The West Wind - SketchThe West Wind - Studio

The West Wind, winter 1916-1917 Click for the CSI - Creative Scene Investigation Text will appear in a new window and I suggest that you drag this window to the side so that you can read it while looking at the image. This simple approach works but not as well as Flash! It works best if you have two monitors.

Tom painted and was inspired by what he saw. The comments applied to the final “West Wind” also apply to the sketch. 

Tom’s motivation to “record” this particular observation – the tree, colours of the hills and the cloud structure.

The story here is that he was with Dr MacCullum, Lawren Harris and Lawren’s cousin Chester on Lake Cauchon when he painted the sketch. “It was blowing very hard and Lawren Harris was painting further up the shore. The wind blew down the tree of the picture, and Harris first thought that Thomson was killed but he soon sprang up, waved his hand to him and went on painting.” Dr MacCullum note to Miss A. L. Beatty, secretary to the curator of the Art Gallery of Ontario, dated May 14, 1937.

In a letter to Miss A.L. Beatty, secretary to the curator of the Art Gallery of Ontario, dated 14 May 1937 (Library, Art Gallery of Ontario; quoted in Reid, Group of Seven, 104), MacCallum wrote: 'It may interest you to know ... that the West Wind was done at Lake Cauchon. Thomson, myself, Lorne [sic] Harris and his cousin Chester were up there. It was blowing very hard and Lorne Harris was painting farther up the shore. The wind blew down the tree of the picture and Harris first thought that Thomson was killed but he soon sprang up, waved his hand to him and went on painting.'

Tom did not survive to finish the painting that was still on his easel in the shack in Toronto.