Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dallas Art Fair

A large group of my recent paintings will be on show next spring (2011) at the Dallas Art Fair in Texas.  The works will presented by Tanner Hill Galleries.  The fair runs from April 8th - 10th.  The preview gala is on April 7th.

"Located at the Fashion Industry Gallery – adjacent to the Dallas Museum of Art in the revitalized downtown Arts District – the 2011 Dallas Art Fair will feature over 50 prominent national and international art dealers and galleries exhibiting paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, and photographs by modern and contemporary artists.The exhibition space comprises approximately 55,000 square feet within a mid-century modern building in the heart of downtown Dallas. It includes an adjacent promenade next to a private park located across from the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center. "

It's still very hot and humid here in southern Ontario.  My studio is uncomfortably warm.  Nonetheless, the autumn season approaches and that means I need to buckle down and create some new works for the Toronto International Art Fair (Oct. 28th - Nov. 1, 2010) where I will have paintings displayed in the Bau-Xi Galleries and Gallerie de Bellefeuille booths.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Buttonball Tree

Yes, this is the "widest tree east of the Mississippi River".  I had to get out of the car and hug this monster.  We were on our way to photograph the New England Peace Pagoda in MA.  As we drove through the town of Sunderland, this enormous tree stopped us dead in our tracks.  Turns out it is pretty famous.  There is even a Wikipedia entry about it.

"The Buttonball Tree is an American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) located in Sunderland, Massachusetts. Though the nickname "buttonball" has been used for all like trees, this tree retained the name, mainly because of its pure size and popularity. The tree is over 113' high, with a girth of 24'7" and a spread of 140'. It is a remnant of Sunderland's forests. Because of their longevity, during the 17th and 18th century sycamores were sometimes planted at the door of new house for newlyweds as "bride and groom" trees. Though the age of the tree is unknown, it is estimated to be well over 350 years old, many estimates say that the tree is closer to 400.[1] The tree is well known and is one of the larger tourist attractions of the town. The tree is believed to be the largest tree of its kind on the East Coast, or as locals put it, "The widest tree this side of the Mississippi.""

Monday, August 9, 2010

Van Ruysdael

While in Boston I visited the Museum of Fine Arts and discovered a painting by the Dutch painter Salomon van Ruydael.  I was so engaged by his painting of trees and foliage that I spent half an hour studying and analyzing how he was able to so masterfully make the trees come alive.

View of Beverwijk
Salomon van Ruysdael, Dutch, 1600/1603–1670

75.2 x 65.7 cm (29 5/8 x 25 7/8 in.)
Oil on panel

The museum visit was actually a wonderful day spent wandering around the collections in a very open mind state.  This allowed me some great opportunities to synthesize ideas for my own paintings based on hundreds of "wow" moments in front of such great works.

While driving, (actually while my wife is driving), I love to look at the landscape slide by, especially the trees.  I think it is during these times of creative passivity that I find my own visions.

I just learned that my exhibition on now at Gallerie de Bellefeuille in Montreal has just about sold out of the new 2010 paintings I sent there.  Must be something I'm doing this year that collectors like.  There are a number of older pieces from 2008 still at the gallery that seem to not be destined for sales.  I may have them returned to my studio where I can re-work them with some of my new vision and techniques.

Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies - Boston

(click to enlarge)

We're in Boston to view the nearly completed Kalachakra stupa being built at the 
Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies.  The structure is nearly done and when we arrive we found a swirl of activity as about a dozen sanga members rushed to bring the project to completion for the August 28th consecration ceremony.  I took about 50 pictures and will need to get one of the finished stupa next month.

Tomorrow we'll travel to Leverett MA to photograph the Peace Pagoda located in the country side near the town.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lokachantha Pagoda

Robert Marchessault and Ven. Pyinnyathiha (photo Teresa Cullen)

We are continuing to work on our stupa project.  Today we visited the Lokachantha Pagoda in New Jersey.  The weather was perfect, though on the hot and humid side (to say the least).  This Burmese style structure was a treasure to visit and photograph.  It's beauty and elegance captivated us.  We were met by Ven. Pyinnyathiha who kindly received us in the meditation hall and told us about the building of the pagoda which is a part of the The America Burma Buddhist Association .  Without a doubt we will include this pagoda in the book we are developing about stupas of North America.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


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

Galena, oil/panel, 30" x 60"

Two new paintings for upcoming shows.  In "Cumberland" I was striving for the classic maple tree shape that I see so often.  The work was painted in a very gestural manner with a lot of adding and rubbing out until I had the shape that said "maple" to me.

I'm off to New Jersey and Massachusetts  tomorrow to continue work on the stupa photography project.  There are three Buddhist stupas on the one week drive.  The weather here is very hot and humid.  That's OK, hopefully there will be no rain to wash out the photo shoots.