Artist Tessa Lang presents her latest work in Golden Hour of Elephants, an exhibit beginning Thursday, April 1, and running through Friday, April 30, at the Spotlight Gallery on the second floor of Wedge Studios in Asheville’s River Arts District. The show features large-scale paintings of elephants rendered in a variety of styles and media.
“Spending time with elephants while traveling to Africa and Asia has been extremely inspirational,” says Lang. “Having the chance to observe them in their natural habitat, seeing how much they treasure family and learning more about them has drawn me to capture their energy.”
Lang’s interest in the animals began during a visit to Thailand in 2015. Since that trip, her passion and excitement for elephants has continued to grow. She traveled to Kenya in early 2020 specifically to observe wildlife, visiting Maasai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli National Park and Nairobi National Park.
“I will never forget when we arrived at Amboseli during the golden hour before sunset, glimpsed Mount Kilimanjaro peeking out from the clouds and soaked in the magnificent view of elephants as far as the eye could see,” she says.
Lang’s depictions of the animals begin with a sketch on canvas, followed by an ink or charcoal layer. Next, she may use oils or oil bars to apply color. Her media selection is often based on the scene being created or the personality of the elephant or herd of elephants depicted. Many of the paintings show the animals in action, nurturing their young, moving together as a herd or spraying themselves with dirt for sun protection.
“Tessa’s paintings have such impact,” says collector Gay Teel. “The colors, energy and movement of the elephants I have in my home makes me smile every time I look at them.”
Though Lang suspects she will always be inspired to paint elephants, she is currently at work on a variety of other projects. These include everything from pet portraits and wildlife depictions to solar flares and abstract cultural masks. She also offers boldly designed leggings featuring her colorful artwork.
“I am blessed to work with the most amazing clients,” says Lang. “Building a relationship with them, discovering their vision and bringing that vision to life gives me deep joy and satisfaction.”
The Wedge Studios are located at 129 Roberts Street, in Asheville. Exhibit hours are 12–4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1–4 p.m. Sunday. Learn more at TessaLangPainter.com.