The TOM THOMSON 100 Project
Starting in 2012, I began to paint my first panels based on Tom Thomson's work. At that point, I realized this was a project I could undertake and that it would contribute to my own understanding and desire to improve my skills.
It became The Tom Thomson 100 Project complete with a tagline that reads:
A Proposal to study the work of Tom Thomson to improve my own interpretation of the landscape and develop new skills to render it more effectively.
To handle the reference base for my own work, I collected 460 images from books and websites that I numbered, catalogued with date, title and size. The digital images represent what I believe to be the focus of Thomson's work completed between 1912 and 1917 before he died. Most were small panels done on location and referred by Thomson as his records. Thomson's larger canvases completed in his studio were also included. It was from this collection that I chose the images I wanted to replicate to study and learn Thomson's techniques and methods. I decided the panels I created would be Original Reproductions, using Thomson's reference but following my own interpretation of his efforts.
So the journey began with the idea of creating 100 replications or interpretations over the next 5 years. All panels will be the same size 9 x 12 painted in acrylic on masonite and flush mounted on white liners with white frames. All fabrication and assembly will be done personally with the hope of having a consistent appearance for an exhibition of the entire body of work when finished.
I am currently more than half way through the process and am pleased to say
I have learned a great deal from the exercise. Although the panels will be rendered in a studio environment and not on location, it is my intention to deal with the subject matter that I follow rather than produce them based on what a location would provide. Nonetheless. I have followed a prescribed amount of time to execute each panel to simulate the time Thomson may have spent painting on location in Algonquin Park.
I will produce some larger canvases as well in keeping with the more recognized work Thomson produced in the studio during winters in Toronto. Should time permit I may complete more small panels to reflect his study of skies and sunsets as an additional series of work.
The Tom Thomson 100 Project was initiated in 2012 with the intention of painting a number of replications of Thomson's work over a 5 year period (mirroring Thomson's own journey one hundred years later) with completion of the project to occur in July 2017. This date was significant in that it will be the 100th anniversary of Thomson's death, the 150th birthday of Canada and also my 70th birthday.
The Tom Thomson 100 Project has been a work in progress, a great learning opportunity for me and a journey I wouldn't have missed for anything. I hope to share the results of my work and efforts with any interested party once the project has been completed. If you have interest, comments, questions or concerns, please contact me. I am open to any opportunity that presents itself along the way. Although a very personal journey for me,
I look forward to sharing the results and the benefit of this exercise with others.