Doug Jaques

Artist, Austin Texas

What compels me to think and wonder and work:

For the past two years or so I’ve been interested in the meditative effect of plein air painting. A couple of weeks ago, while involved in painting process in the studio, I realized that working from within is also meditation.

I am increasingly interested in painting with no preliminary drawing, preconceptions, or ideas

I love phthalocyanine blue in combination with ultramarine blue and am involved in doing an on-going series of paintings using primarily those two blues.

Walt Disney did artists a terrible disservice by implying that painting is easy in his famous animation of a paintbrush floating over a canvas while a finished landscape appears magically behind it.

Digital imaging is becoming for me a more and more indispensable tool.

I have come up with my own personal guidelines for producing art, which are as follows:

The work must be of a mysterious nature.

Never explain the work, or at least never completely.

It is desirable for the work to be complex, multifaceted.

The work is usually symbolic of at least one truth.

The work is generous, extravagant, and parabolic.

The work is necessary, fulfilling, and pleasurable for the artist.

The work is sometimes paradoxical.

The work may be ugly, but must be beautiful.

The work may be funny or whimsical, but must be serious.

The work may be in bad taste, but must be exquisite, sublime.

The work must be controlled, but must appear spontaneous, and may appear chaotic, but must have order.

The work may be unfinished, but must be in balance, whole.

“If your heart be right, then every created thing will become for you a mirror of life and a book of holy teaching. For there is nothing created so small and mean that it does not reflect the goodness of God.”

Thomas a Kempis

When becoming one with the experience of painting, self-conscious falls away. I am lost in the creative process. Consciousness of time passing leaves. Time is no longer chronological. There is only kairos, the infinite present. Sense of struggle with the work falls away. Heart and hand are in accord. Struggle is replaced by fascination with light on the forms before me. There is awareness of a resonance between the truth of what is seen and truth within. The eyes of my heart are opened to the transcendent nature of what my physical eyes are seeing. My eyes become skinned, open to the miraculous all around me. This is working from the frame within.

  • juniper berries
  • warts
  • rats
  • celery
  • push pins
  • hot fudge
  • conspiracy theories
  • printers
  • doors
  • swimming pools
  • magazines
  • fly paper
  • computers
  • friends
  • light
  • transparency
  • God
  • space
  • layers
  • time
  • why cats purr
  • revelation
  • diversity
  • my wife Linda
  • ambition
  • faith
  • reading
  • lust
  • hope
  • global warming
  • licorice
  • Rembrandt
  • snow caves
  • prayer
  • fountains
  • life
  • electric cars
  • Chinese food
  • osmosis
  • blueberries
  • banter
  • sycamore trees
  • death
  • democracy
  • resonance
  • sleep
  • peace
  • spiritual food
  • grief
  • color
  • shapes and colors seen with eyes closed
  • joy
  • finding truth
  • eternity
  • water
  • silence
  • design
  • food
  • symbol
  • healing
  • reform
  • swimming
  • resting
  • technique
  • love
  • movement
  • touch
  • snow
  • nutrition
  • corruption
  • the moon
  • dogs
  • injustice
  • texture
  • books
  • rain
  • frustration
  • fantasy
  • teaching
  • seeds
  • cities
  • my granddaughter Lucy
  • digital technology
  • music
  • hatred
  • parallel universes
  • guilt
  • ozone
  • fire
  • taste
  • patience
  • inversions
  • trials
  • revelry
  • juvenescence
  • trash
  • responsibility
  • purpose
  • apocalypse
  • flying
  • cinema
  • wine
  • rejection
  • clouds
  • the golden hour
  • silk
  • gongs
  • kombucha tea
  • mini skirts
  • oppression
  • cancer
  • maple syrup
  • monsters
  • bananas
  • tigers
  • stars
  • waterfalls
  • whirlpools
  • museums
  • tubas
  • tortoises
  • taxidermists
  • steel wool
  • grapes
  • inner rooms
  • green tea
  • tambourines
  • turpentine
  • vibrating energy
  • buttons
  • vacuum cleaners
  • Debussy
  • Thomas A’Kempis
  • tornadoes
  • tacos
  • my son James
  • asparagus
  • paper
  • my friend Syl
  • puddles
  • pumpkins
  • parrots
  • Brazilian jazz
  • shoestrings
  • Jesus
  • olives
  • dental floss
  • Plexiglas
  • pomegranates
  • fireworks
  • coconuts
  • sumi painting
  • C. S. Lewis
  • my son Aaron
  • my daughter in law Kim
  • glasses
  • roses
  • noodles
  • thunder
  • Christmas
  • skin tags
  • Byzantine mosaics
  • opals
  • merecats
  • aspen
  • brushes
  • gazelles
  • fried zucchini
  • rubies
  • skeletons
  • mud
  • persecution
  • desires
  • tears
  • waste
  • foam
  • fragrance
  • filibusters
  • flatulence
  • cork screws
  • walnuts
  • whales
  • detergent
  • prunes
  • prayers
  • earwigs
  • rum
  • malachite
  • sex
  • gravity
  • pears
  • plurals
  • pimples
  • pancakes
  • gold
  • gardenias
  • gratitude
  • slippery elm
  • spider monkeys
  • gas
  • greens
  • government
  • sows
  • string theory
  • maps
  • misers
  • mint
  • expectations
  • nerve endings
  • Paris
  • plumbers
  • plumage
  • pliers
  • pears
  • pill boxes
  • pandas
  • toenails
  • tonsils
  • turnips
  • taxis
  • mineral spirits
  • mumps
  • Moses
  • mice
  • mirrors
  • ants
  • teacups
  • cotton swabs
  • black beans
  • gold
  • manatees
  • saffron
  • sapphires
  • celery soup
  • gargoyles
  • goiters
  • golfers
  • gurus
  • gutters
  • grenadine
  • grenades
  • green grocers
  • antlers
  • windows
  • prudence
  • pain
  • petals
  • pumps
  • pimps
  • poison
  • apostles
  • wishes
  • whimsy
  • wombats
  • wintergreen
  • cauliflower
  • contempt
  • consternation
  • candle wax
  • canaries
  • crepe paper
  • cream puffs
  • chrisms
  • cows
  • contortions
  • contortionists
  • crowbars
  • cartwheels
  • cow patties
  • car parts
  • dreadlocks
  • dumplings
  • dimples
  • follicles
  • fallacies
  • bells
  • balls
  • billows
  • bales
  • pelicans
  • rubbish
  • noses
  • insolvency
  • avarice
  • blimps
  • blenders blastulas
  • masts
  • masks
  • orbs
  • spinach
  • questions
  • suggestions
  • termites
  • terrorism
  • tête-à-têtes
  • tetra chords
  • thiamine
  • thumbtacks
  • time bombs
  • topsoil
  • Trotsky
  • trouble shooting
  • trowels
  • turkeys
  • turndowns
  • moonstones
  • mullets
  • mystics
  • morons
  • nutmeats
  • nurslings
  • obsessions
  • sin
  • servants
  • signs
  • sitting
  • suffering
  • surrender
  • catharsis
  • control
  • coronas
  • creation

