Trees throughout time have been symbolic; majestic, strong and resilient, roots grounded deeply into the earth with branches outstretched to the open sky. A tree can remind us to slow down, take to its shade and root our energy amidst the pace of our hectic lives.
Artist Karrie Ross has always found refuge in trees and shares their voice through her latest exhibition “My Trees Talking” at Topanga Canyon Gallery.
While celebrating these very important guardians of our earth, Ross gives a personality to trees through her art. She portrays these playful characters with a sense of whimsy, while assigning each tree an attitude-esk haiku.
She said she was originally inspired by the Million Trees LA initiative, which is a collaborative effort between the city of Los Angeles, community groups, and individuals.
“The research for my October show led me to the Million Trees LA project and I learned they have helped distribute and plant around 350,000 trees to date,” Ross said. “So, I decided to make, “TREES” the focus and imagery for my show, I then pushed the process to form a question which became artwork and a book.
Ross has been a member Topanga Canyon Gallery for the past four years and loves its sense of community.
“We’re a lively group, and each artist excels at their medium,” she said.
When asked what is her favorite medium, Karrie said she was a “frustrated pen and ink artist who loves watercolor and oils.”
“For me they are organic, they take on a life of their own….” she said. “So the answer is not just one but also the combination of them and the way they interact with each other that I like best. Oil without acrylic just sits there blah, watercolor without some ink isn’t as alive for me…and my life is one big doodle if I can help it.”
Ross also has a book called “My Trees Talking. And they are Speaking Haiku!” that partners 80 (of the 100) whimsical pen and ink tree drawings with a haiku.
The exhibition will display the book along with the original drawings matted with a select few framed, a 60 x 48 painting, two table-top assemblage “tree” sculptures, and a variety of smaller paintings.
Topanga Canyon Gallery is located at120 N Topanga Canyon Blvd. Suite 109, Topanga 90290. An opening reception will be held Saturday, Oct. 6 from 3-6 p.m.