top
log-in
Douglas Fraser
Gallery Work
Totems
posted:
I've been by this Totem many times. In the summer people are stopped and photographing it, or having a roadside break from their travels. The front tells a story that must end up on thousands of cameras & phones from all over the world, but the back tells another version. From a roadside stop on Vancouver Island. A stretch of highway know as 'The Malahat', or 'The Hat', it's part of BC Highway 1. The Totem is carved from cedar, it sits along a ribbon of asphalt, and concrete barriers, with scenic beauty on either side.
Thumbnail sketch & base sketch

Totem - oils on linen - 36 x 22 inches

Promotional Poster art;
For the Arena Stage's production of King Hedley II, the powerful ninth installment of Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s “Century Cycle,” a scarred and haunted ex-convict has the chance to lock away his past and achieve an entrepreneurial dream, but will life in Pittsburgh’s unforgiving Hill District let him?
Art Director - Nicky Lindeman
Arena Stage, Washington, DC - 2014-15 season
KING HEDLEY II
Written by August Wilson
Directed by Timothy Douglas
February 6 - March 8, 2015

Sketch Stages

Construction of final art.

King Hedley II

4 Paint & 1 Vector
posted:
Golden Cougar, oils on panel, 29.5 x 13.75 inches
Golden Cougar - detail

Ole Flame, oils on panel, 17 x 11 inches

Ole Flame - detail

Poplars, oils on panel, 18.5 x 11.5 inches

CBs & Zuke, oils on linen, 26 x 16 inches
Out on the newsstands now for Cycle World magazine;

Cycle World - working shot

March
posted:
I've been working on a few more pieces for exhibition. Looking to have them up for the first of March at my local gallery. The show is of a smaller number of my recent paintings. The opportunity to show is welcomed, and yet it seems to focus my schedule in a way that can be a little stressful/negative. I'm use to the deadlines in my illustration work, just not something I want too much of in these paintings. Working with a heavier weight canvas on these. The canvas suface had me doing some subtle shifting in edges.
Interior Bridge - oils on canvas - 57 by 36 inches
Interior Bridge - detail

Bus Stop - oils on canvas - 56 by 36 inches

Bus Stop - detail

Prep Stop - oils on canvas - 48 by 24 inches

Prep Stop - detail

Walls & Stairs
posted:
After scraping and heat gunning the old paint from some of our old house last summer, and then prepping, and painting, then going on a road trip to help in painting some rooms at my in-law's, I've noticed a theme in my life; walls, walls, and some stairs. In my studio I've been painting with doing another gallery show in mind. The feedback from the gallery has been positive, but the request for larger scale work has been made several times. Working with different scales, and surfaces. Some of the surfaces have been light weight finely woven cotton canvas, contrasted with a heavier duck for larger canvas, as well I still enjoy the panel boxes which I construct. As the scale goes larger the panel paintings seem to run up against the issue of weight, and being somewhat cumbersome. I've done some painting on linen as well. I do enjoy the attributes of each. As the scale has increased, I've experienced a new physicality in my painting(not to mention the house painting). It's demanded a different approach in how I literally must stand while painting. I understand it's good for digestion, ha-ha. It's possible to sit for intervals while working on appropriate sections. Well the studio, and house painting has me thinking of buying an old used panel van. It'll help transport materials as well as larger paintings.
Multi Use - oils on panel, 17.5 by 28 inches

Multi Use - detail.1

Multi Use - detail.2

Stairs - oils on canvas, 36 by 54 inches

Stairs - detail.1

Stairs - early scribbles

Stairs - early rough sketches

Stairs - final base sketch

Shape & Size
posted:
In one of my recent paintings I wanted to capture a feeling of visual perspective, and explore the shape of object/art. I built a cradle box with a tapered shape that echoed the perspective in the visual subject. The edges of the top and bottom were from the subject as I saw it from across the street. The shape also was interesting to deal with, and a departure from the squares & rectangles I've been working with. I worked with elements in the subject that struck me such as the white graffiti on the dark galss. The details in the subject reminded me of the graphic elements I'd so enjoyed as a kid building model kits. Yes, I did build a few of my glue-thumb-printed masterpieces in my youth. Exploring the details, and interpreting the shapes furthered my awarness of the dialogue between them. The subject for me is influenced by painters like Edward Hopper, and the shapes by painters in the geometric abstraction spectrum.
Diner - oils on panel, approximately 36 by 22 inches.

Diner - detail

The following painting was subject I gathered several years ago, but always stayed in my mind. I photographed the subject on a hot day. The pavement had a bleached quality. The painting was again on a cradle box I made. The smaller size felt appropriate, and I wanted the scale of the object to be more intimate when viewed. It's a common urban subject, but by making the painting smaller, I felt it drew me in.
Under Three - oils on panel, 9 x 25 inches

Under Three - early thumbnail sketch

Under Three - 2nd gen. skt.

Under Three - detail

Drawing Time
posted:
In for repairs - back of local motorcycle shop. Oils on paper.

