"Do you see the northern lights? Yes Tom, I said, they're very brilliant tonight. And he wound his hands, and out he'd go, and stand. And I kept on a roaring good fire, and Tom'd come in, warm his hands again, five below zero, and out he'd go. And just gaze at them. Finally about eleven thirty it would be, he said, I believe I can put that on canvas. Now, that "Northern Lights" was painted partly by lamp light, and walking out and lookin' at it. How he did it, no one knows but Tom Thomson."
- Mark Robinson, 1952 Interview