McGowan Fine Art’s newest exhibit looks to nature

  • “Late Afternoon Mackerel Cove, Swan’s Island” by Becky Darling. This piece will be featured in McGowan Fine Art’s next exhibit, “Terra Incognita.” The exhibit will run Tuesday through Oct. 26 Courtesy

  • “Green Sweep” by Molly Wensberg Courtesy

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    "Bristle" by Derrick Te Paske —Courtesy

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    "Deep Blue" by Derrick Te Paske —Courtesy

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    "Emerald Waters, Swan's Island" by Becky Darling —Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 8/30/2017 5:40:17 PM

Two landscape painters and a wood vessel sculpturist will show their work in McGowan Fine Art’s next exhibit, “Terra Incognita.”

The exhibit will run from Tuesday through Oct. 26 at the Hills Avenue gallery.

All three artists – Molly Wensberg, Becky Darling and Derrick Te Paske – look at nature in their own way.

Derrick Te Paske

Te Paske literally starts by looking for nature, well, logs at least. Each of his turned wood vessels begins with locally sourced materials.

“Chance is a big part of it,” he said.

Then he shapes it, part by his own design and part by what the wood is.

“I think my job is just to stay out of the way and celebrate the beauty of the wood itself,” he said.

Some of his vessels are wood-burned or peppered with pins.

He will have about a dozen vessels on display, such as “Bristle,” on which hundreds of brass escutcheon pins stand in rows along the side of a black walnut vase. He will also bring one or two of his series of what he calls sex pots: cherry orbs with wood-burned designs.

Te Paske is also a professor at Framingham State University, where he is primarily concerned with theory and digital production. As a personal hobby, he creates his art as a tactile counterpoint.

And with robots more frequently taking over jobs (he said he could make things much faster using a CAD program), he still likes making things by hand.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about the arts as the ultimate manifestation of humans,” he said.

Molly Wensberg

Wensberg’s paintings draw inspiration from the places she spots while driving – a barn, a landscape or the way light hits an object.

But her latest works aren’t supposed to be any particular place, just a place.

Her current pieces are larger than her usual, some upward of 48 inches by 60 inches, and she has been working with more abstract base work and color fields.

She’s been in creative fields for a long time – picking up weaving in high school and studying art in college.

She worked as a textile weaver making large tapestries for 15 years.

“I learned to paint with wool,” Wensberg said, explaining that she would use some 20 strands of wools and silk and other materials.

She then began painting at night, which turned into a full-time job.

Her landscape paintings feature soft edges and shifting colors.

“One of my goals in painting isn’t to create a specific place, but the feeling of a place,” she said.

Becky Darling

Though she studied art and education at Salem College in North Carolina, Darling didn’t fully immerse herself in watercolor painting until after her children were born.

Watercolors were something she could do quickly, quietly and neatly while her kids were napping.

She was drawn to natural landscapes after hours spent painting still lifes indoors.

“I’m attracted to water where it’s found,” she said. I “do a lot of canoeing.”

Darling said she creates small watercolor sketches while she’s out and takes some photos to reference small details she may have missed. Then, in her studio, she’ll create the larger watercolor work.

She’s translated the exhibit’s theme to mean “unexplored territory” and said it’s motivated her to do things a bit differently.

“It sort of inspired me to explore things in new ways,” she said.

Darling said she camps along Lake Umbagog and visits Swan Island in Maine for many of her pieces, but plans to travel to new places for some new ideas.

She is also working on new compositions and exploring different colors.

For example, in “Late Afternoon on Mackerel Cove,” she paints the golden late afternoon sun with the shades of color in a cloudless sky.

“It’s a good choice,” Darling said of using watercolors to paint water scenes.

When using a wet-on-wet technique, she said, there are some special, uncontrollable effects as adjacent colors swirl together.

“There can be some very interesting things that happen with watercolors,” Darling said.

See art and artists

A reception for “Terra Incognita” will be held Sept. 8 from 5 to 7 p.m.

In conjunction with the exhibit, there will also be demonstrations by the artists at their own studios. Darling will demonstrate Sept. 30 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at McGowan Fine Art. Te Paske will give tours of his studio on Oct. 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; a group will carpool from the gallery in Concord to Belmont, Mass., for those who register. Wensberg will show off her studio on Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. to noon at 71 Pointe Trinity Drive, Strafford.

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