Figure drawing drop in. Yes, she did have a couple of band aids on her cheek.

Figure drawing drop in session.

In my own work my sketches, or drawing ends up gone. Wallpapered over with oil paint. I've had a passion for the idea of edges , whether soft or hard in painting. The purity of drawing is something lately I've wanted to feel again. 
Rail
posted:
My painting Rail along with another of my recent pieces, will be in a group show opening on January. In this piece, I'm embracing the horizontal nature of the scene, and subtle levels of distortion. It's also influenced by a Kenneth Noland piece I'd seen last summer. I wanted to express the stark horizontal bands, and lines of the foreground. Also the subtle tones of the grain cars with faceted breaks between them divides the foreground from the large blue of the prairie sky. The light pole had a mild waver to it. Which gave it an organic nature much like the bright green grass around the tracks. I do miss the summer heat during these short days of winter.
2nd generation pencil

Rail - oils on panel, 36 x 18 inches.

Rail.details.1

Rail.dete.3

Trash
posted:
Last July, while out running errands on my motorcycle, I pulled over to take a break. I stopped near a venue with a lot of cement, and spray painted surfaces. Of course being just off a main highway, and with a couple of fast food establishments near by there were the ubiquitous paper cups about. The day was beautifully warm with a modest amount of humidity. The light was strong, but the shadows were not black. The grass in the field near by had burnt off to it's summer gold from the green of spring. I know that garbage as a subject is not new, but hell this cup looked good. No, it was not my cup, I took my trash with me.
Base sketch developed from reference.

Paper Cup - oils on panel - 19.5 by 10.5 inches

After Print
posted:

Well I have my first full show at the Winchester Gallery here on the west coast. A few singular pieces have been sold through the gallery, but this is my first show of a group of my paintings. The title of my show is After Print. It was exciting, and very rewarding. Also interesting to hear the reactions from the people who dropped by. My subject matter and influences are eclectic, and I wanted to enjoy the process of making the paintings. There were a number of pieces in the show I've posted here before in my Gallery Work category, and some new pieces. The show is up Oct. 1st  - 22nd.
Winchester Gallery's site; http://www.winchestergalleriesltd.com
Landline - oils on wooden panel, 24 x 12 inches.

Landline - detail

Poolside - oils on canvas, 48 x 24 inches.

Poolside - detail.1

Poolside - detail.2

Light Standard - oils on wooden panel, size 24 x 18 inches.

Orange Slice - oils on wooden panel, size 24 x 12 inches

Orange Slice - detail

Straight to Paint
posted:
The last while I would develop a digital rough when developing a painting. I've skipped that stage in my recent oil paintings. Working pencil sketches up to an acceptable stage, I moved on to prepping my surface & paint. Using my own life, and surroundings as subject it's been a very satisfying mode of working. The computer is a powerful tool, and I still use it, but wanted to do my adjusting within the stages of painting. The computer ironically really has had an effect on how I view my painting.
Water Tower - Oils on masonite. 15x36.5 inches

Water Tower - Detail

Traffic Lights - Oils on wood panel. 12x24 inches.

Traffic Lights - Detail

Soap Nook - Oils on wood panel. 14x18 inches.

Soap Nook - Detail

Motorcycles - Oils on masonite. 15x24 inches.

Motorcycles - Detail

An Anchor Point
posted:
As an illustrator, I've worked for a while now with digital software. The adobe illustrator software has been my favourite. The clean lines I was striving for in some of my painting is more readily accessed through the vector based algorithms of the digital software. Many see it as cold, or not expressive enough. This relates back to the now old complaint about the artistic "truthiness" of the brush mark. Something the great American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein had fun skewering in his work. I've found in personal work the satisfaction of realizing an image in oils, or as a digital print. With painting I've found that the process of pencil drawing base, with layers of oils built-up results in it's own "skin". The physical painting itself becomes an object in the singular. Alternately, when I worked through a piece with software, and then producing a print of the file on quality paper, there is a great sense of satisfaction as well. My process for either is quite different, but working with both media, informs my overall thoughts concerning process, and objective. The process of interpreting, and editing in an observational manner takes me out of the conceptualizing approach of an editorial illustrator. The subject is there, shutdown your mental conversations, and look. Park your ego, and open your eyes. For me there is a two dimensional elegance that vector software can achieve. I know there are many other artists that work, and feel the same. A digital piece, even vector has it's own flavour. It's that flavour that has me going back to it.
Carwash.Left.Dete

Carwash.Right.Dete

Car Wash, vector, 2010

Base pencil template

Roxy
posted:
Finished another personal piece. The painting is of an old local movie theatre from the back. The name of the theatre is the Roxy. It's fate is up in the air these days. It's an independently short run venue that charges a percentage of what the bigger chains do. It may be streaming video, or death by blue ray for the Roxy. Title for the piece is, Roxy's Back.
Base pencil - canvas size - 18 by 40 inches.

Process - painting in oils. Usually have to do a minimum of two coats per colour to get the opacity I want.

Finish

Detail

Signed on the side.

