints and how to use a knife to create the snow on top of a mountain. With this piece, I did it in my own way and added some of my culture, still keeping the main factors of MacDonald’s original work. On the tipi there is a red hand mark; with this touch it is representing the MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women), and the orange piece of cloth tied around the tree is to also represent the residential school survivors. I wanted to bring awareness to important subjects and show some of my culture.”
—Beautiful Crier Roan (Grade 11, Kisiko Awasis Learning Society, Maskwacis, Alberta)
A founding member of the Group of Seven, J.E.H. (James Edward Hervey) MacDonald (1873–1932) travelled extensively throughout Canada. His summer trips to the Rockies between 1924 and 1930 inspired the mountain landscapes that dominated the later stages of his career.