Finally, after much mental wrestling and struggling, I’ve managed to achieve a reasonable synthesis between my digital prints and my painting. In the end, it was as easy as I originally thought it should be.

All I had to do, after much experimentation, was paint directly onto the surface of the digital print with oil paint. Oil solvents, as I was worried they might, do not disturb the surface of digital prints on canvas, given that you are using high quality inks.

The process of painting over the print is not, for me, a slavish imitation of the print, but rather, a fulfillment, a painterly enhancement. In the act of bringing to fruition with paint, I’m working with digital images based on photographs I’ve taken, and adding my own humanity, my flaws, as well as my strengths and insights with a brush.

A couple of years ago I turned a corner in my work. I decided it was time to start fresh and get rid of a lot of old baggage and frequently used tricks. Someone, I’m not sure who, said, ”I write to find out what I’m thinking.” This is a sensible way to find out about yourself and a valid approach to painting as well as writing.

I began doing small watercolors with no preconceptions, no subject matter before me, and no preliminary drawings. All I began with was my materials, watercolor paper, a brush, and a palette with two colors, ultramarine blue and phthalocyanine blue.

I chose these two shades of blue simply because they are gorgeous together, not for any psychological/emotional/
symbolic reason, and definitely not as a nod towards Picasso’s famed blue period.

One of my goals, as a painter, is to make digital prints that have the strength of any other art form.

Sometime in the late ‘90s I got a Mac and my world changed forever. I self learned Photoshop, and from the first it was, and has remained for me, a compelling direction.

I have long been into collaging images, especially in designing murals, and later, paintings. Photoshop allows me to collage seamlessly, and do all sorts of other wonderful things with images as well.

Digital images have become so prevalent, so fast, especially in more commercial venues that they are not yet given full status in the fine arts. Even photography, of which digital imaging is an offshoot, has long been labeled, by some purist art fanatics, a minor art form. Anyone who has seen an Ansel Adams retrospective knows that photography can be a full-blown art form. The same is true of digital imaging.

I love paint. I like to be generous with it. I can appreciate work that is restrained, austere, minimal. But there’s another part of me, the hedonist, the nouveau-riche American, that craves sumptuousness.

Therefore I must use paint that is rich, dense, brilliant, textural. Oil is best for this.