Lawren Harris was born in Brantford, Ontario. Being a member of a wealthy family, he was able to concentrate on his art throughout his life. During his career as a Canadian artist, Harris was a powerful force in encouraging other Canadians to paint the landscapes of their country. Harris was the key force behind the formation of the Group of Seven.
In 1915, he and Tom Thomson came to the Oxtongue River and Algonquin Park. Together, the two canoed the Oxtongue River where Harris sketched the river’s lustrous greens and purple tones.
Harris had this to say about the wilderness he captured in paint: “If we view a great mountain soaring into the sky, it may excite us, evoke an uplifted feeling within us…the artist takes that response and its feelings and shapes it on canvas with paint so that when finished it contains the experiences.”
Harris captured his experience along the Oxtongue River in a canvas he titled “Spring on the Oxtongue River”. This work of art is part of the Group of Seven collection at the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery in Sarnia, Ontario.