promoting conservation through artistic efforts
HomeBiographyC.V.Scratchboard InfoGalleryUpcoming EventsContact

Hiding A Mystery
18 x 24

This year, the Algonquin Art Centre's theme will be "Legacy", a tribute to the life of artist Tom Thomson. When I was invited to create a piece for this theme, I first assumed I could not possibly have anything to contribute, as I am not a landscape artist. Later, I began musing on the life of Thomson, his love of nature, the fact that he never settled in a job he enjoyed, threw aside societal norms to pursue his dream...and I realized that while our subject matter differs slightly, we had a lot in common.

Much has been written about the legacy of Tom Thomson, his death is still a mystery to this day. Conspiracy theories abound - was he murdered? did he commit suicide? or did he just simply drown by accident on Canoe lake on July 8th, 1917? Tom Thomson was an influential Canadian painter of the period between 1912 and the year of his death. He is best known for his skilled and controlled use of color when painting the rugged scenes of Northern Ontario and also for influencing the iconic Canadian artists who later became known as "The Group of Seven".

Gravesite dug up, bones examined, books written...many will say it was more than accidental drowning, and yet the mystery remains. Wildlife would have been plentiful in 1917. Thomson no doubt would have relished scanning the shore for moose while canoeing, as we all do, in the park. I pondered about how many he may have seen during his travels. In this piece I have created a simple portrait of this keystone species of Algonquin park, but perhaps he is hiding a mystery - could he have been witness to the events that fateful day? If you look carefully at the artwork, three things are also hidden with him; a canoe, Tom Thomson's initials, and the iconic tree from the famous painting "West Wind".