MacDonald, James Edward Harvey
It is widely accepted that the meeting of J.E.H. MacDonald and Lawren Harris in 1911 first began the exchange of ideas that would ultimately lead to the formation of the Group of Seven. MacDonald was born in Durham, England but moved to Canada in 1887. He studied at the Central Ontario School of Art and Design under William Cruikshank and George Reid. In 1889, he embarked upon a successful career as a commercial artist. It was following an exhibition of his sketches at the Arts and Letters Club in Toronto that he met Harris. Wild Ducks is typical of MacDonald's treatment of landscape in this period, with its low horizon, and wide expanse of sky dominated by rolling clouds, but it is rare in its inclusion of a human figure. The hand-carved frame was designed and fabricated by the artist. It features flying ducks at the corners connected by wavy lines representing water.