*If you are a Not Safely Dead artist, please don't send me e-mails asking me to look at your work and/ or feature it on my blog. Believe me, you aren't the only one, and believe me too, I'm picky. I won't like it, even if you're good. That's just the way it is.**
**If you are a Safely Dead artist, you may contact me -- only via e-mail -- about your art. Just because e-mails from Undead artists intrigue me.
Anyway, that aside, the artist is Doug Dawson, an American pastel artist whose work I greatly admire. He's represented by Ventana Fine Art, where you can see more of his work.
I am, in a lot of ways, a lot pickier about my Still Alive artists than my Safely Dead ones. I mean, for starters, Still Alive artists are under copyright. I have to go to the trouble of getting permission to display their art and letting at least one other living person know that I seriously admire them, which is bad for my tough-girl image. I definitely need to see some definite quality with a capital KW to make that worth my while. Also, Still Alive artists had all those Safely Dead artists to learn from. They ought to be at least as good, if not better, right?
But Doug Dawson is good enough to make me smile and nod and say "bring on the art." So here it is. He offers numerous workshops which I would gladly give at least one of my wisdom teeth to take. None of them are close to me, however, so I'm forced to do this sort of remote talent-stealing thing I do.
So, without further ado. Things I like about Doug Dawson's work and would like to steal for my very own:
- Amazing sense of light. I can't remember which was the first image of I saw of Doug's -- it was either "The Church on Alameda" (the first one featured here) or "Doing the Town" (the third one down), but with both of them I just sort of gently picked my jaw from where it had fallen to the floor and thought "I want to do car lights like him."
- Atmosphere. After I'd gotten over throwing a fit over why my light couldn't look as beautiful as Doug's, I started lusting after his ability to create a mood. Tell me those paintings don't powerfully evoke evening or early night.
- Detail. Just enough to draw our attention to the focal point, but no more. These are suggestions of shapes. The memory of places. The invocation of a place. Okay, maybe the last one was too corny. But you get the idea. This is stuff more real than photo-realism.
- Subtlety. Boy, I say that a lot in these May artist posts, don't I? I think it's because it's one of my weak points. I do know that I desperately admire it in Doug's work. Understated colors, limited palette, no crazy showmanship, just silent blowing-you-away with his invisible technique.
Instead, we get darkness suggested with cool blues and purples and a hazing out of details, like at twilight, when it sucks to drive because you can't really make out the road signs.
And we get light implied by warm colors waving wildly from the other side of the color wheel. "Hi, I'm yellow-orange! I'm a complementary of blue-purple! Aren't I warm and light and bright?"
When I see Doug's pieces, it makes me want to break out my color wheel and try a limited palette piece with one splash of color from a complementary. Remind me in June when I'm done with all the artists that I wanted to do that. In between him and Mary Cassatt, I'm feeling like pastel artists are taking over my brain.
Thanks to Doug for giving me permission for this post and I hope you guys are enjoying this series as much as I am enjoying researching it. It's making me feel a lot better about being away from my art supplies finishing my novel for my editor.