Book Review: Bobbie Burgers, Arriving at a Landscape

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.



Bobbie Burgers at the Bau-Xi Gallery

Bobbie Burgers at the Bau-Xi Gallery

On one of the hottest days of our summer so far, humid… humid…humid… I set off on the bus to head downtown Toronto to the Bau-Xi Gallery where the fabulous and internationally acclaimed Vancouver based contemporary artist, Bobbie Burgers was having an exhibition.

It was to be my artist date this week – time to fill up on soul infusing love and beauty. Well, by the time I got to the subway, I was already getting supremely hot and sticky, and I have to say this is not one of my favourite feelings. Then, for some reason, I had it in my head that the gallery was right near one of the subway stops, so I intended to endure the heat with a smile.

Well, not only was my impression off the mark, I also had the wrong street number in my head. I kept walking and walking. Sweat breaking out and dripping down my back. Wind blowing my hair and wilting it from the humidity.

I kept walking and walking until the visual I had of where I thought the gallery was became a ‘what in the world was I thinking?’ realization. Haha. When I finally arrived at Bau-Xi the epiphany came, ‘Oh yeah, this is where it is!’

The gallery was packed and I just wanted to find a cool place to collect myself. Oh well, onward I went pitching that smile in my heart, because after all I was about to experience a feast for my eyes and soul and meet an artist I admire.

The exhibition did not disappoint. Nor did the artist herself – Bobbie is a lovely lovely spirit and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to meet her.

From what I heard the exhibition sold out in the first 15 minutes, but, I suspect the paintings were probably spoken for before the show officially opened.

I took my time with each painting. Thoroughly breathing in each stroke of colour and the glorious flowers that inspired her.

My favourite piece in the exhibition was hands down the one titled ‘Lightly Touching Down’ – at 84 x 66 in. it captured a joy in me.

I purchased Bobbi’s artwork book, which I began to read this morning. I had to stop because it’s so gorgeous – in art and words, that I want to savour it. I will definitely write a separate blog post for her book.

In the meantime, here’s a snippit from her time living in France that made me sigh with appreciation:

As I paint, I muse that my painting is like the printout from a heart monitor in a hospital. Yes, I am still here, my heart is still beating. The tiny jig and jags are always going forward but jagging up and down in a fury of lines, then calm. They appear right before my eyes – skips and pulses, highlights and lowlights. They roll out and keep moving forward, as if my hand could interpret my heart and its years of looking out across fields, feeling all the sunshine and cold winds and human effort that has gone into them.

~ Bobbie Burgers

It’s no wonder her paintings and books sell nearly as fast as they are available.]