Lisa Noble:
A Tale of Two Cabins

Amma’s Kitchen, 2018–2019, oil on canvas, 36x48in. Amma’s Kitchen, 2018–2019, oil on canvas, 36x48in.

In 2017, artist Lisa Noble’s life turned inside out with the sudden loss of her father. As a result, she began spilling her grief and memories onto the canvas. The intimate scenes of her family’s Canadian cabins were a series that she had just started a few months earlier. No longer a tourist looking back at old photos, Lisa was forced to view the cabins in a very different yet deeply meaningful way, working through loss to communicate the pleasures of these important locations.


“You can forget all about the stress of your job, of worrying about money, or whatever else plagues your mind. The cabins have everything you need to live and be content.”

—Lisa Noble

For Lisa Noble, the southern shores of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada hold special meaning in her life. Her family owns two nearby cabins—that she has christened Maple and Blue—in the Village of Dunnottar where they escape from the bustle and stress of their everyday lives. There they relax, swim, eat, share stories, listen to music, and play games with family and friends. The cabins—called ‘cottages’ by the locals—were always comforting places filled with joy and content. In 2017, however, that experience of serenity was challenged.

It was the end of May and the weather was mild. The family, without Lisa who was still in the U.S., settled into their cabins for the May Long weekend—the unofficial start to the summer season in Canada. Her father had been working in the yard all day and, following a large dinner with family and friends, retired to a corner of the Maple cabin listening to the sounds of Etta James. Earlier that day, he texted Lisa a photograph of his well-accomplished yardwork. It was the last piece of communication between them, and Lisa would be called to revisit her past in a way that would later help her heal.

Confronted by the sudden loss of her father, Lisa returned to the studio with a deep sense of sadness. Painting in itself became a physical struggle, as the emotional drain she was experiencing made it difficult to push through and get to work. Every new canvas invited Lisa to relive her past and then put those memories to rest by distilling the pleasures of her early life. That need for an authentic connection between artwork and artist had solidified. Painting succeeded in providing an outlet that allowed Lisa to heal from the events of her distant and recent past. As a result, a solitude pervades her paintings, as if time stands still for the enjoyment of those who view them, just as her father may be calling her to express.

The Maple Cabin

Visit the Maple cabin, first and largest of the two family cabins.

The Blue Cabin

Visit the Blue cabin, second and smaller of the two family cabins.

Cabin Life

Lisa Noble describes life at the cabins—each day unfolding on a similar schedule.

Related Program

Everything has a Story with Lisa Noble
Thursday, September 16, 6-7pm

Join us for an intimate conversation with artist Lisa Noble. After the sudden loss of her father, Noble gathered her paints and worked through this loss to communicate the pleasures of her family’s Canadian cabins. Scott Clowney, Assoc. AIA speaks with Noble about her personal history, artistic approach, and healing through painting.

Free Webinar, register here.

About the Artist

Portrait of Lisa Noble / Photo © Max Hirshfeld
Portrait of Lisa Noble / Photo © Max Hirshfeld

Lisa Armstrong Noble (American, b.1973, Winnipeg, Canada) began her formal artistic training at the Alberta College of Art & Design. She moved to the United States in 1997 to complete her BFA at the Corcoran College of Art & Design in Washington, D.C. During each year of study Noble’s efforts were recognized with the Dean’s Merit and Corcoran Scholarships.

Noble has exhibited in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, Florida, and California. Her work is included in many private collections across the U.S. She has been recognized by The Washington Post, The Washington CityPaper, The New York Times, Miami New Times, D.C. Pulse Magazine, and Studio Visit Magazine. Noble was named one of Washington’s ‘25 Most Beautiful People’ by Washingtonian Magazine.

Please direct sales inquiries to


Lisa Noble: A Tale of Two Cabins is organized by AIA|DC and exclusively online with special thanks to Lisa Noble.
Curated by Scott Clowney, Assoc. AIA

Exhibitions are supported, in part, by our Sustaining Firm Affiliate Members
© AIA Washington DC 2021