Bold Impressionist Artworks By Tom Thomson

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I recently stumbled across a remarkable artist named Tom Thomson (August 5, 1877 – July 8, 1917). He was a Canadian artist whose work influenced a group of landscape painters known as the Group of Seven. Thomson passed away before the Group was officially formed, however he is sometimes incorrectly included in the Group.

Thomson started drawing and painting at an early age, but only started taking painting seriously once he was in his 30s. He was largely self-taught but developed skills through his work as a graphic designer.

His style is similar to that of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cezanne, with expressive brushwork and use of color.

As he was largely self-taught, he seemed to paint without the limitations of conventional wisdom. One of the benefits of being a self-taught artist is that you can learn techniques and methods and apply them in your own way. When you are taught under a system, you will inevitably adopt the practices of your teachers to some extent.

It is the way Thomson used color which fascinates me the most. All his paintings have a wonderful harmony and demonstrate very interesting color combinations. He also seemed to enjoy painting challenging subjects such as the Northern Lights or cluttered treescapes.

My favorite painting is Maple Saplings, which demonstrates a stunning contrast between muted background colors and vibrant yellows and oranges in the foreground.

Anyway, I will let you enjoy the rest of his paintings. Unfortunately, I was only able to locate photos of a handful of his paintings.

Tom Thomson, Maple Saplings, 1917
Tom Thomson, Maple Saplings, 1917
Tom Thomson, Untitled, 1917
Tom Thomson, Untitled, 1917
Tom Thomson, The West Wind, 1917
Tom Thomson, The West Wind, 1917
Tom Thomson, The Jack Pine, 1917
Tom Thomson, The Jack Pine, 1917
Tom Thomson, Sunset, 1915
Tom Thomson, Sunset, 1915
Tom Thomson, Snow In The Woods, 1916
Tom Thomson, Snow In The Woods, 1916
Tom Thomson, Northern River, 1915
Tom Thomson, Northern River, 1915
Tom Thomson, Northern Lights, 1917
Tom Thomson, Northern Lights, 1917
Tom Thomson, Lightning, Canoe Lake, 1915
Tom Thomson, Lightning, Canoe Lake, 1915

Thanks for Reading!

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Happy painting!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy

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Bold Impressionist Artworks By Tom Thomson

17 thoughts on “Bold Impressionist Artworks By Tom Thomson”

    • Yes his paintings do have a bit of a Japanese feel to them. Though I am not sure if there is any formal Japanese influence.

      Regards

      Dan

      Reply
  1. Just for the record Tom Thompson is famous here in Canada and is one of the most revered artists of his time and today. Many artists try to copy his style and when they do folks will automatically say, “it looks like a Thompson work!” So he is very well-known along with his association with the group of seven.

    Reply
    • Hi Terry

      Thanks for sharing. I am amazed I had not heard of him previously! Looks like I need to go back and do some more research.

      Regards

      Dan

      Reply
    • Hi Cindy

      Yes based on the number of emails I received this morning, it appears I severely understated the importance of Mr Thomson! Though I am glad to hear he is so well known, as I love his paintings.

      Dan

      Reply
  2. Thanks for finding this artist and providing background. You can see how some of today’s painters have this style. That says something! I’ve followed an artist, Jose Truillo for several years and his style has shifted in this direction. His philosophy, based on one of his YouTube posts, is to go with the flow, go with what people seem to want, or where you have success.

    Reply
  3. I was watching an episode of “The Murdoch Mysteries” and this artist Tom Thomson was mentioned. I had to look him up and Oh My Goodness, what such beautiful works but so very sorry to hear he had passed away so early in his life. How sad and what a loss. Thanks for showing me his work, marvellous.

    Reply
  4. Tom Thompson is one of my very favourite Canadian painters and yes he is very famous here in Canada, although many classically trained & realism artists do not like his or the Group of Seven artists (which is was apart of before it was a formal group. Some say that the group came together after his death as a way of honouring him, and dealing with the grief of losing their dear friend.
    Which reminds me of how the impressionist were thought of by the artists of the day.
    Thank you for your studies of artists and their styles. I took realism for 2 years hoping it would help me with my abstracts, from the two my style is beginning to develop into something between the two.

    Reply
  5. Check out the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, a gallery just north of Toronto which features the Group of Seven, Tom Thomson, and other Canadian artists. There is also the Tom Thomson Gallery in Owen Sound, where Thomson was born. Ian Dejardin is the Executive Director of the McMichael collection and did an online talk on 10 Feb about Thomson and his work. Very informative.

    Reply

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