Roxy's Back - oils on canvas - 18 by 40 inches

Utility
posted:
Utility - oils on hardboard 12 x 24 inches

My neighbour across the street has an old homebuilt utility trailer. It's used to carry old furniture, soil, building supplies, and any other thankless tasks. It follows an old Ford, and it reminds me of one my Father had. Although my Father's was a weathered box off an old Studebaker truck. The main frame of this trailer is from an old truck too. The sides are angle iron, and 3/4" plywood. All the metal is painted black, but it's the custom plexiglass fenders that give this trailer it's own look. The plexiglass is old, & cloudy, probably quite brittle now. Still there's no cracks in them. Oh, yeah that spare tire is probably quite old too! The battle ship grey paint job seems to have been refreshed recently. When it's parked across the lane, it just makes me smile, as it sits under the dappled light of the oak trees. I suppose this image is more nostalgia in tone than I first intended when started.
3 East
posted:
Oils on canvas - 20x40 inches
3 East is the name of my latest gallery painting. In my gallery work, I've been trying to deconstruct the subject matter from my own personal engagement. As an illustrator, I'm asked to interpret other's thoughts. Also a stepping out of my heavy use of line in my illustrations. Line is a construction of the mind to explain something in a subjective manner. Our brains are doing the "seeing", not our eyes. The eyes when allowed to see with a purity that quite often is forgotten as we age. In seeing the shapes of what I'm looking at, it's been an exercise to put down my visual prejudices, and just look for a time. In closing, a book I read years ago now, had a title that has stuck with me. The title is "Transfiguration of the Commonplace". Yes, also I very much enjoy working with line, but I'm exploring elsewhere lately.
Early sketch
Detail.1 - edge
Detail.2 - edge
Golden Pump
posted:
Had a holiday break for a spell in late January. After that in February I've been working on several charity based projects lately. Still one to go, and a couple of illustration assignments. The one I'm posting is for the St Louis AIGA chapter, and the American Heart Association. The Heart, one of those two special organs. I leave the second to your choice. I've painted the heart a couple of times before, and wanted to try push another direction. This painting is oils on wooden panel, with gold leaf on the sides/edges. The heart is supposedly the seat of love, maybe it's the love of life. Hope yours keeps pumping.
My pencil sketch for my new heart.
The Golden Pump - Oils on wooden panel.
Gold leaf on the sides.
Gate D43
posted:
I've finished another canvas. The subject was a photo I shot out the window of an airport while waiting for our flight. I developed my sketch from elements in my photo. The tarmac/concrete had subtle bands of tone. I worked up a pencil, and did a colour study in vector. The most time consuming part feels more like the stretching of the canvas, and pencilling in the base drawing for paint. The opacity I want takes about 2-3 coats per colour. The final canvas is 24 by 40 inches. The colours in the photo of the canvas are somewhat too vibrant, the final painting is a little more neutral than the image on the monitor. I painted the sides of the canvas as well. The depth of the stretcher gives a feeling of object that I wanted. The painting has a quality the digital colour study just does not have. I do enjoy them both for different reasons. And yes Mr. Rogers, no masking tape was used.

Pencil & Vector colour study
Colours are off in the photo. Original canvas is more subdued. Oils on canvas, 61cm by 102cm.
Figure detail
side painting details
Pole Dancing
posted:
I finished this painting about a month ago. I was out and about in an industrial part of my home city. The infrastructure of cities does interest me. The unobserved is interesting to me for it's unassuming aesthetic. The wires, and neutral tones struck me. The linear qualities of the cables have direct abstract qualities. After developing a sketch, I did a color study in vector. I decided to drop out the sky for a more graphic feel in the cables. The painting is 30 by 40 inches, oils on canvas.


Chrome Lady
posted:
Recently finished gallery work. Oils on wooden panel, 24" by 12". I'm looking toward a subtle level of abstraction. I'll being pushing in that direction with a more reductive look on my next one.

Study Sketch
Final Painting
Detail
Tagged Grain
posted:

Still working on my illustration assignments, but stayin' up a little later to do some of my own stuff. I painted a grain car that was parked on the rails in my home town. I was back visiting family in Alberta. The western prairies are home to a lot of grain, barley, flax, and canola. The cars wear the markings of their journeys. I wanted to distort the car, and get that big sky. It's oils on a wooden panel. Horizontal formats are my favs, and usually don't fare well in the print world, or on monitors. I added a detail to try, and offer a feeling of the surface.

Back of My Studio
posted:
Outside of my illustration assignments I've been doing some personal directed painting. I feel as though I'm working back, and forward to a point in my past when art was about the process, not a paycheck. I've gotten some thoughts, and still working on more. Small post.
Barricade Painting - oil on canvas - 50"x24"
Barricade - closer view
Maudlin Bough - oil on canvas - 24"x12"
Maudlin Bough - closer view
Recent Articles
Topics
Archive

Random (24)

Sketches (24)

Banal Drama late 20th century (12)

Killed Sketches of Illo. Assign. (22)
Originals For Sale
Interest
Links to Articles