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Wildlife Sketches in Acrylic and Ink 
By Tess Darling

Tess Darling's creative pastime developed into a career when she attended the University of North Carolina at Asheville from 2008-2013. She sacrificed an 11-year competitive tennis vocation to pursue her Bachelor in Fine Arts, acquiring the Tucker S. Cooke Scholarship for Studio Drawing and a Minor in Psychology as well. With a psychological mindset, Tess focused on figurative work, creating portraits and nudes that emphasized isolation, which continues to be a recurring theme throughout her career. 

Her current series Fauna portrays wildlife inspired by her road trip, as well as animals from Western North Carolina. She retains an abstract modality, creating sketch-like paintings. The subjects are painted with a certain realism, but with quick and efficient proportions to give them a study aesthetic.

The artist renders her encounters with wildlife in a linear feel. Interactions with different species are recorded in sketches to capture the observed moment. The energy of the animal is mirrored in visible traces, accentuated by a minimalist setting. In transferring the subject outside its natural realm, the artist uses her self-constructed, artistic impression to represent the human condition. Balancing this condition with the animal form, the effect is a visual interpretation of the coexistence between a living animal and the human who painted it.