Show Preview | Doug Dawson

Santa Fe, NM
Ventana Fine Art, June 23-July 8

Doug Dawson, Goat Shed, pastel, 11 x 14.

Doug Dawson, Goat Shed, pastel, 11 x 14.

This story was featured in the June 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  June 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Doug Dawson was driving down eclectic South Broadway street in Denver, CO, when the window of an antique shop caught his eye. Contrasting with the dark night outside, the warm lights inside the store illuminated a row of antique dolls sitting in the window. Dawson captured the moment on his camera and returned home to paint the scene, inspired by the quietness of the evening. Since then, night scenes—painted both in pastel and oil—have been a mainstay for Dawson. He brings some of these nighttime works to Ventana Fine Art in Santa Fe, NM, this month, as the gallery hosts a solo show to celebrate 35 years of representing the painter. A reception for the artist is on Friday, June 23, from 5 to 7 p.m.

“Doug’s themes generally extol beautiful places in the natural world and in cities where urban forms and colors make for great compositions,” says Wolfgang Mabry, fine-art consultant at the gallery. “His urban nocturnes seem to awaken recognition and pleasant memories in viewers through his ability to set up mood in both oils and pastels.”

It’s that emotional connection that draws Dawson to paint a scene. “My work is primarily motivated by images that evoke feelings in me,” Dawson says. His pastel work WINTER FLURRIES II is a prime example of how Dawson enjoys those cold, desolate feelings on a snowy evening. The work was a reflection of him trying to figure out why he was feeling that way in the moment.

Dawson, who is one of three founders of the Art Students League of Denver and spends his time teaching workshops around the country, says the most important part of being an artist is the desire to discover new ways to explore themes and ideas. “But I prefer to stay in the representational framework,” he says. “I’m convinced that representational art communicates with people better than abstract art.”

His paintings offer insight into the charm and unique identity of the landscapes and cities he travels to for workshops. Dawson will often finish teaching in the evening and then explore the city at night, snapping photos for future reference.

The still-life work TWO APPLES is just one of the nearly 30 pieces on view in the show. Blending color, like the reds in the apples, is an important aspect of Dawson’s night themes, as the edges of shapes tend to be softer in low light and color perception isn’t as strong in the dark. Dawson likes to incorporate single candles, lamps, or streetlights in his paintings to create the illusion of a fresh source of light.

“Doug’s ability to look at things as though for the first time will always make his new works delightfully fresh, original, and gorgeous,” says Mabry. —Katie Askew

contact information
800.746.8815
www.ventanafineart.com

This story was featured in the June 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  June 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

MORE RESOURCES FOR ART COLLECTORS & ENTHUSIASTS
Subscribe to Southwest Art magazine
Learn how to paint & how to draw with downloads, books, videos & more from North Light Shop
Sign up for your Southwest Art email newsletter & download a FREE ebook

COMMENT