Friday, August 6, 2010
Tom Thompson: West Wind Revisited
The West Wind
The Jack Pine
First of all, allow me to say that there has been some ambiguity on my part between Thompson's painting of 'Jack Pine' and 'West Wind'.
I did a bit of digging and learned that I called the picture that I had posted a few entries back 'The West Wind'. In fact - it is 'The Jack Pine.' My confusion between the two, may be excused because both paintings are similar.
Thompson's Jack Pine, is a much more controlled painting. Click on the picture, to enlarge it and take a careful look at his brush work. The strokes are carefully and intentionally exacted. Look at the sky, and the rocks, and the foliage. It is interesting to notice that while this picture, captures that wild feeling of the northern setting, it is achieved through technique. Its much more a head job than a heart work, like 'The West Wind'.
Charles Hill, in the book 'Tom Thomson', writes of the Jack Pine.
"The decorative character is emphasized by its almost square format. Land, water and sky are painted in parallel bands, similar to his treatment of the rocks in his spring sketch, "Spring Foliage on the Muskoka River. The more formal construction Thomson derived from Lawren Harris's recent paintings."
Its interesting to read J.E.H. MacDonald's critiquing about the West Wind.
"The trunk of the tree is unmodulated and outlined in a darker colour and the foreground rocks are blocked in a schematic way, while the sky and water are treated with a feathery touch. The despairity in treatment creates a disturbing tension but in its directness and boldness of conception it surges with energy."
Text: Tom Thomson 1877-1917
Essays by Charles Hill, Dennis Reid, and John Wadland. Edited by Joan Murray.
co publishers: Art Gallery of Ontario and National Gallery of Canada
NE249.TSA4 2002 759.11 C2002.910152-2
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