Introducing Robert Marchessault.

A lot of things have changed in the switch from Mason Murer to Mason Fine Art, and from 24,000 square feet to around 4,000 at the Mason Fine Art “pop-Up” Gallery (we’re still working hard to create a truly amazing place for art and events at our new location). One of the best changes has been the addition of Robert Marchessault to our line up. If you’ve come in to the “Pop-Up,” you have undoubtedly seen Robert’s awesome landscape paintings. For a little bit of insight on his paintins, let’s hear it from the man himself, Robert Marchessault, with his essay Why I Paint Trees.

Don’t forget to swing by the Mason Fine Art “Pop-Up” Gallery to take a look!

Why I Paint Trees

Robert Marchessault, Apache

Robert Marchessault, Apache, 2013, Oil on Panel, 24 x 48 Inches

In 1984 my partner and I planted 7000 trees on 20 acres we owned in Grey County, Ontario. As a result I began to see trees as an artistic subject that I could really embrace. Helping these trees to grow and protecting them from vermin in their first few years allowed me to connect in a visceral way with environmental issues as well as ideas of shelter and nurturing.

Robert Marchessault, Mastamasui

Robert Marchessault, Mastamasui, 2013, Oil on Panel, 48 x 18 Inches

Being so involved with trees also changed the way I looked at them. They are excitingly sculptural in their huge variety of shapes, forms and textures. It is not possible to see them as static, rather they respond to both the long term climatic forces and the immediate influences of weather. Trees move in the wind, make sounds, have smells, are smooth or rough; and they can show us how they are experiencing conditions of drought, cold, heat and threats. In many ways trees can express a wide range of human-like concerns and states of being.

Gradually my landscape paintings, which were fairly abstract in the past, shifted emphasis – with tree forms coming to dominate the central theme of most works. Today I continue to explore and refine my painterly methods used to express what I sense about foliage, branches and trunks surrounded by airy spaces.

It is clear that trees have an almost infinite variety of types. I travel fairly often to other regions and spend time looking at trees and shrubs in widely ranging conditions, from deserts to rainy forests. They are all interesting; my visual passion.

While staying in Taos NM at a house surrounded by sage brush I heard coyotes one night outside my window. The next day I decided to try and experience the sage brush from their height. Getting down on all fours I moved through the sage which changed into a forest from that vantage point. It was a valuable insight; change your perspective to learn new things.