I joined an art group in Kingston, OKWA, the Organization of Kingston Women Artists. I saw that so many fine artists are in the group and wanted to meet them and share with them our common interest. This year for Canada's 150th Celebration they are asking all the artists to choose a Canadian artist who inspired us and write a short statement telling why this is so. Such an interesting question. I could have chosen so many... some of the very famous, and some of my artist friends who are great artists too.
But, since we were to choose one, I picked Tom Thomson. When I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta we had prints in all of our elementary school classrooms of paintings done by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. 'The West Wind' was in my Grade 4 classroom and I spent a great deal of time looking at that work. It was my favourite of them all.
After travelling to China in 1994 I felt compelled to paint trees. I didn't realize it at the time at all, but now on reflection my tree paintings were influenced by my childhood idol and 'The West Wind.' The trees I painted were on a coloured background, were stylized, and were of a strong powerful single tree. I haven't painted trees much for some time now but since we are living on Desert Lake and surrounded by them, I plan to do many more in the next months and perhaps years.
So glad to have the inspiration from OKWA in order to reminisce and think about our great country and some wonderful artists!