Findable but Unlocated Tom Thomson Sketching Locations

Abstract: There are several sketches, believed to be from 1916, that we have been unable to locate and yet they seem sufficiently distinctive to facilitate location. They are:

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Bateaux

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Rocky Shore

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Sandbank with Logs

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Timber Chute

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Rainbow

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Algonquin Park

Bateaux

Bateaux

It is tempting to suggest, on the basis of the background hills, that this is Grand Lake. However, we can't match the two points on the left. We think that it is important to locate this one and we will keep looking.

Rocky Shore

Rocky Shore

This is not the big hill on Grand Lake nor does it appear to be of the hills along the eastern shore of Carcajou Bay.

Sandbank with Logs

Sandbank with Logs

Conceivably this is the sand bank at the eastern end of Grand Lake. We tried to see if we could find a match, but there is nothing sufficiently identifiable in the sketch. And why would you get a log jam on the shore of a lake? But if not there, then where? There are no sizeable sandbanks along the Barron River. There are sand banks on Lake Travers and along the Petawawa River upstream and downstream of Whitson Lake. Perhaps it is somewhere along Forbes Creek although that looks like a pretty big log jam for Forbes Creek.

Timber Chute

Timber Chute

We have no idea where this is, but the lay of the land is quite distinctive and in principle, this location should be identifiable.

Rainbow

Rainbow

This sketch has another sketch painted on the back: Snow Covered Trees (see the Tom Thomson Catalogue Raisonné entry for Rainbow)

Looking down MacDonald Creek from atop the cliff on Tarn Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2012-09-11 - map - explore) 

We think this location has possibilities in the absence of the tree cover. But certainly this view is not quite right. But perhaps if we were a little lower and ...

This photo is taken from about the same spot as our photo illustrating View from a Height, that is, on the cliff overlooking Tarn Lake. When we visited Tarn Lake, we didn't have a copy of this sketch with us as it hadn't occurred to us that Tarn Lake was a possibility. In spring 2015, some of our canoeing friends returned to Tarn Lake with a copy of this sketch in hand. They provided us with some more intriguing, but still not convincing, photos. We will attempt a return to Tarn Lake, but it is a hard trip for us old folks.

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View From a Height

Algonquin Park

Algonquin Park

This sketch is most frustrating. When we first saw it, our response was "Oh That's High Falls Lake. No doubt about it". But we have searched High Falls Lake, and it's not there. There are two small rocky outcrops in Johnston Lake, but they don't match either. While we feel that this should be easily findable, we haven't found anything in the Achray area. (nor elsewhere)

Finding these sketching locations is our challenge for the future.

In searching for these locations we need to remember that with respect to painting date, we have encountered several "false negatives", that is, sketches that have a painting date other than 1916, but are in fact from 1916. The underlying data may also contain "false positives"; that is, sketches that are dated 1916, but in fact were done previously. Those will not be found around Achray.