Wednesday, May 5, 2010

two tree gestures

pastel 11" by 14" pumice ground on illustration board

I did this pastel two years ago around this time in late spring,  – an oak tree I believe which had an incredible amount of character, I ought to go back there – muskeg swamp beside the rail trail off hwy 52.  I remember how relaxed I felt, sitting in front of this magnificent tree without a coat on,  one of the very  first really warm days. I was able to sit with my materials spread around me as though I were at a picnic. It felt luxurious.

This weekend we’re off to Spain for two weeks, Barcelona and Madrid. Making a pilgrimage to Gaudi, El Greco, Goya and Velasquez among others. While it’s nice to look at art on my computer it doesn’t compare to the physicality of standing in front of the real thing. It’s one of the reasons I resist  working from a photograph I might take, which becomes a copy of a copy of a copy.
Yet I'm not going to Spain without my camera or my recently acquired ipod touch with skype. Oh so brilliant and yet mindless these gadgets! It seemed to take forever to get the hang of it. Yes, at times I fall into the 'oi' syndrome - the voice of complaint -  but then miraculously I recover into the wow and yay  syndrome. One fluctuates as it were.

gesture of a willow tree early March 2010,  9" x 11"
Kozawyk farm near Waterdown
pastel on rowney pastel paper


  1. Wow - so here I am in the physicality of art. Walked by a gallery with Chagall, Calder, Appel, you name it, and thought Marcia Labelle belongs in that gallery. These two trees prove it. We are in a welter of joy here. Cuckoo with it. Dinner was Spanish, next door, elegantly served and so much of it we had to haul a huge wallop of paella home to stick in our fridge in the Chelsea. Love New York. I heart New York. Wish you were here. You will be so happy in Spain. Guaranteed.


  2. Thank you Barbara even though you’re making me homesick.
    I love NY, I chalked up many adventures there under my belt in that ecstatic city. And I lived at the hotel you’re staying at for five months before it was renovated because my room mate kicked me out for which I’m eternally grateful.
    So now you know first hand and have a gallery there and can feel the surge of energy in that incomparable city.


  3. I really like how the moment of relaxation is captured in this pastel. I hope you have more time to work en plein air. And, the one below has so much energy and light. Very nice.

    But, until then, have a grand time traveling!

  4. I love these! I especially like the look and feel and COLOURS of the second pastel.
    Have a wonderful spanish visit!

  5. Thank you Violetta, I will certainly try. But as much as I look forward to going I also get strange pangs of separation anxiety. Anyway we’re leaving tomorrow and guess what – I‘m almost packed.
    Btw I really enjoy the lovely figurative painting you’ve been doing recently!

  6. Thank you Melinda, I hope that if I continue to work en plein air, the forms I see in nature will give me ideas and inspiration for other work.
    Anyway it's a wonderful time to spend time outside!

    And you, dear Melinda - Be well, brave, don't let the idiots get you down and as you point out it's a good opportunity to hunker down in your studio!!


  7. Flora, I always feel your insouciance when you drop by!

    I heard someone from Bear River recently being interviewed on CBC - don’t remember who or in connection with what, but when I heard the name Bear River, my ears pricked up and I immediately thought of you!

    On Sunday we will be on Spanish soil enjoying Spanish light and perhaps drinking a glass of Spanish wine and now since I know it was your birthday last Tuesday I will drink a toast to that.
    Then we'll tramp around visiting as many museums as we have time for - wishing that we had more time especially when it's time to leave. You know how it is...

  8. Marcia dear,

    Have a lovely time. My blog up and died. Kaboom. We're working on it, but in the mean time I'll be thinking of you in Spain, and wishing you all good. New York and the opening were/are fabulous. We've spent all day every day in huge galleries.


    Love you.

    Barbara (Muir)

  9. Hi Barbara

    Wow!?! Strange. Thanks for telling me. I'll email you. Right now we're wondering if we can land as scheduled due to a new eruption of volcanic ash which has temporarily closed airports in Barcelona.
    Love you. I'll be in touch.

    PS I'm glad you're enjoying NY in spite of blog problems and that your opening went fabulously well!!!

  10. In your honour and in honour of wall the Illustrators and Painters, I published
    an illustration.