NASHUA, N.H. — A local abstract artist uses his paintings to make a visual statement, although more than just paint meets his canvas.
Doug Huntley has been painting since he was in high school. Now that he’s retired, he said he has more time to focus on his work up in his second-floor studio at 55 Lake St. in Nashua. He uses modeling paste to stick different materials — such as pieces from lobster traps or burlap sacks – to his canvas to add in texture.
In doing this, he creates paintings that often look like aerial views of rivers or mountains.
“Most people need something to get them started off from a blank canvas. Texture gets me going,” Huntley said.
Adam Urquhart Doug Huntley looking on at some of his work hanging in his studio while describing what went into the painting.
After plastering materials onto his canvas, he’ll often chisel pieces away and sometimes reuse those pieces. He pours, drips, brushes and pushes acrylic colors and gels onto his canvases, creating his abstract works of art.
He first got involved with painting as a student, when he attended Lincoln High School in San Diego, California.
“I signed up for a three-hour-a-day art class,” Huntley said, noting he’s kept going ever since.
He’s painted on and off throughout the course of his life.
“That’s how art goes, but now I have the luxury to paint,” Huntley said. Usually after hitting the gym in the morning, he’ll go over to his studio, which he shares with artist Peter Dixon, and paint four or five days a week.
However, before having the time to do so, he worked at the Nashua Fire Department before retiring in 2001. After that, he worked part time, but now focuses on painting.
“My wife told me if you’re going to paint, do it,” Huntley said.
So, since then he’s been painting professionally, mixing different materials in with modeling paste.
“I work on the ground a lot and pour colors on and drip them. . I want things to look either 100 years old or a day old. I like to achieve a timeless feel,” Huntley said.
He use to do oil painting but said, “I can do more of what I’m doing now with acrylics.”
He said he’s a visual person and it’s important for him to make visual statements.
He gets his inspiration from life.
“When I do my paintings I won’t know what it’s about at first,” Huntley said.
As time goes on and it starts coming together, he said he’ll then realize what it’s about. In a lot of his paintings, he’ll feature water in an abstract way.
“As a society, we should be thinking about water. The planet needs air, water and the ground to grow,” Huntley said.
He said water is something he’s “deeply interested” in.
That interest comes out in many of his paintings that are hung up around his studio. He’s been in that building for 10 years, and three years ago got the current space in which he works.
Huntley will be a part of this year’s 13th annual ArtWalk Weekend that’s happening Oct. 14-15.
“I’ll be inside Pompanoosuc Mills during the ArtWalk,” Huntley said.
He said they keep some of his paintings, as well as work from other artists, up throughout the year. He said he’s participated in the ArtWalk at least five years.
“A lot of volunteers give time to make the ArtWalk happen, working behind the scenes, and they should get credit,” Huntley said.
So, for those interested in checking out his visual statements, stop by Pompanoosuc Mills and take a look. Also, more than 100 local and area artists will feature their work, so there will be plenty of art to admire that weekend in downtown Nashua.
“I think as artists we like our work to speak the loudest to make the best statement,” Huntley said.
Information from: The (Nashua) Telegraph, www.nashuatelegraph.com