The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 20, 2006


Two artists apply diverse approaches to canvas

Sometimes joint art shows have a very visible connection. However, the work of the two artists, Teresa C. Dwyer and Margery Fargo, currently at the Gleason Public Library and running through March 4, 2006, are radically different and their approaches very diverse. Fargo, who seems to enjoy the clear distinction, says, "It makes it much more interesting!"

On the first floor you can view the realistic oil paintings by Dwyer of Patch Meadow Lane, Carlisle. You can easily identify the subjects of local Concord landscapes: from the Buttrick Mansion to the monument by the North Bridge to Walden Pond. Dwyer experiments in a wide variety of realistic styles, however. There are brilliantly colored still-life paintings of flowers. There are two horses running in a haze that vie with illustrations from a fantasy book. There is even a large rich bronze canvas inspired by the Chavet Cave in France with drawings of bison dating back to 30,000 B.C. by Paleolithic people. In all, there are about 12 works of varying size, all painted in the last two years.

Teresa Dwyer holds a Concord landscape. She is currently working on another landscape that includes birds, content that the artist has not attempted before. (Photo by Anne Marie Brako)

On the second floor you can examine the acrylic paintings by Fargo of Lexington. She has a very distinct style which she calls "abstract expressionism." If it's a compliment to be able to identify the artist without viewing his or her signature, you can do this with Fargo's work. There are about 15 paintings on display, all completed within the last three years. She also has two pieces of abstract sculpture on display.

You can meet the two artists at a reception on Saturday, January 21, from 2 to 4 p.m. They do not know each other and may be meeting then for the first time as well.

Painting for the love of it

Dwyer has lived in Carlisle for nine years. This vibrant woman, originally from the Portuguese Azores Islands in the mid-Atlantic, is lively and friendly, with a strong interest in history and people, and she would seem a natural fixture in this community. However, she lives a relatively quiet life with her husband and two children, Sean (16) and Shannon (12). Care of her young autistic daughter limits Dwyer's town involvement, and painting serves as her primary creative outlet.

Dwyer first came to the United States to marry about 20 years ago. Although she had sketched in charcoal while growing up, she didn't pick up painting until she took some private classes in Chelmsford. In the almost two decades that have passed since her first classes, Dwyer has explored a wide variety of styles. She continues to take classes in her free time. She generally has two to three paintings in progress of very different styles. To her credit, her talent enables her to complete finished pieces almost every time she tries something new. "My personality changes a lot," explains Dwyer. "I get bored so I have to expand and do something else."

The show at the Gleason is Dwyer's first exhibit. She sells her work informally to friends, and that only began about two years ago. She calls her prices "very reasonable," and most of the pieces on display are for sale. They range from $375 to $450.

True to her nature to experiment, Dwyer even has worked in abstract painting using acrylic paint. She also creates religious paintings although none of these abstract nor religious pieces is on display at the show; they are viewable on her website Although the artist says the size of these works prohibited their display, she seems reluctant to display what she considers her favorite pieces. If a piece has special meaning to her, she will not part with it at any price.

Turning art to profit

Fargo is a professional artist. She began as a singer, and turned to a career in painting over 25 years ago. Her work on display at the library includes acrylic paints, but she has worked in watercolor, oil crayon and mixed media. She also has written and self-published a poetry book.

Margery Fargo stands near one of her recent portrait pieces. Very attuned to current trends, she calls this one of a man "On the Cell Phone." (Photo by Anne Marie Brako)

"Some of my paintings are very alive with music," says Fargo, alluding to another of her interests. "I paint to rock music. You can feel music in a lot of my paintings." Some of her pieces are portraits. Although they are abstract, they are true to life. For example, there's a portrait in pencil of her father that, while abstract, actually "looks like him" according to the artist.

Fargo begins a painting with a block of color or even just a stroke. Then she adds another color. And another shape. She explains, "Let's try a splash of that or a dot of that. And then what happens is that painting is like an English composition. All the things work together."

The artist calls herself unusual in that she starts a painting and finishes it at the same session. Unlike artists that prefer to work on several pieces over a longer time, Fargo focuses on one piece and completes it in a single session over two to three hours. She doesn't know what form her painting will take at the start, lets inspiration take her, and then names the work at completion. She stands throughout the entire session and admits to exhaustion when she's finally done. About every two weeks she paints another work.

When she's not painting or writing poetry, Fargo takes time to visit exhibits and modern art museums to get ideas. She has taken about six years of classes over time, but now finds she profits most from observation. Fargo finds marketing her art and poetry takes much of her free time. She actively pursues displaying her work, and has exhibited at many libraries in the area, including Burlington, Natick, Wayland, Somerville, Winchester, and Watertown. The paintings on display at the Gleason Library are generally 18" x 24" in size. Prices range from $125 to $400. For more information about the artist, visit

While Dwyer and Fargo differ greatly in their technique and approach to art, Carlisle has given them a place to show their work. And, indeed, true to Fargo's words, the differences are what make both exhibits worth viewing.

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito