Videos from the Trail

Note: These videos are all available on Youtube in full screen

I presented this TedX talk during the time of the project. It will provide you with an overview in my own words. I was honoured to be asked to speak.

In the spring of 2012, before there were really any people in the Park to speak of, I decided to try and find Mowat Cemetery, the original gravesite of Tom Thomson, and some would say present gravesite. . I had never paddled Canoe Lake until that day. I spent at least 3 hours wandering the woods in search of the spot. At one point I had myself turned around and ended up a kilometre from where I thought I was. The day was getting late and I was starting to wonder if I would be spending the night in the bush. Not an exciting thought. But, I eventually came out to the shoreline, got my bearing and headed back towards my canoe. On the way back down the old roadway I saw a very faint track into the woods. No marker, no obvious trail, just a faint flattened area into the woods. We Canadian’s are so laid back and humble that we don’t even highlight the graveyard of our most esteemed artist. No tourist gadgets to buy, no snack food or flashing lights, just a faint trail into the woods. So, off I went and the trail led me right to the site. You will hear in my voice that it had been a long day and a very exciting moment for me. 

Mark Robinson was park ranger in Algonquin Park and a good friend of Tom Thomson.  Many of the stories we know of Thomson’s time in the Park are because of documentation Robinson recorded. His cabin was on Joe Lake. One lake north of Canoe Lake, near both the Canoe Lake train station as well as the Joe Lake train station. This video is of me locating the site. I always loved exploring the various sites from the Thomson story. Too much so the first year. I did too much exploring and not enough painting. I enjoyed every minute of it!

Canoeing in Algonquin Park in March is almost unheard of. Mainly because the lakes are normall frozen solid still, but also because it isn’t the most intelligent thing to do! I think I apologized to my Mom in the video, which depicts me canoeing through a thin crust of ice that was still on the water. 

This spot is called Brigham Shute. I’m not great with name so I called it Brigham Falls. I did a study in this spot and later a studio painting. I kept my name because when I painted it that was what I thought it was called. Someone down the road can change the title, but in my lifetime it will be known as Brigham Falls. A few people have already corrected me. Maybe a little stubborn? Lol. 

I was canoeing along the Barren Canyon on the last painting trip of the project. I could hear this rushing water as I was carrying my canoe acrosss a portage. So, I went to snoop and as you will see when you look at my studio paintings, I ended up setting up and painting on this site. What a wonderful time standing and painting while listening to the rushing water!

I often recorded me painting using my GoPro camera. This is one of the only uninterupted filming from the start to finish of a painting. Might not be an ideal example since the camera moves around and you often can’t see the subject, but it will give you a sense of my experiences painting in the field. The weather was nice though. I will have to find one painted on a stormy day to post. There are lots! 

Moose and Algonquin Park go hand in hand for me. I’ve been lucky to see so many of them. This one we saw on Lake Tanamakoon on my way into Camp Tanamakoon to teach art. You take a boat in through a couple lakes and a channel. This time I was being chauffeur driven. We were lucky enough to spot this beautiful bull moose. What a great scene. I’ve been thinking about painting him for several years. I finally am. I am just finishing up a painting now that show him with a fuller rack and a cow moose off to the side. Typical of how I combine wildlife reference. Cehck out my North American wildlife page. If it is posted, I’ve finished it.

Who doesn’t love the call of a loon. This is just a short clip, but it is something I spent so many evenings alone at my campsite listening too. Also in my tent at night. Always takes me back..