Adjembi Indigo, 0il/canvas, 60"x 48" available at Foster White Gallery (click to enlarge)

Mytanae, 2016, oil on canvas, 36"x 66". available at Galleries de Bellefeuille, click to enlarge

"Perception is joy. These paintings are maps of my moments of experience." Robert Marchessault

“Trees are sanctuaries.  “When we have learned to listen to trees… that is home. That is happiness.” Herman Hesse

This website presents a sampling of paintings, facts and links.

Robert Marchessault is Canada's leading interpreter of trees in paintings.  Much of his work for the past 30 years has been devoted to progressive ideas presented by images of trees.  Whether as unique single trees or groupings in a landscape, his unmistakable style finds ways to move viewers. An underlying passion for ecological responsibility prompts his art.  The image of a tree is universally understood as carrying positive symbolic strengths; in Marchessault's hands the more subtle and introspective aspects are explored.  The artist has been represented in Canada by Bau-Xi Galleries since 1987 and is now presented in New York at Littlejohn Contemporary.


  • "The painter, Robert Marchessault, depicts trees as solitary, powerful experiences of light and colour and mood, set against a moving sky."  (Sarah Hampson, What Comes Through The Trees, Globe and Mail, Globe Focus Section, pg. 7, Aug. 13, 2011.)

  • "Painting only from the memory of an image, stripped of all non-essential visual elements and human presence, Marchessault brings out the Zen in trees -- the poetic, the meditative, the quiet center of being creating a visual invocation of human self awareness." Peter Stiglin, Pergola Home, April 1, 2016.

  •  "Robert Marchessault’s paintings are deeply moving in their ability to invite viewers into a moment of quiet contemplation and this is especially notable when one realizes that Marchessault himself has described painting as a meditative experience." (Milena Placentile, exerpt from: "Social Consciousness in Canadian Art")

  • " Robert Marchessault explores contemporary sublime landscape in paintings that repeatedly foreground a single tree, stripped of non-essential visual elements and emptied of any human presence. Poetic and meditative, these trees are the quiet centre of being and a visual invocation of human self-awareness." Ilse Gassinger, 2009, Director, The Durham Art Gallery, Ontario, CA
  • "I love your paintings from the jpegs, but to see them in the flesh took my breath away - simply stunning!" (Jacqui Littlejohn, Director Littlejohn Contemporary, New York)

  • "Je les trouve émouvants, à la fois paisibles et puissants." "...moving, calm and powerful at the same time." (Christine Lajeunesse, Directrice artistique, Les Éditions du Boréal)

  • "[Marchessault’s] painting tells a story about a tree; it projects a dreamlike mood that immediately touches the viewer… a kind of meaningful mystery.”  Mitchell Albala, in, Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques, 2009, Crown Publishing Group. Random House, NY ISBN 978-0-8230-3220-4

  • "The painter Robert Marchessaut [has] beautiful textures and light." (Kent Lovelace, Southwest Art Magazine, April 2010, pg. 65)

  • "Thank you for giving me so much joy through your art.  I’m a writer, and if my words could affect people one iota as much as your work does, the agony of writing would be worth it."  Sybil Gardener, Screenwriter, Los Angeles.

  • "Marchessault's awareness of the tree being both form and metaphor creates the atmosphere wherein the viewer can explore the importance of life forces within themselves, strength, flexibility, time all are embodied in these portraits of trees." Tree Time, by Anne Corr,

  • "...views of nature, even in short bursts, have an ameliorating effect. Trees have the capacity to offset mental fatigue ...they offer soft fascination,..." - Environmental psychologist Rachel Kaplan

  • "WOW! Awesome! I love [these tree paintings]!!!! Well done." Chris McLarry, McLarry Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM

  • “A drawing of a tree shows, not a tree, but a tree-being-looked-at.” John Berger 

  • “Trees appeal to all the senses... Fresh smells, the sound of moving leaves and birdsong, the texture of the bark – all of these are appealing, especially in modern cities... They connect us to others, whether contemporaries or those in the past or future. If you plant a sapling that may take 200 years to reach its full stature, you are pledging faith in the future and offering a gift to the generations yet to be born. That’s a pretty good feeling.” Fiona Stafford, as quoted in What Trees Teach Us About Life and Happiness, by Lindsey Baker, available online August 11, 2017

Robert Marchessault is married to the painter Teresa Cullen.
Together they form the art collective called Slowlight