Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Old Birch

This old white birch could be anywhere but it is not. It is in the Mowat Graveyard not far from the resting place of Tom Thomson. The Mowat site is a touch stone for several generations of Canadian artists and Canadian enthusiasts. Tom was never moved from that site.

The skeleton exhumed by Judge William T. Little in 1956 was re-buried and marked with a cross. Roy MacGregor believes the small cross currently at the Mowat Graveyard was erected for a documentary film in 1969 and is not the same wooden cross erected by Little to mark the grave site that he and his co-workers discovered. This cross is twenty feet north of the cemetery fence. Roy MacGregor says the exact location of the reburied remains is somewhere else "in the tangle of raspberry canes, dead spruce, rotting leaves and pine needles, somewhere beneath the saplings fighting for light and the lovely yellow wildflowers that grow all along the trail up to his grave. . . ." My friend Neil J. Lehto has studied and written extensively on the Tom Thomson story. His book "Algonquin Elegy" is well worth the read. 

1 comment:

Catherine Meyers said...

Phil, I sure love your work. This painting of the old white birch is so painterly as is all you work I think. I am en egg tempera painter now but was an oil painter and I still appreciate and love when artists aren't afraid to commit to applying paint to canvas in the way you do. Tom Thomson...what can I say I always fall for the dead guys! I've always been an admirer of his work more the the rest of the "group".
I have never been so much a landscape painter but you certainly inspire me to be!

Don't stop painting my friend!

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