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Marcel Despiens has been painting in Australia for over 30 years

Marcel Despiens has been painting in Australia for over 30 years

Marcel Despies has a unique background. A native of the sometimes hippie Periponga, he has lived and worked as a professional painter in Australia for over 30 years. And his surreal paintings will leave you speechless.

At the other end of the line, the man gives the impression that he is kind and doesn't care despite his talent. He is very happy to have the opportunity to deliver the news to his loved ones who still live in Lac-Saint-Jean.

“It's great to have a chance to reconnect with the people north of the lake. I still have family and friends there, but it's been a while since I've been there,” he says.

Born in Periponga, Marcel Despiens studied art at Tolbeau-Mistacini and later at Ségeb de Sherbrooke. Early on, he was interested in art and a way of life that was off the traditional path.

“I lived for a while in Girardville, where I was one of the local hippies. At that time, in the 70s, there were a few groups of hippies in Saint-Thomas, Lloret, Girardville and Ste-Elizabeth-de-Broux. I was always an artist at heart, and I I knew I would never get into a big system [économique]. It wasn't for me, I was too much of a hippie! », says the painter.


While traveling to different countries, Marcel Desbiens meets an Australian girl and falls in love with her. This explains it, he will be in Australia in 1990.

“We lived together in Quebec, but she told me about her country and how beautiful it was. I couldn't pass up this opportunity! »

And the beauty of the landscape is not a small element. Nature is everywhere in the paintings of Marcel Despiens. Landscapes and nature inspire him.

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“I've always had one Fit With nature, a fascination with it. I love being in touch with the earth, the water, nature. I do a lot of gardening and growing at home. I also do a lot of plein air painting. It is very difficult because the wind, insects, temperature change quickly. I'm very comfortable in my workshop, but being in the environment, smelling it, it's not the same! »

Stunning realism

If what strikes you at first glance is the highly realistic look of Marcel Despiens's paintings, the artist didn't do it alone. He explores other art movements.

“I find that hyperrealism has lost a bit of its cachet. Many painters are moving towards it. It's not as difficult as you think, and a great painter who puts in the time and works will succeed. I'm trying to explore something else, to create works that go beyond mere performance on a canvas. Something surreal. It's difficult to create, to create a work of artistic value. Lately, I've been trying to do something a little more abstract, but when you look closer there's still a luminous look. »