Monday, November 30, 2009


Yermo, 2008, oil/canvas, 30" x 60". (click image for larger view)

Last day of November and winter has continued to hold off (so far). This might be a good time to post a photo of "Yermo", with its sunny dry feeling. The piece was recently sold to the collection of the Toronto B&R Club after being shown at a members' cocktail and banquet. It was fun to meet the folks at the event, many who have been collecting my work for years, and put faces to names I only see written on gallery statements.

The painting now has a home; and knowing how these clubs work, it may live on the wall there for much longer than I live on this earth. The painting is one of many "desert pieces" that I continue to create based on my travels in the drier parts of the world. This one draws it's components from the Mojave Desert in the area near the California Arizona border. I just love the scrubby brush peppering the desert gravel - surviving the hot arid conditions. The metaphor is about endurance and beauty rolled into each other.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Morgan Forest

Morgan Forest, oil/panel, 24" x 24"

I'm interested in form as mass. But I'm also interested in light. Often the light in my landscapes is both from an external source and an internal glow. There are times when haze in the air allows me to get a handle on daylight. I kept working on this smaller painting with rapid over-washes until the blues, greys and yellow-greens met at the right value and felt like the kind of light you get on a summer morning. ....A summer morning in Morgan Forest.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


28" x 72"  oil  SOLD (Click any image to enlarge)

All the paintings in this post are variations on an imaginary river that I've called the Tara River. The paintings are large, so these little thumbnail pics should be clicked on to see a bigger version.

48" x 72" SOLD

The idea is to create an image that draws the viewer into a vast plane that recedes into a very long distance. The river metaphor is strong and suggest passage through life's years.

24" x 72" SOLD

The playing of billowing clouds against the land with river presents my version of yin and yang inter-relationships.

48" x 48" SOLD

There are no people and only a hint that they may have been here in the form of patterned crop fields. The glowing ribbon of river pulls us, dream-like, into a hazy unknown. There is uncertainty, but no fear.

48" x 48" SOLD

The viewpoint is from above. The viewer has no idea if they are standing on a cliff looking out over the river or if they are floating, like a deceased ghost, pushed by gentle winds, never cold.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More stupas

Grafton Peace Pagoda 2009. (Grafton NY)

The book project continued this fall as Chado and I swung down to the eastern part of New York State to photograph three stupas. The fall weather was perfect, sunny and cool, very fresh. The stops we made were at the Grafton Peace Pagoda, The Enlightenment Stupa at Kagyu Thubten Choling Monastery, Wappingers Falls, and the Stupa at Orgyen Cho Dzong, Greenville.

We are delighted to be able to photograph these sacred sites. Over the next 6 months we'll try to get to stupas in Cape Breton (Gampo Abbey) and as far west as Arizona and California. There is an ongoing effort among many sangas to build stupas; so it looks like we'll have to make our book a "selection" of North American Buddhist stupas rather than a comprehensive compilation. It's nice to see that the sangas are building them faster than we can keep up.

Orgyen Cho Dzong, Greenville

Enlightenment Stupa at Kagyu Thubten Choling Monastery


Toojiskeha, 2009, oil/panel, 48" x 36". (click on image for enlargement)

You might call this a Marchessault "Unframed". It's my first try at publicly dispensing with a picture frame. I actually painted right around the edges. This is nothing new in the world of fine art painting where many artists do not frame their work. However, in the commercial world of selling art in galleries and the like; once you've started to present your work with a frame it's hard for the sales teams to wean collectors off of them.

In fact, some of the galleries that represent my work actually photograph them in the frame and show the image with the frame included on their web sites. They know that their clients are attracted to nicely crafted picture frames. I sometimes joking refer to this as buying nice "furniture" with a free painting inside :-) But joking aside, the dealers are dead serious in their desire to present art in a package that is expected by the types of clients they serve.

I honestly find this discouraging. I work hard on the pieces in my studio. No frame is involved in the creation of the art. When the painting is completed, that decision is made without the influence of a hand rubbed picture frame. I would love for people to engage with the work as it is. But for many, collecting art is about decorating the home or office. People who can afford high priced art have beautiful homes and for many of them there is a need to maintain conventions - art is housed in frames period. It's how things are supposed to look.

So how to cope with the pressure to sell art (and stay alive financially) yet present my work as I'd like to? Here's a first attempt. Hopefully, it will work out well.