Gatekeeper (oil on canvas), by Joan Baldwin, in her show “Unkempt Gardens,’’ at Kingston Gallery, Boston, Dec. 5-30.
The gallery says: Her inspiration stems from “the stories and histories developed when gardens are left to be in their natural states. The imaginary spirits of ancient civilizations lingering in the gardens have become her subjects. Within the lush settings Baldwin creates a mood with mythical figures, statuary and gargoyles designed to delight and bring history alive. Interspersed with the large paintings are small portraits in frames that are part of the collection though seem simultaneously independent. Baldwin’s portraits, with names implying that they are family members, were influenced by the gargoyles she saw on churches and buildings while in southern Italy in 2017. Though the gargoyles were originally intended to be frightening and ward off evil spirits, the personified portraits seem comical in their new environment and interact with their lush counterparts in unexpected ways.’’