While the Scottish Colourists upped sticks to the south of France or the exotic sands of Iona, Thomson canoed around Algonquin, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.  So I set of for Canada, uncertain what would transpire. I took about thirty small panels with me and a bag of paints. Expectations were low. Painting outdoors is difficult enough on you own doorstep, never mind across the other side of the world.

The first week was dire, but on the third week, I came across Tea Lake Dam. Thomson painted here, immortalised in a black and white photo of him fishing. It was here that I got a foothold. The silence without the storm, high pressure and the fall combining to give a golden stillness. Surrounded, no horizon.  Low vantage point, bordering claustrophobic. The outworking of an obsession. But then most art is the outworking of an obsession […]

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