Favourite painting

November 4, 2011

I’d be as hard pressed to choose a favourite painting as a favourite book, but for today’s exercise let’s say it’s this:

Tom Thomson’s 1915 Northern River. I worked at a small museum of (mostly) Canadian art for a few years in university, and enjoyed learning about everything and looking at our pieces and reading about artists and viewing other works by the artists and all of that. But I never really felt like I “got” the Group of Seven. I understood it as some sort of mythical Canadian wilderness, but it didn’t apply to anything I had seen.

And then I made a first memorable trip to the Algonquin Park area. And I saw places that looked exactly like these paintings. And went to Algoma, and Lake Huron, and saw places that looked like those paintings. And I finally understood what was being evoked. And now I love it.

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