Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lavender Hills

Lavender Hills, 25" x 24" oil/panel

I will be showing recent work at Art Chicago beginning April 29th, 2010 in the Tanner Hill Galleries booth.  This means that I've been working hard in the studio to create some new pieces.  I already need to supply Gallerie de Bellefeuille (Montreal) with about 7 new works for a small show on July 31.  And then there is my Santa Fe show on October 8th. Thankfully my Toronto show (June 5th) is now complete and drying.  

This means no slacking off if I want to ensure that all venues will have new pieces.  It's quite exciting actually!

Morning Moon, 36" x 48", oil/panel

Wye-Yo-Ming, 36" x 48, oil/panel

Yes, those are little red berries!  First time I decided to include these fruits.  I like the red accents against the cool greens.

High Valley Near Chama, 24" x 48", oil/panel

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Four paintings

Desert Juniper, 24 x 60", oil/panel (click to enlarge)

This horizontal is another in my series of desert plants as seen from a coyote's point of view.  I get inspired for these by getting down on my hands and knees for a low angle view.  In fact most of my desert scrub paintings are of plants that are no higher than your waist.

Abercorn, 24 x 24", oil/panel, (click to enlarge)

This is a memory piece.  As a young man I would spend summers on the Vermont / Quebec border near the Abercorn border crossing.  In the valley north of the town were a number of streams where we'd swim or raft along using old inner tubes.  The summers seemed to last forever.  In fact, they went by in a flash.

Attan, 48 x 60", oil/panel, (click to enlarge)

This large painting (for me) is based on the iconographic tree against the sun image I continue to work with.

Last Tree Fifty Mile, 24 x 24", oil/panel, (click to enlarge)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Whitbergen, oil/panel, 11 x 14.  (Click to enlarge)

The paintings seem to be oscillating between long views and tighter looks at trees and bushes.  This little work is one of the former.  I'm enjoing playing off the middle ground against aerial perspective.

Studio visit

I've had some emails asking about where I work.  Here's a little tour to show you the studios.  There are two.  One is mine and the other belongs to my partner, Teresa Cullen.  She does many things including painting.

We built the studios behind the house on an acre located north of Toronto in Oro Township near Barrie.  Costs being what they are we built the studios in 2 stages.  They are under one roof but each is separate with it's own door to a common studio patio.

The following pictures should give you an idea of the studios.

Looking at the studios from the back of the house.

The studios' common patio.

The studio patio.

Teresa's entrance door.

Letting the cat in her studio.

Teresa Cullen.

In Robert Marchessault's studio.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New work

Jin, oil/panel, 36" x 48" (click image to enlarge)

The winter is passing quickly.  Here in this part of Ontario we've missed all the big snowstorms (so far).  So with little to shovel, I've been working hard in the studio.  There has been a lot of over-painting since I began my sabbatical from the College at the beginning of the year.  That's good because it means the extra time now is paying off with the opportunity to reflect on the pieces in progress.  I'm often unsatisfied with a day of effort and finish the day by wiping out everything I've done; or over-painting something against the wall that is beginning to "itch" me.

Chippewa, oil/panel, 24" x 60" (click image to enlarge)

This painting is not quite completed.  But there is enough done to place it in the blog.  The work has been extensively re-composed several times.  The shapes, light and mood have been radically re-worked.  But I think it's getting close now.  I measure it against the place I'm thinking off, part of my bicycle route.  It has to resonate with my memories.  I do not paint from photographs, so I measure everything I do against an internal vision that distills over time inside me.

Century, oil/panel, 25" x 24" (click image to enlarge)

These big maples are ubiquitous around where I live.  They are iconic. I keep having a go at this subject because these strong trees are always in my line of sight.  I keep thinking, strength, endurance, massiveness, form, vitality... 

Benchlands, oil/panel, 24" x 60" (click image to enlarge)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Ylla, oil/panel, 36" x 48" (click to enlarge)

Twisted tree forms are for me what a really cool "chop" is to a jazz musician. The melodic line needs to be inventive and somewhat unpredictable within the structure of the tune. The soloist's sequence of notes needs to have some ornamentation and richness of tone in order to both stand out from the other players and remain harmonious with the major or minor key. These paintings begin with a rapid gestural application of paint that sets out the movement, twists and turns. I try to be like a sax player who winds up and plays a great riff.