The first topic of conversation was the loss of one of my beloved cats. We discussed our love for our pets and he introduced me to both of his…Diva and DJ aka Dive Jr.! Definitely found that we are kindred spirits when it comes to that topic and his concern for me helped in making me feel very comfortable during our time together.
Doug says that he has been drawing as far back as he can remember.As he puts it, I’ve always liked drawing people for some reason. I started with my childhood heroes, Popeye, Tom Terrific, Superman..am I dating myself here? I was was the youngest of a fairly large and loud family and I think it was my way of retreating into a world that I had some control over.
Being a musician for most of his life and playing with the likes of Julie Ivory and Snapshot (am I aging him and me???), he put art on the back burner for about 20 years.Music and doing construction/remodeling work took up most of his time until about 5 years ago, when he retired from the music biz. He then rediscovered his love for art and now spends most of his days drawing and painting. It’s become pretty much a beloved obsession with me; a great way to be “In the moment”, as my concentration on what I’m doing kind of blocks out everything else. I’m sure all artists experience the same feeling.
Doug says he never had a lot of formal training although he did about 3 semesters, part time, at CCAD (Columbus College of Anxiety and Depression…his words!!!). He was starting a family (he has 5 kids and is a proud grampa) and that was kind of the end of that but what he learned there, in that short time, had an enormous effect on his artistic ability. That and innate talent! He has a vast repertoire of subjects although he does lots of portraiture, he is equally talented in portraying the spirit of animals, fruits and veggies and homes. Recently, he has tackled doing some commissions of people’s homes and I am totally impressed! He shared a recent commission that he did and I was in awe of the detail and authenticity of his work. However, he is VERY humble about his work and says he needs to improve…not in my estimation!!!
His painting of DJ
In the last couple of years, he has started selling his work and recently it’s started to become a full time job as clientele continues to grow. Although he feels very blessed to do what he loves and makes money at the same time, the drawback is that he doesn’t have time to develop more creativity in what he does, as most of his commissions are for portraiture. Candidly speaking, he feels he has good technical skills but is lacking somewhat in making creative compositions (something I’ve been trying to free myself up to do. I have so much to learn still about different mediums and their application. It’s on my bucket list.) He has begun to stretch his artistic wings, so to speak, since the time we started this interview. He has dabbled in new subject matter in his pencil and watercolor pieces and wants to begin using acrylics.
He recently joined Art and Artists of 614 and the Delaware Artists’ Guild. There are some incredibly talented artists in the Central Ohio area and their support, beautiful and creative works and encouragement has been very inspirational. Just the fact that people are interested in purchasing his artwork energizes him. Getting started on a new project always excites him, too.
recent home commission
Most of his commissions come from the internet and word of mouth.Becoming online savvy has made a huge difference in his sales as well as setting up at table to sell his art about 6 years ago at Roop Brothers Bar in Delaware. Because he’s very new to the art business, he’s only done a handful of festivals but he plans on signing up for all that he can handle this year including the Dublin Arts Fest,the Garden Walk in West Delaware and the Marion Sidewalk Gallery July 22nd. He’s also entered some juried events and is very excited about what has happened with those. Several members of the Central Ohio Watercolor Society have encouraged him to submit some works to their organization. Learning the “art” of promotion has been a new experience for him as is the case for all newbie artists.
Doug categorizes his style as detailed realism.His advice for that type of style would be to never draw what your mind thinks it knows… instead look at things like it’s the first time you’re seeing it with no preconceived ideas of what you think it is. That’s the way to truly realize it. Pay attention to what you’re drawing and consider the source of your creative mind. It will come to you. ‘I’ve NEVER done a piece that I didn’t learn something from.’ Remember that the materials you’re working with have as much to do with what you create as you do. Get to know them, learn from them and cooperate with them. It was also interesting that he told me he takes off his glasses and first creates with shading and drawing before putting his glasses back on for the details…this way he is sure to make his works look more realistic. Fascinating!
He’s also hoping to get in on the ground floor with fellow artist Alana Glassburn as she explores the feasibility of using the arts and crafts at the Delaware Fairgrounds to have show on October 23rd to feature and promote Delaware City and County artists.
When asked to explain his process, he shared:
I work my drawings in layers as you might in a painting. After the initial line sketch I add the general lights and darks with a blending stick, tissue, finger, or whatever works. I get the basic shading in before I get into any detailing so that the details don’t get smeared as I blend. I then add the details and lights and darks with a pencil simultaneously as I go. I save the very darkest tones for last. I find that the juxtaposition of very light tones with very dark tones adds a sort of 3D effect. Pay very close attention to the subtleties of value of your subject. It makes for a more interesting drawing.
And, BTW, he doesn’t use an easel. As he puts it: instead I sit on my bed with all my materials sprawled out around me and lay the drawing/painting flat on the bed in front of me.
Finally, Doug said something that totally resonates with me… If I have any advice to someone it would be that it’s never too late to follow your passion. I’ll be 61 in a couple of months and a whole new world is opening up for me. It’s like being reborn.