Sunday, July 8, 2012

Forest Edge Daisies and Tom Thomson

I turned the easel another 45 degrees and stood on the edge of the group of daisies. Linda likes daisies. A butterfly landed on the canvas apparently thinking the daisies were real- the best complement I had that day. I also rescued a bug from the oil with the butt of my brush. A family of ravens were carrying on a lengthy conversation. Oils on medium ultramarine blue oil tinted foundation on commercial canvas - 14 X 11 (inches).
Tom Thomson died 95 years ago today. Roy MacGregor and I share the same opinion - arrived at quite independently. Of course no one will ever know for sure and in reality, it doesn't matter as it cannot change the fact that Canada lost its greatest artist. Tom's genius was found in his art. How, when or why he died is irrelevant except that we lost the art he was certainly destined to produce. For what it is worth, here is my much abbreviated opinion based solely on discarding the half truths and lies from the story of those days in July 1917. Tom's watch (water proof watches weren't invented until the 1920's) stopped at 12:14 when his body hit the water. That was 12:14 am early Monday morning and not 12:14 pm Sunday afternoon. He arrived back from fishing unnoticed late Sunday evening - had a scuffle with Shannon Fraser over money or perhaps Tom's philandering. The impact of Tom's left temple on Shannon's fireplace grate was deadly. In fright, Annie and Shannon dumped the body in Canoe Lake using Shannon's fishing wire and a weight to hold him down forever - "No body - no crime". Tom wasn't supposed to surface ever again but fate and Dr. G.W. Howland trolling for trout with his daughter must have dislodged the body. Tom was buried in the Canoe Lake cemetery and is still there today.

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