Wayne Larsen is a Montreal artist, editor, and writer whose work has appeared in a wide variety of publications. Currently, he teaches graduate-level journalism at Concordia University and is the author of A.Y. Jackson: The Life of a Landscape Painter and James Wilson Morrice: Painter of Light and Shadow. He lives in Verdun, QC.
Tom Thomson (1877-1917) occupies a prominent position in Canadaâ€™s national culture and has become a celebrated icon for his magnificent landscapes as well as for his brief life and mysterious death. The shy, enigmatic artist and woodsmanâ€™s innovative painting style produced such seminal Canadian images as The Jack Pine and The West Wind, while his untimely drowning nearly a century ago is still a popular subject of fierce debate.
Originally a commercial artist, Thomson fell in love with the forests and lakes of Ontarioâ€™s Algonquin Park and devoted himself to rendering the north countryâ€™s changing seasons in a series of colourful sketches and canvases. Dividing his time between his beloved wilderness and a shack behind the Studio Building near downtown Toronto, Thomson was a major inspiration to his painter friends who, not long after his death, went on to change the course of Canadian art as the influential - and equally controversial - Group of Seven.