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.
ITS A STORY OF A TORTURED MIND OF DOUBT.
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.
Resources: www.wikipedia.com. http://Www.canadianmysteries.ca
MORE SHALL BE REVEALED.
In the past few weeks my painting has morphed into an abstract landscape that is a new style from my impressionist one.
The truth is that in the last 4 months I’ve been withdrawing from a very powerful antidepressant after being on it for 16 years. Last year I realized how it was making me worse and I am not depressed anymore. So powerful is this drug that my brain has zapping which feels like electrical shocks are piercing the cells. I’m dizzy, have brain fog and my legs cramped so badly I couldn’t walk for 3 weeks. But now the real me is emerging. I can finally feel myself coming out.
So I actually did this painting in withdrawal. And I also did the previous painting in withdrawal. And the experience was a struggle to focus my vision (blurred vision was a part of withdrawal). But here it is. I believe the real me is finally emerging.
THIS IS THE FINISHED PAINTING!!!
A painting I am working on in my escape into landscapes theme.
The original acrylic on canvas
The iPad experiments
The first painting of the year is a prediction of where I am going. After a break from painting this is what appeared.
It was done in acrylic. 18″ x 14″
August 12th I had carpel tunnel surgery on my right hand. It’s my dominant hand. So I took the time to relax and heal. However, it eventually took me down the mental rabbit hole. I ended up depressed, lonely and blocked creatively. It was like my mind was empty. A dust bin.
I couldn’t think and forget posting on my blog.
Weeks were passing and now I have feelings of failure. I want to write a blog post but I feel stupid. It’s been forever. I’m a terrible blogger with an artist block!!!!
And then I realized that my blog is about coming back from an artist block. Isn’t life always about the comebacks.
The artist comeback can be a Phoenix rising. A new path, a different story. And actually I have a new theme I started in my paintings. I have added figures to my landscapes. The figures are faceless children ( they are me or you) and they are escaping into landscapes. This is the first of a group that I will be working on.
My mission to engage people in creativity is finally happening! My painting classes at the Riverdale Senior Center have now begun their 3rd session!! This post is to show the incredible art from people who never painted before.
And a new student who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s has joined. Robert is a professional artist who studied at the Art Students League. He has a studio upstate New York. However, since his mental decline he has not done art for a long time. I told him the first day that he is still an artist and he can create just like Monet when his eyesight went bad.
My painting classes are not about skill. I do not teach technique. There is a very spiritual connection to art and one student, Margery, has exceptional talent.
So here’s to Riverdale’s emerging artists. And please do not refer to them as seniors dabbling in art. Their work is fearless and vibrant. Totally alive and ageless!
The following are by Robert who has Alzheimer’s:
STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO