Ted Harrison, this week’s Studio Sunday artist, is best known for his bright and colourful paintings of the Yukon and the Canadian Arctic. While it’s a landscape that most people tend to think of as white and barren, Harrison’s paintings are incredibly vibrant and showcase the deep blues of glacier ice, contrasted with the bright reds, yellows and greens of the sunsets and the northern lights.
In this photo taken in 1993, Harrison’s studio looks pretty homey. The ceiling is almost too low to accommodate the massive painting that the artist is standing next to. I can see a patterned couch up against the wall behind Harrison as well – the perfect spot for contemplating a work in progress or reading some inspirational material. There’s also some finished works hanging on the wall – always nice for an artist to be able to draw inspiration from their past moments of genius.
While the artist was born in Wingate, County Durham in England, Harrison was based in the Yukon for most of his career. This studio seems oddly fitting, with the wood paneling of the walls and ceiling serving somehow as a rustic nod to the wilderness that appears in his paintings. Harrison passed away in 2015, but not before donating the entirety of his personal archives to the library at the University Of Victoria, BC.
The artist’s distinct style has continued to influence many other artists, particularly those who choose arctic landscapes as their subject matter. For one example, check out the painted works of Linda Lang.