Mokelumne Hill, California
Sunday: 11:30am - 4pm
Douglas Downs was born and raised in a small town in Southern California. His favorite thing to do as a child was to make clay and wax figures and have big battles with them. As he got older, he made caricatures of whatever interested him – cowboys, Indians, soldiers, animals, rock bands and motorcycles. His big brother Bill had a motorcycle and they used to drag race through the orange groves.
In 1967 after graduating from Whittier College, Doug traveled around the world filling sketchbooks with people and places. He visited art museums. Then he went to Claremont Graduate School where he learned some excellent design principles, but his sculpture professor ridiculed figure work and insisted they do abstract geometric sculpture. He dropped out and hung out with a friend in Berkeley, where he made ceramic caricatures which the friend took to an art gallery. The good news was that they sold; the bad news was that his friend kept the money. It was time to leave again – he moved to Tempe and was a graduate teaching assistant at Arizona State University, which didn’t leave him enough time to sculpt….and his lectures put the students to sleep, so he dropped out again.
In order to learn the technical side of bronze casting, he moved to Santa Monica and worked at Dell Weston Art Bronze Casting. It was there that he acquired the knowledge of the casting process which has allowed him to challenge the limits of what he can create in bronze. Having developed a commitment to his craft, he continues to make his own molds, work the waxes and do the finishing work on the bronzes. Since 1971, he has been a full-time professional sculptor. He lives with his wife Anne, a painter and musician, on the Monterey Peninsula. Their son Devon moved back to Southern California where he rides his Harley. He urged Doug to get back to sculpting motorcycles, something he had wanted to do for a long time.
Douglas’ bronze sculptures have won numerous awards and are in many private collections around the world. His sculptures have been presented to King Karl Gustav XVI and Queen Silvia of Sweden by the Nordic Heritage Museum. Four of his sculptures were presented to King Don Juan Carlos and Queen Donna Sofia of Spain by the Executive Officer of the Bank of America. In 1991, the Sister City Committee of Los Angeles presented the Mayor of St. Petersburg, Russia with a sculpture by Downs. Other collectors include: Former Presidents Reagan, Nixon and Carter, Louis L’Amour, Dame Judith Anderson, & famous glass-maker Charise Daum. One of his chess sets was featured in the Bruce Lee movie ‘Game of Death’ and was purchased by the Long Island Chess Museum.
Artist’s prices beginning at $950.00.
A sampling of Douglas’ work at Petroglyphe Gallery (click any image to enlarge and scroll through)