The Saturday, Aug. 6 opening reception for the “Rock ‘n’ Wave” show currently on the walls of the Kefauver Studio & Gallery in Damariscotta was a well-attended affair. Artists and other community members turned out for the eye-pleasing exhibit featuring the artwork of oil painter and gallery owner Will Kefauver and 19 guest artists, all focused on depicting the area where the ocean and the land meet one another.
Kefauver was well-represented in the show. The talented painter, who also teaches beginning and intermediate painting to teenagers and adults, included pieces of many sizes, from his signature “petits tableaux” – tiny oil paintings mounted on two thin metal dowels and a stand – to his larger paintings, such as the oil-on-linen “Tower,” a commanding close-up of the top of a lighthouse.
Lovers of Maine-centric nautical-themed artwork will likely gravitate toward such Kefauver offerings as “Dinghy n Traps,” “Ocean Spray,” and “Welcome II,” featuring an iconic Maine porch scene, complete with a rustic wooden planter box overflowing with colorful flowers and a red, white, and blue lobster buoy hanging beside the front door.
Kefauver’s landscape paintings – such as “Three Over Ashokan,” of three clouds lingering over three small mountains, and the lovely “7th Lake Morning” and “7th Lake Evening” – invite one to linger before them, a testament to his talent at realism and capturing the peaceful mood of a place.
Acrylic painter Dale Dapkins, who splits his time evenly between Key West, Fla. and a home on Pemaquid Pond, weighed in significantly with one large painting titled “Doric Clouds.” “Doric Clouds” is a whimsical, eye-catching piece slightly reminiscent of the playful pop-art work of Peter Max. Painted largely in shades of turquoise and teal, the painting features stylized white clouds and whitecaps tipped in silver acrylic paint squeezed from a cookie-decorating gun.
“It’s the last of series I did where I stylized clouds and stylized waves, not trying to really copy nature,” said Dapkins, who was in attendance at the reception.
Photographer Judy Bernier’s “Seaspray 7” and “Seaspray 8” – “medium-enhanced” close-up photographs of sea foam hanging in the entry area of the gallery – are notable for their uncanny resemblance to watercolor paintings. Damariscotta artist Polly Steadman’s surrealistic, colorful wave paintings hang nearby – “Flirtation” is particularly striking with its roiling blues and greens against a bright lime-green sky.
Painter Gill Barclay’s pieces depicting sunsets are bold and bursting with color. “Sunset Reflections,” a mixed-media piece, features a dramatic, multicolored, abstract sunset over water, a blast of bright yellow breaking through the blue-and-orange sky.
Like Bernier’s work, Tom Kostes’ photographs on canvas have the look of paintings. The former Hawaii studio-gallery owner has two pieces in the “Rock ‘n’ Wave” exhibit: “Pelicans with Rocks & Waves” and “Haystack Clouds,” a very effective black-and-white piece highlighting huge stacked-up clouds over a watery horizon.
Deborah Kozak’s beautiful linocut reduction prints stand out for their uniqueness in a show largely populated with paintings and some photographs. The step-by-step printmaking technique used by Kozak results in the pleasingly rugged details – painted in layers of greenish gray, sage green, and sky blue – in her “Tidal Pool on Monhegan,” “Off Peter’s Island,” and “Seal Cove.”
Landscape painter Deena Ball offers “The Rush,” an intriguing watercolor on a “textured ground” surface that made use of some metallic paints in its depiction of water swirling around and through large rocks.
Well-known local painters Jan Kilburn, Judy Nixon, Jane Bowman, and Marcia Brandwein all have pieces in the current Kefauver show, as does Sally Loughridge. Loughridge’s “Country Morn,” for one, is a charming small piece framed in gold featuring evergreen trees with a fragile, stencil-like appearance.
Overall, the “Rock ‘n’ Wave” show is a feast for the eyes, as is the gallery’s gorgeous flower-and-vegetable garden directly behind it, adjacent to the parking lot. Go for the art, and take in the garden while there. They are both certainly worth the trip.
The “Rock ‘n’ Wave” show will run through Sunday, Aug. 28. The Kefauver Studio & Gallery is located at 144 Bristol Road, Damariscotta. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily. Call 226-0974 or go to kefauverstudio.com for more information.