Doug West has always been fascinated with the beauty of nature. He expresses his love for the American Southwest in his richly hued and detailed images.
Born and raised in Riverside, California, Doug describes his early life as a mixture of outdoor experiences such as camping, hiking and swimming that gave him an intimacy with the outdoors. After living and teaching in Hawaii for four years, Doug moved to the Southwest in the mid-1970s where he settled and began his career as a print maker and artist.
Doug Wests distinctive images allow the viewer to contemplate the vastness and serenity of nature. Using the medium of silkscreen, West creates beautiful landscapes of the Southwest. The artist's method of making his pastoral, vibrantly colored scenes begins with a watercolor sketch or photographs. He likes to begin with the sky because it sets the lighting conditions and mood of the print. For the other elements he hand cuts stencils to lay over the screen, then applies the ink to the screen with a squeegee. One print can require as many as 125 applications of color, each with its own stencil.
West, who works at a rate of one or two applications a day, sometimes has no idea what the print will look like until he is several weeks into the process. West prefers to do the silkscreening himself, working on several compositions at a time. His largest prints have taken up to three months to complete.
The aim of Doug Wests panoramas is to instill in viewers a sense of awe in the perfection of nature. The beauty of landscapes is that you can't exhaust the potential inspiration out there, he says.
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