It hasn’t rained in months and it’s a long way to spring, but Topanga Canyon Gallery is experiencing a spectacular super bloom this week, with an exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based Canadian artist Lisa Baldwin.
Wild Places features Baldwin’s immersive paintings of wildflowers. “These works are conceptually simple, yet intensely complex in their detail,” the announcement for the show states. They invite the viewer to hold out their hand and touch the tips of the flowers and grasses as they walk by.”
The description doesn’t fully convey the way these almost abstract paintings resolve into fields of flowers so vividly rendered that one half expects to smell the fragrance of the blossoms and hear bees buzzing in the background.
Lisa Baldwin relocated to West Hollywood from south eastern Quebec almost five years ago, and says she was immediately struck by the abundance of protected lands throughout Los Angeles County. She has spent her time in Los Angeles exploring, painting, and photographing, and frequently draws her inspiration from the Santa Monica Mountains.
Baldwin says her influences include Canadian landscape painter Tom Thomson (1877-1917) and the Canadian “Group of Seven,” also known as the Algonquin School, a group of Canadian landscape painters active from 1920 to 1933, who travelled to remote locations to paint en plein air and believed “that a distinct Canadian art could be developed through direct contact with nature.”
Baldwin says her intention as an artist is “to filter reality through her senses and convey that moment of consciousness onto her canvas.” She describes her work as a celebration of the unapologetic beauty of the natural world, and adds that her latest works capture “the essential character of the wild subject in its most distilled form.”
Lisa Baldwin lives and works in West Hollywood and spends the late summer and early autumn months in her native village of Baldwin’s Mills Quebec. Her work is represented in private collections across Canada, the United States, Belgium, Hungary, United Kingdom, and China. Wild Places runs through November 29. Topanga Canyon Gallery is located at 120 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Suite 109, and is open weekends 12-5 pm, and by appointment weekdays. The exhibit can also be viewed online: https://www.topangacanyongallery.com. Lean more about artist Lisa Baldwin at www.lisabaldwin.com