©2018 by Doug Shepardson Art.

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About

I'm not going to tell you that my artwork draws upon some mumbo-jumbo mystical energy or that I have an innate grasp of the cosmic twists of the universe that will bring you closer to your true inner nature.  Nothing like that.

 

My objective is to create simple paintings full of color and identifiable images that someone can happily display on their walls.  As a self-taught artist, I know that my paintings must be able to stand on their own to capture and hold the viewer's attention.

 

That means starting with a blank piece of canvas and some brushes and proceed to create something that no one else has done.  And in the end, that is what is important.

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My assistant Tuxedo the cat

For example:  The painting Catalina Dream.  In my mind was an image that captured the iconic elements of a nostalgic representation of a fantasy voyage to Catalina Island.  Thus the island is a garden of Eden; lush and green; there is only a foot path along the coast.  Tall palm trees gracefully bend and undulate like female Hawaiian hula dancers.  We see the famous casino, and of course there is the ship, steaming close to the shore. 

It is the mighty S.S. Catalina, the famous Great White Steamer from days long past, fragrant with perfume and fine food, with its live band and dancing and private cabins.  Sure, the contemporary Catalina Express is a quicker way to the island, but it smells of diesel fuel and spilled beer.  It's just not the same.

 

I begin with a quick pencil sketch of what I envision as to the elements of the composition. 

Next a final pencil outline, which is revised repeatedly until I am happy with it.    

Laying on multiple layers of colors, over and over, until an inner voice says "Stop!  You are done! You can't make it any better, and if you keep touching it, you'll probably make it worse!" 

Although self-taught, this does not mean that a painting does not require some skill in creative problem-solving or that it lacks technical complexity. For example, the palm tree trunks in this painting are not just "grey", but are a mix of six different colors,  including purple, grey, green and yellow.