kdb of the Wilderland: There’s a really nice exhibit of encaustic paintings and photographs up at the Pemaquid Watershed Association office-gallery, at 584 Main St. in Damariscotta. The creator of those wildlife-focused pieces is Bath artist “kdb” Dominguez, whose “Birds of the Wilderland” show runs through Monday, Nov. 20.
Encaustic painting, for the uninitiated, is painting with hot beeswax that has been colored by pigments. It is a process that results in paintings that have a slight three-dimensional depth to them, as the paint-and-wax paste used does not simply lay flat on the surface of the board or canvas to which it is applied.
Dominguez takes the name of her PWA exhibit from “The Wilderland Project,” her ongoing art project focused on climate change. She has merged the words “wilderness” and “wildland,” it seems, to come up with the word “wilderland,” a word that packs an interesting, somewhat mysterious punch. On one of Dominguez’s promotional cards, she describes this “wilderland” in this way: “The Wilderland is a wonder and a blessing. Take time to get outside and walk, breathe in deeply, and feel the healing powers of our natural world. Be amazed, be inspired, revel in the colors of the clouds, sky, and the reflections in still water.”
The paintings and photos in this show are equally beautiful representations of wild birds – ibises, herons, willets, egrets, and so on – often singling out one bird to be honored by Dominguez’s artistic eye and hand. Her photographs are printed on canvas, lending them a painting-like quality.
Dominguez’s encaustic paintings of crows are particularly nice. A little square painting called “Crow in a Field” hangs above the fireplace in the PWA conference room. In that same room are larger encaustic paintings of crows. “Crow, Autumn Birch Forest” has a Gustav Klimt-like quality, with its black-and-white patterned birches and almost-golden forest floor on which a lone crow pecks for food. There is “Crow and Impending Storm” and “Crow with a Berry on a Birch,” a lovely piece featuring a crow on a birch branch, red berry in its mouth, against a pale blue sky. Yet another painting depicts a jet-black crow pondering six red berries in the snow. The waxy shine of this piece is particularly effective, giving the scene an icy quality.
Dominguez’s 2018 Wilderland calendars – featuring gorgeous shots of area wildlife – are available at PWA for $20 each. Or one can buy 10 and get the 11th one free. The money goes to support both The Wilderland Project and PWA.
Learn more about Dominguez and The Wilderland Project at kdbwilderland.com.
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