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Doug Lawler

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Girl Playing with Light

The ongoing theme in Doug Lawler’s work is “connections”; from beasts and their shadows to nature and it’s passionate beauty. In his detailed depictions, he strives to capture the pulse of people, animals and ideas at a moment in time.

Doug was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and started his art career with oil painting. At a young age he was involved in group showings and eventually one man shows in the Detroit area. As a young artist he was intrigued with the romance of painting in the tropics and found himself living in Hawaii where he eventually had several one-man art shows including the showings at The Gallery of Fine Arts (Hilo) and the Unitarian Gallery (Honolulu). After winning the top prize in the Hilo art fair two years in a row, the state purchased one of his paintings to add to their collection at the Hawaii State Art Museum in Honolulu.

The allure of the 60’s brought Doug to the San Francisco bay area where he had several one-man shows and was an invited artist at the San Francisco Art festival. During this time he founded a printmaking collective in Berkeley where he, for several years, was involved in designing and printing anti-war leaflets and posters.

During the 70’s, Lawler traveled to a tiny Mexican fishing village, Yelapa, where he lived and produced a series of pastel drawings that were later exhibited in the U.S. He eventually moved to Spain where, for 12 years he worked and exhibited in numerous galleries such as The Galeria La Cortina in Barcelona, The Galeria Internacional in Ibiza, and the Galeria Torres Begue and Galeria Kandinski in Madrid. He also worked as a free-lance illustrator and was published in several periodicals in Barcelona.

Upon his return to the United States, Doug became interested in art conservation and worked as a free-lance fine arts conservator for many years at S.F. bay area museums including the Oakland Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. During this time he restored the Jade Pagoda at the Oakland Museum and was awarded a contract for the renovation of the San Francisco Palace of Legion of Honor Museum, including the conservation/installation of the Spanish ceiling.

Lawler finds copperplates to be the perfect medium for displaying intricate and complex detail. Printmaking is an ancient form of art expression. His prints begin with a copper plate, the surface of which is scratched to hold ink of different values – referred to as “dry point”. This technique allows him to “swell” lines depicting the effect of natural movement and depth. The plate is then covered in ink that finds its way into the lines on the plate. To complete the image, he uses brushes and other tools on the plate tone (residual ink) to create another dimension above the dry point. The plate is finally run through the etching press, forcing the ink on to the paper. Each print requires re-inking of the plate. The result: each print is unique. Each edition has 5 artist’s “proofs” with 75 numbered prints.

Artist’s prices beginning at $180.00.

A sampling of Doug’s work at Petroglyphe Gallery (click any image to enlarge and scroll through)