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 “That’s when my Alaska landscapes kind of took off, when I rejected some of those modernist impulses and became a little more realistic, but still painterly,” he says. “I build up the painting more slowly and think more, and I focused on trying to capture the light and color. It was just a different emphasis.”
His paintings are realistic but not photographic, playing with color and the contrast the sunlight creates on an image,
giving the design a decorative quality. It’s a
style most evident in his bird paintings. Despite the many hours he spent outdoors painting
and photographing, Douglas says he paid little attention to birds until his wife, Robin, made him take notice.
“Something clicked, and this whole new world was out there that I was missing, this whole other layer of life going on in the trees that I was oblivious to,” he says.
Inspired by Italian Renaissance paintings, Douglas paints the birds in silhouette against the Alaska landscape, its colors harmonizing with
the background. The bird
boxes – copies of his acrylic paintings adhered to a decorative wooden block and then varnished – came almost a decade later with a collection of the six most common Alaskan birds; Douglas says he enjoys seeing non-
birders get excited
about the pieces.
Inspiring people to
take a moment to
appreciate nature and
its beauty is the goal,
he says.
“I’d like it if people realized that beauty is all around,” he says. “Beauty is so important in our lives because there’s so much that’s ugly out there that
gets people depressed. Beauty can uplift people, and that brings me joy.”
Learn more about the artist at

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