Thomas (Tom) John Thomson, OSA Canadian (1877-1917) untitled oil on plywood signed lower right c. Spring/Summer 1915 8 1/8 x 10 7/8 in. (20.8 x 27.7 cm)
Other Notes: In 1915 Tom Thomson would spend the majority of his year immersed in the nature of the Algonquin Park region. For Thomson, this length of time resulted in a new depth of experience in Canada's wilderness that becomes evident in his sketches of this period. By the beginning in 1915, a noted difference in Thomson's painting is evident; from a literal translation of his surroundings to an emphatic depiction of how it feels to be engrossed in the landscape. This previously unknown Tom Thomson sketch has recently been authenticated and dated Spring/Summer 1915. The sketch showcases a bright sky of pale blues, purples, and peaches at sunrise above a hilly shore on a low horizon, all of this reflected in a placid lake. Because there are no foreground interruptions in view, we can assume that Thomson painted this en plain-air whilst sitting in his canoe. And like many sketches of 1915, such as Evening (in the McMichael Canadian Art Collection) and Sunset Sky (in the National Gallery of Canadian collection), it is evident in this painting that Thomson's primary interest was in the depth of colour and effect of light in this awakening sky. Not only is the subject idiomatic, but the palette and brushwork is consistent with other sketches of this period; Thomson's use of the dark slate-blue distant mountains of this sketch are similar in Sunset and the brown and green hills are similar to that in Hills and Swirling Sky (both of these comparatives are in the National Gallery of Canada collection).