Tom Thomson, An Artist With A Canoe

by projectbuddy


This weekend, I spent some time exploring the life and work of Canadian artist Tom Thomson. It is difficult to describe his work without pictures so I have provided some favorites here. He canoed, he fished, he painted. It would have been awesome to have seen him painting the wilderness.

Most of his paintings were done outdoors, surrounded by the Canadian landscape that he loved so much. The brush strokes are bold and sure. They convey the eye of a keen observer of nature, immersed in the landscape. How very different from paintings done from photographs in a studio space.

The sampling of paintings here may serve as an introduction to Tom Thomson’s paintings. The snow scenes show a strong complimentary color scheme in the blue shadows and orange-brown foliage. The cloudscape shows incredible brushwork and color sensitivity. Included is a painting of his canoe which he greatly enjoyed.

Tom Thomson died unexpectedly and rather mysteriously in 1917. His work was unknown to me until a recent desire to find answers to the question: “What art would possibly have been hanging in my home when it was built in 1920?” These paintings fit me and they fit my house.


Tom Thomson created hundreds of paintings in the few short years before his unexpected death. For additional artworks and to learn more about the artist, visit West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson. Another valuable resources (though from a different “history detective” perspective) is Death On A Painted Lake: The Tom Thomson Tragedy.