Book Review: Bobbie Burgers, Arriving at a Landscape

Last week I met the fabulous internationally acclaimed contemporary artist Bobbie Burgers at the Bau-Xi Gallery in Toronto. You can read about it here. I’ve been really moved and inspired by her story and her art that is filled with great presence, energy and emotion.

Like the entire show – sold out, copies of her book went fast and I’m so glad that I didn’t hesitate in purchasing a copy – actually I think I got the second last one.

I’ve spent some time with it over the past week and I think I’ll be spending many more hours yet. Not only is it a visual delight, but her excerpts of captured moments during their six-month stay in France are as equally captivating.

Like food for the soul – well, for the romantic soul anyway! Breathe and smile. Breathe and smile in the heart.

She enchants us with her experiences, with photos of her family in the fields and on excursions, with her love and passion for her successful life’s work that was as inevitable as the sun rises and sets every day.

“Painting en plein air is scanning and letting your eyes condense. Condensing all the senses: the smells, the dry winds, the sunshine, the warmth, the rustling of grasses, all of these terribly romantic scenes. Condensing the tastes of the land, the language with its juicy puckered lips, the smell of salt and the ocean, all this funnelling down to my fingers and reappearing as a gesture and a colour.” ~Bobbi Burgers

There’s no question of Van Gogh’s influence on Burger’s landscapes. Stunning, raw, alive gorgeousness!

 

“We are suddenly in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, being whipped around the ring road, breathing a sigh of relief that we are here at last before our cheeses, or our children, melt. French villages are disarmingly charming, largely due to their ring roads – all the goodness neatly tied inside like a pastry box, all the sweetness safe and to be savoured slowly later. No time for the cobblestone streets today, it’s home to our new home.”

“After a few attempts at cramming the entire vista – the incredible depth, rows and patterns of olive trees, cypress trees and blue hills receding, endless dots dots dots – into one canvas, what I really find interesting today are the weeds. All creamy colours and dark slashes, often with old vines of chartreuse and purpose mixed in. I think these forgotten fields, where nature orchestrates the perfect colour combinations and infinite textures, will be my real muse.”

 

The flowers are my saviours this week. A break from the fields, a bit of respite from the yellow. I’ll take blue and white for a day… maybe a little pink and red. Matches our stripes quite nicely!

I could go on and on… sharing bits and bites of this escape to wonderland, but I best stop here.

If you’re in the market for a coffee table art book to carry you off on a magic carpet ride to France, where Van Gogh once breathed his colours to life, look no further.

For $60 you won’t be disappointed.

Interested, head over to Bau-Xi Gallery to order your copy.

Best,

Kiernan