Nearly a century after his mysterious death, the evocative work and tale of Canadian art legend Tom Thomson continue to captivate us. But have you ever wondered what he would have been like on Twitter?
Tom Thomson's mysterious death contributes to his enduring appeal. (National Archives of Canada/Canadian Press)
Well, an anonymous Thomson buff well-versed in his back story is answering that very question via tweets from @TTLastSpring, intended to construct a digital diary of sorts -- approximating the artist's voice -- that details the final months before his drowning death on July 8, 1917 in Ontario's Algonquin Park.
The account's initial entries in late November mused about dreary weather, why he wasn't conscripted to fight in the First World War (flat feet) and how to finish his canvas The Jack Pine -- one of the country's most iconic, recognized paintings, now held by the National Gallery of Canada.
As the number of followers increased over the winter, @TTLastSpring continued to tweet carefully constructed updates, upload archival images and engage with Twitter followers by answering questions from those curious about his life and final days.
And this isn't some snarky, high-art spoof.
"This venture is about Tom, honouring his memory, the people who loved him and his art. It's not about me," the creator told the Globe and Mail via email.
This latest Thomson tribute comes on the heels of the Canadian spring art auction season, where his now-celebrated work is often a mainstay, and recent cultural investigations into his mystique like Roy MacGregor's compelling 2010 book Northern Light: The Enduring Mystery of Tom Thomson and the Woman Who Loved Him and Peter Raymont's documentary The West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson (currently screening at small theatres and venues across Canada).
"People are often drawn to Thomson because of the mystery of his death. It's fascinating, right? He was so young. He was at the height of his powers: he was just becoming famous and his paintings were starting to sell, he was thinking of going out West to paint the Rocky Mountains... It's 1917 and his friends are in the war -- A. Y. Jackson is over there -- and yet it's Thomson in Algonquin Park who dies," Raymont recalled in a CBC interview.
"This is that film I've always really wanted to make," he added.
Perhaps @TTLastSpring's tweet-by-tweet digital contemplation will attract a new generation of fans to the artist some described as Canada's Vincent van Gogh.
More entries for category: Art & Design
About the Author
Other The Buzz Entries
About the Authors
- 2013 (110)
- August (3)
- Al Pacino, as himself, for One Night Only
- FILM REVIEW: The Wolverine
- FILM REVIEW: Fruitvale Station
- ROM Game Jam to breathe new digital life into ancient cultures
- FILM REVIEW: Byzantium
- FILM REVIEW: The Hunt
- FILM REVIEW: Grown Ups 2
- FILM REVIEW: Pacific Rim
- FILM REVIEW: 20 Feet From Stardom
- FILM REVIEW: I'm So Excited
- FILM REVIEW: The Heat
- FILM REVIEW: World War Z
- An essential summertime song list
- FILM REVIEW: Frances Ha
- Beyond Tony Soprano: Remembering James Gandolfini
- Summer reading: top book choices from CBC Arts
- Jedward on the MMVA red carpet
- Film, TV tourism spikes with Game of Thrones, The Hobbit
- NXNE: a primer to the best of the Canadian music festival
- FILM REVIEW: Man of Steel
- FILM REVIEW: After Earth
- FILM REVIEW: Now You See Me
- Strombo chats up Craig Ferguson
- Khaled Hosseini's latest inspires digital Echo experience
- FILM REVIEWS: Fast and Furious 6, Epic and Picture Day
- FILM REVIEW: The Hangover Part 3
- Blake Shelton, Toby Keith boost benefits for Oklahoma
- Pushing Chinese stars beyond gimmicky roles
- Horror tale Haunting Melissa targets app audiences
- FILM REVIEW: Star Trek Into Darkness
- The return of Harmony Korine
- Michael Bublé gives surprise gig in NY subway
- Hot Docs: Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, High Five: An Adoption Saga
- Snoop Lion's Reincarnated wins over a skeptic
- At Coachella with Divine Fits' Dan Boeckner
- Can hip hop be a sustainable career for Canadian rappers?
- FILM REVIEW: Oblivion
- FILM REVIEW: My Awkward Sexual Adventure
- Buzz-worthy trailer for Man of Steel
- Hunger Games fans get a taste of Catching Fire
- FILM REVIEW: Emperor
- FILM REVIEW: G.I. Joe: Retaliation
- Canadian bands provide the warmth as CMW ends
- Jim Carrey skewers gun lobby with Cold Dead Hand
- Canadian Music Week: The unpretentious, the unenchanting and the unforgettable
- FILM REVIEW: The Croods
- Jay Leno's job on the line as late night TV wars resume
- Sam Roberts, Sarah Slean in NY Sandy fundraiser
- Justin Timberlake returns too late, the thrill is gone
- Selena Gomez's misstep on the Bieber file
- Canada's Stella Sisters sing a birthday tribute to the Man in Black
- Oscar swag the ultimate consolation prize
- Oscar predictions: the shoo-ins and the should-have-beens
- Authors bare all for PEN Canada
- Anoushka Shankar and the One Billion Rising campaign
- Beyoncé's Life Is But a Dream a curated peek behind the curtain
- Drake gets wild in the street over Grammy win
- 25 billion songs downloaded on iTunes, and counting
- CBC Music's Searchlight seeks best new artist
- 6 bone-crushing football films
- FILM REVIEW: Warm Bodies
- Justin Timberlake's musical comeback
- Argo moves to the fore in Oscar best picture race
- FILM REVIEW: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
- FILM REVIEW: Knife Fight
- FILM REVIEW: Parker
- Kroll Show parodies Degrassi with "Wheels, Ontario"
- FILM REVIEW: The Last Stand
- FILM REVIEW: Gangster Squad