Here's my new for 2018 Artist's Statement

At some point in the past I became aware of the fact that we understand ourselves and our lives primarily through stories. I became aware that they are a basic human need, that we need to consume stories, and we need to tell them.

So I started adding figures and robots to landscape paintings, to make them into scenes from imaginary novels, giving them a narrative aspect.

This worked well, but then I recalled my past as an indie self-publishing comic book creator, and realized that the paintings could incorporate even more storytelling. For what is a more visual storytelling medium than comics?

So I started incorporating elements from comic books, such as adding inset images in panels. Sorting out how to compose a painting with this new level of complexity took time and a lot of trial and error. Man, did it take a lot of errors.

And along the way, as I was still figuring that out, I realized I could add another level of narrative and storytelling to the painting: I could put text itself into the paintings. So I started adding actual fragments of stories that I loved, or ones that influenced me, by adding random bits text from those stories to the base layers of the paintings.

The randomness of the fragments is important. It’s important because I’m not trying to tell a linear story or squeeze a whole novel into the paintings: our lives are semi-chaotic assemblages of bits of the stories we’ve read, watched, and told to ourselves. Our lives don’t unfold in clear linear plots with well-organized themes. So the random text and the comic book inset panels create new meanings and associations. The paintings are intended to give the viewer a landscape and some starting points to imagine their own versions of the story. I guess they could be called story-scapes.

And that’s how I’ve arrived at this point in my creative work, where I’ve recently, finally, started to feel like I know how this works, with text and comics and painting and storytelling.

Here's a bit about me:

I'm an Ottawa based painter and former comic book artist. In my younger days I spent more than a few summers planting trees and busting my fingernails under the big skies and open clear cuts of northern Ontario. That time spent lost down the endless logging roads has firmly embedded the great emptiness of the Canadian landscape into my psyche and forms a backdrop for much of my art.

During my 20s I bounced around from one institution to another before finally receiving a B.Sc. in Computer Science in 1999 from Dalhousie University. During that time I published several comic books, graphic novels and short stories, and won a Xeric Grant in 1999 for the graphic novel ‘Under a Slowly Spinning Sun’. This period of self publishing is where the 'Aporia Press' name comes from.

In 2003, I shifted my artistic focus from writing and drawing indie comic books back to making paintings, having been sucked back in by the messy joys of paint and colour. I have since expanded my subject matter from Canadian landscapes and Canadiana to include hot air balloons, fish, robots, and a host of other things. I am very happy to know that my paintings are out there in the world bringing their arty goodness into the lives of those who come in contact with them.

Here's a PDF version of my CV: Marcel's CV

Here's how to contact me:


I'm also on Twitter: Marcel on Twitter and Instagram: Marcel's works in progress and other studio mishaps and Google+: Marcel on Google+