December 2014

Tom Thomson’s The West Wind at NGC well worth a visit

The West Wind painting by Tom Thomson

“The West Wind” by Tom Thomson is one of the most recognizable images in the history of Canadian art, and it is on display at the National Gallery of Canada as part of the Tom Thomson: The Jack Pine and The West Wind exhibition. “Nothing new,” you might say. While it’s a familiar image, it’s not exactly a “celebrity” painting like the Mona Lisa, worthy of an envy-inspiring selfie. So why bother making a trip to the National Gallery to see the actual work when a postcard will do? Plenty, I say, and here’s why.

Writer paints magical picture of his art-loving todler

Once upon a time, at a gallery in Banff, Alberta, I saw a painting of a young boy standing in front of a large canvas. I couldn’t take my eyes of that mesmerized little person, the painter’s son. I don’t remember the artist’s name or the title of the work, but I do remember how that painting touched me, and I still have a ton of regret for not buying it. Today I read a recent Ottawa Citizen article, a part of which reminded me of that special painting. David Reevely, a Citizen writer and blogger, shared a magical 40-minute “moment” with his art-loving two-year-old son during their visit to the National Gallery of Canada. Even Dickens can’t offer you a sweeter story this Christmas.

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