In his newest body of work, Marc Ouellette presents a series of portraits, farm animals and still lifes. Ouellete's work is broad in subject matter - his portraiture and figurative, for example, can be imbued with social commentary or the love of a child. What follows here are his newest works of farm animals and still life which are about Ouellette's love of painting. Renditions of light surround his subjects, giving the viewer a sense that we are standing in the same field, feeling the same light on one's own body.
Ouellette yields a balance between realism and abstraction. His subjects command a weighted and dimensional presence - softly, but precisely lighted in an engulfing, dreamy landscape.
“Ouellette really shows off his tremendous talent for rendering not just physical skin, but the actual, sensual feel of it. This realness is heightened by his sure painting of the body in all its mass, weight and malleability.
There is an Eric Fischl-like manner in the rendering of the human forms –- fast, almost offhand, yet perfectly correct –- and in the evocation of a scene fraught with obscure psychological tension.” (Tom Collins, Albuquerque Journal North)
Ouellette, as with famed painter, James Wyeth painted animals as they were and without pretense. Of Wyeth's pastoral paintings, essayist Lincoln Kirstein wrote, "Animals sit sweetly, without malaise or nervousness. Here, close intimacy is simple, the painter's patient probing into an other nature. Prize cockerels ask no flattery; pigs in their monumental pinkness are complacently happy in their fat. [Wyeth] shares his studio with their bristles and whiskers, sensing mute, stoic pathos in their utter dependence on the mercy of men, and the virtue in their animal essence. (An American Vision: Three Generations of Wyeth Art, New York Graphic Society©1987)
Ouellette's still life work - are small elegant studies of light, his pure whites splashing off the tight skins of vegetables and fruits, often picked from his garden, are pictorial gestures of appreciation and gratitude for the beauty of form which we consume with our eyes. The tangibility of atmospheric elements make Ouellette's paintings both inviting and influential in the way we might experience our everyday sense of the ethereal and the earthly.