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I’m sitting in the Taiga Garden outside of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.
Few people realize it, but this garden was inspired
by paintings made by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven.
Their iconic images captured the stark beauty of the Canadian Shield.
Painted by Tom Thomson in 1917,
The Jack Pine shows a lone pine tree standing guard over icy water with a mountain range in the distance.
Drooping branches are silhouetted against the light of a Northern Ontario sunset.
Notice the rich colours and flat brush strokes that Thomson used.
The water could be pieces in a puzzle.
And using layers of paint, Thomson built up a thick texture to represent the ground below the tree.
The painting dances with crimson reds in the branches and soft yellows and greens in the sky.
The solitary northern tree in The Jack Pine captured the uniqueness of the Canadian landscape
something that appealed to many artists at the time.
Established in 1920, the artists who formed the Group of Seven continued this legacy.
And their paintings still inspire us today.