I love a good murder mystery.  But you never think artists are involved in such mysteries.  Artists are too busy doing their art in solitude.  So I bought an out of print book at the Strand bookstore in Union Square New York.  This artist, Tom Thomson’s paintings were mesmerizing!!!  “The Best of Tom Thomson” by Joan Murray (1986) is the book I bought and I never read the book and just looked at the pictures.  I do that a lot.   Then I decided to read about him as a possible blog post.  Well it turns out Tom Thomson’s story ends with his mysterious death that has never been solved even with the coroner’s report of accidental drowning. His death has been researched for decades and many conspiracy theories have been written about.  So WHO IS TOM THOMSON?

This is a story of a talented artist who could never believe in his talent. 


He would refer to himself as the “Bum Artist “.  When visitors came to see his work in his studio he would welcome them with “Come in and see my junk”.

Tom Thomson did acquire iconic status as a wilderness painter in Canada even before his tragic death in 1917. 

 He is considered the most influential painter of the 20th Century.  It was Thomson’s style that inspired the creation of the GROUP OF SEVEN “ wilderness landscape painters in 1920.  

His best known paintings are “THE WEST WIND” and “THE JACK PINE ” shown below.

THE WEST WIND oil on canvas

 THE JACK PINE    1916-17 oil on canvas

Tom Thomson has been called the Van Gogh of Canada.  He was tall, dark and handsome always far too shy and humble. And his death came much too soon at the age of 39. 

My next post on Tom Thomson’s death and how it continues to be a mystery centuries after will delve into the many theories.   




I used to love dolls as a child in the 1950’s/60’s.  Of course I had 6 or 7 Barbie dolls.  But there was one doll my mother gave me that she would not let me play with.  That doll sat in the box and she kept it squirreled away in her bedroom closet.   This doll was a Madame Alexander collectible called Cissy.  The doll would be taken out once a month to look at.   Another strange thing is the doll never had any doll clothes.  Nothing.   This is weird because the doll only wore underwear.  It was fancy but not fun to look at all the time. 

After I moved out of my mother’s home I forgot about my Cissy doll I couldn’t play with. I was 17 and over dolls.  Mom kept her forever after in the box like the strange doll she always was.  Here is what my so-called Cissy doll looked like. 

Cissy is worth a lot of money today.  But I forgot about her because my mom kept her hidden in her closet till the day she finally ended up in a nursing home.   I think she was a creepy doll.   Why did my mother give me a doll I couldn’t have???   You figure. 

So in the 1920’s there was a trend of grown women collecting interesting and strange dolls. Some were called boudoir dolls because they sat on beds.  I found a lot of strange doll photos from the era.   Boy a lot of weird things going on in that era.  Take a look. 

But this phenomenon had a sinister male here and there. ..  YIKES