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Large vs. Small - It Makes a Difference!

The Inspiration

I woke up this morning to six inches of new snow. I wanted to get out for a walk with my camera really early before the sun was too strong. The boughs of the pine trees were laden with pristine snow; it reminded me of a painting by Tom Thomson, the first of the Canadian Group of Seven painters.

Truth be told, I think of him every time I see snow on trees.

My First Idea

As I walked back home along the snowy road, I wondered if I could compose a painting that would do justice to the beauty all around me. I was especially thinking of that big old pine tree.

Should I go to the studio, and make a small painting? I've been advised to do that. They take up less space, are less expensive, you can do a "painting a day".

But does that excite me? Not so much.

Snow in October, Tom ThomsonWinter 1916-17

I've loved this painting since I first saw it many years ago in the National Gallery of Canada, in Ottawa.

Behind the piano!

Answers can be found in the strangest places!

Coming through the living room after my walk, I noticed a very large painting support in behind the piano. I had sort of forgotten about it. Actually there are two of them back there. (You might ask why! I don't have space in my studio to store many large panels, and so they tend to end up hidden away in the house).

The first whisper that came into my mind was "now if I were to paint that pine tree, that's the size that I would like"!

Shall I Give it a Go?

I'm a big believer in following my instincts, even when practicalities say "just a minute now". I'd even say, that I think when we get ideas like this, they are presents from the universe and we should honor them.

So I have been in the studio this afternoon, drawing that big old pine tree. Thanks, Tom!


I just measured the panel. It's 32 x 36".

Tom Thomson's painting is 32 5/16 x 34 8/16".

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

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