Thursday, September 13, 2007

Lake Louise, Canada

Tommy Thompson has literally "been to the mountaintop" in more ways than one. The artist just completed a one-week mentoring session in the Canadian Rockies painting alongside one of America's premier plein air painters, Kevin Macpherson. When Macpherson critiqued Thompson's work at the conclusion of the session, he deemed Thompson's paintings, "spectacular" and worthy of a toast to the artist during the concluding dinner party.

Some of the most beautiful natural gems of the Canadian Rockies were destinations for the painting excursion in which Thompson participated. "Because I approached this experience with a willingness to depart from my comfort zone as far as painting is concerned, I learned from almost every artist that I met, especially Kevin," Thompson says. "This was one of the best learning experiences of my life, and it all occurred in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Another of the pluses of this trip was that I became more familiar with the work of the most beloved Canadian artist, Tom Thomson, although I cannot claim kin with him."

Beginning with the breathtaking vistas on the grounds of Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and guided by Macpherson, the group of six artists strived to capture the region's beauty on canvas. Next, the oil artists ventured to Whitehorn Mountain via the Lake Louise Gondola. Other focal points for the week-long intensive painting experience included: Moraine Lake, Emerald Lake, Lake O'Hara, Canmore--Three Sisters, and Vermillion Lakes. At Lake O'Hara, Thompson painted the same scene that was painted by the renowned American painter, John Singer Sargent, in 1916. Each night the artists were treated to not only gourmet dinners but also discussions on painting techniques and marketing, led by some of the best known U.S. artists. Individual and group critiques helped to guide the artists in advancing and promoting their careers.

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