Ten Paintings referencing the iconic HBC Point Blanket
Originally used in trade with First Nations in Canada, the Hudson’s Bay point blanket is one that all Canadians recognize. With it’s distinctive HBC stripes of green, red, yellow and indigo, the blanket has become an icon of Canadiana. Known as the ‘point blanket’ for the black lines woven into the selvage of the blanket along the edge, these lines came to signify the size of the blanket. Genuine point blankets have become a luxury item and a sought after collectible, fetching prices in the thousands of dollars. The main determinants of value include age, size, colour, pattern rarity and condition. As a Canadian artist who is known for painting themes, symbols and icons of Canada; the HBC point blanket has made it’s way into my paintings over the years, helping to express visual stories about my Canadian experience, on canvas. Here are ten paintings that reference the iconic Hudson Bay stripes and point blanket:
Point blankets were bought by Indigenous Canadians and settler communities alike to use as bedding, clothing, room dividers and fabric for other items. Prior to the European blanket trade, many Indigenous nations wore hand-woven blankets made of animal hides and furs. Blankets played an important role in many Canadian Indigenous communities as all-purpose clothes and household items, as well as status symbols.
Ten paintings that reference the HBC point blanket and stripes. We see those stripes everywhere we look in Canada and around the world. I have one of these blankets on the couch in my studio. It serves as a reminder of our history, and the importance these blankets played. Like the landscape, there is something loved and familiar here, you cannot deny the visual importance that four little stripes hold on the Canadian consciousness.
See more iconic Canadian paintings.