Artists Share Inspiration and Process at New TCG Show

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What is happening outside of the frame of that picture?  What possessed the artist to use that unusual technique in this piece? In the current exhibit and sale at Topanga Canyon Gallery, each piece is accompanied by a short explanation letting the viewer in on the story.

Idelle Okman Tysbir is a dedicated early morning walker. This year she has been taking a picture of a flower each walk, but it wasn’t the flowers or the walking that inspired the series she is showing in “Everything Has a Story.” It was a larger, less organic construction in her field of view.

“I have finally embraced the power tower that stands proudly in my view of each morning’s sunrise,” Tysbir shares. “It used to be an eyesore and I would try to avoid it in my photographs to the detriment of their composition. One day, I looked at it differently. It became my urban landscape, an icon of this era. Who knows what the future holds for power transmission. It may become a relic that I have captured in this series of watercolor paintings. I went in search of the tower, now my tower, found it and recorded the number that was written in steel: WZ295. This series of paintings is the result of my change of heart, my embracing of what is another path to happiness, leaving behind wishful thinking and disappointment.”

Working in encaustic, a technique worthy of explanation itself, Robin Tripaldi has created a series titled “Bound and Determined.”  

“Fundamentally, I would say that the basic theme of this series is personal evolution,” Tripaldi says. “I began the series thinking I was just making squares and stitching them together as experimentation with various materials but after each one was completed, I began to realize that it was metaphorical me coming apart and in need of stitching together. I was spiritually being ‘ripped at the seams.’”

“Though a native of Southern California, I was raised in a traditional Southern environment of etiquette, protocol, and expectations of proper behavior…always,”Tripaldi says “The squares are the expectations, what I’m expected to do and be. The stitches are me coming undone trying to free myself, but I’m held back by my internal social constraints. For me, the squares represent the social format; who I was socialized or “supposed” to be. The tears, cuts and repairs are a part of the process of personal emotional and spiritual growth. I think we all move along through our lives with a fairly prescribed vision or expectation of what we think our path should look like (neat, even stitches; the white picket fence; happily ever after) but life offers us glitches and stitches—the inevitable deviations from our well-made plans.”

Thoughtful work awaits at Topanga Canyon Gallery’s “Everything Has A Story” exhibit. Twenty artists share the thought processes and emotions that go into the making of, or the inspiration of a specific piece of their art. Photography, oils, watercolors, ceramics, glass, and mixed media are all part of this engaging show.

Join the artists at the reception, Saturday Feb 9, 4-7 p.m., have a nosh, a sip, and explore the art and the stories.

Gallery Hours: Wednesday 2 p.m.– 6 p.m.; Thursday 2–6 p.m.; Friday 12–8 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.– 6 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.–3 p.m.


Topanga Canyon Gallery, founded in 1989, is an artist-owned mutual benefit corporation located at 120 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd. For more information:; (310) 455-7909.


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