The winter snows are sometimes released in a torrent... kind of like now! That was also the case for this image of the Oxtonque River just west of Algonquin Park. Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven certainly painted and roamed these parts. I did as well. I plan to again but I have to finish the 50 Years of Our Flag painting first.
This portion of the 50 Years of Our Flag Painting represents “spring”. Spring is a time for rebirth and growing. In Algonquin Park it is also a time for black flies. The little rascals drew blood. Looking at his in a positive way, they stopped me from over-working the canvas. I was perched on a rock just off the shore of the Oxtongue River - "outstanding on a rock" you might say. The GPS showed me on the west bank but my easel and I were clearly on a rock surrounded by water. I continued to flinch and scratch after bugs for days even though there were no longer any biting insects around. I liked the sketch so much that I transformed it into a 3x4 foot canvas. John Ross Matheson and Bob Harper liked it when it was included in the draft for the 50 Years of Our Flag Painting. I had these paintings hanging in front of me when I worked on the spring portion of the canvas.
Although the bugs don’t appear explicitly in any portion of the final painting they are still a big part of Canada. Some are immortalized within the paint of the first sketch - they are little bumps smashed into the canvas with my brush.