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Forest Hills Fine Arts Center Presents: Douglas Baker | Arts & Culture

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Forest Hills Fine Arts Center Presents: Douglas Baker

From: http://www.fhfineartscenter.com

Douglas Baker:  Oil Painting
September 1 – 27, 2010
Reception: Thursday, September 9, 2010, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the lobby. Everyone is welcome!

Like little journeys between past and present, Douglas Baker’s abstract paintings remind us that where we’ve been is part of where we’re going. “There’s a form of expression within each person that comes out no matter who you are and what you’re doing,” he explains. “What feels like a brand new thought is really an evolution––a building process based on what has already come before.”

Painting mostly with acrylics on canvas, Baker lets the creative process flow naturally, leaving the final result an open question and letting the spirit of the painting express itself through him. He rarely sets out with a destination in mind for a piece, and it may take a few days, weeks, or even months to finish. At any given time, Baker has several paintings underway.

Occasionally, Baker’s concepts come directly from previous paintings; perhaps he’s still interested in pursuing a type of design or intriguing color theme. For the most part, he starts with a blank white canvas and adds an appealing color. He tends to gravitate toward earth tones, a result of growing up in Pentwater where he spent time walking in the woods and along the beach. The beginning of a painting is the hardest part for him, but soon the colors start to work off one another, and the painting’s course reveals itself. In the past, Baker has painted landscape themes, but recently, he’s been more interested in working with shapes that convey ideas, such as ovals and circles that represent human forms.

Baker incorporates a variety of found objects and papers in his work––often crossword puzzles, graph paper, packing paper, brown craft paper or cardboard. With a significant amount of glue, the items can be manipulated freely, giving his work intriguing depth and texture. Perhaps somewhat ironic given his desire to let his art direct itself, Baker has a particular fondness for including maps in his paintings. It makes sense, though, as he explains, “Although people may like abstract painting, it can be difficult to understand. Maps draw viewers in for a closer look, giving them a sense of the familiar within the unfamiliar. They are paths to consider new experiences, and maybe even new ways of thinking.”

Believing that an unexpected experience with art can alter people’s perspective on life, Baker hopes his paintings are start points for people to step out of the daily grind, take a moment to relax, and start to feel deeper appreciation for all that surrounds them. “Everybody has a certain way they look at things,” he says. “There’s a peace that comes with greater acceptance andappreciation. I’m hoping that through my artwork people can experience that peace and ultimately enjoy life more.”

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