Spring: Tom Thomson

Spring in Algonquin Park oil on board 1917

Early Spring, Canoe Lake 

Frozen Lake Early Spring Algonquin Park oil on board 1914

Early Spring oil on board 21.6 x 26.8 cm 1917

Spring Ice oil on canvas 72 x 102.3 cm 1916

Tom Thomson (Canadian, 1877- 1917) lets us know that a Canadian spring includes plenty of snow and ice. Thomson's sense of dramatic design was likely developed before he began painting landscapes, while in his first career as a graphic designer. There is a wild and untamed quality in his paintings, directly inspired by the Canadian landscape.

The rough beauty of Thomson's work cuts me deeply, like listening to Beethoven, and has me thinking that aesthetic beauty is a very complex subject indeed- much more complex than Scott Burdick seems to think in his video "The Banishment of Beauty", mentioned in yesterday's post.

Thomson's early death at the age of 39 is wrapped in mystery, said to be caused by a either a boating accident, suicide over a failed relationship or lack of recognition, or even murder.

The month of March will be dedicated to the theme of spring. Have some favorite paintings of the season of spring by other artists you'd like to share? Please email your suggestion (not your own work please) with a few words to describe why you like it. Be sure to include the title, medium, size and year.


  1. I love your blog!!! Greetings, Maribel M.B

  2. I've never heard of Tom Thomson, nice landscapes, reminds me of some of Carlsons work.


  3. Thomson can be very good indeed! Love the images you chose to show us.


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