Gallery Tour: Painter Douglas Aagard
Fall back to autumn with landscapes by the Utah artist.
Meadow through Aspens, oil on canvas, 30 x 40
Douglas Aagard recently revealed a series of paintings featuring fall mountain foliage. Blazing aspen, deep blue-green pines, pale sage, and green-gray cedars are set against golden grasses and distant purple peaks. The artist shares his inspiration: “I spent the summers in Utah working with my grandfather, who was a sheep rancher. I paint a lot of aspen because they remind me of my grandfather and our time spent in the high country.”
While many of Aagard’s landscapes capture the grandeur of Utah’s towering peaks and sweeping vistas, others capture less dramatic, but by no means less striking, views. Meadow through Aspens is a gorgeous example of Aagard’s intimate autumn landscapes. “In this painting,” the artist explains, “your vantage point is on a hillside behind some aspens. You get the sense that you don’t want to intrude on the solitude of the meadow below and are waiting for deer or wild turkeys to venture out.”
A self-taught artist, Aagard began attending evening watercolor courses after long days working construction. But after viewing the works of fellow Utah artist Gary Ernest Smith, Aagard promptly switched to oils. Since then he has developed a distinctive palette knife technique. “Up close, you see the texture created by the knife which is really interesting. But when you step back, you no longer see the texture, you simply see the depth, and that’s what I’m really after.”
Now that he’s a full-time painter, Aagard views the world — and his aristic mission — differently. “Instead of looking at something and just seeing it as pretty, I start breaking it down into elements. When I look at a subject, I focus on light, color, and texture. ... I want people to feel the moment, to feel the wonder, peace, and joy that I feel when I see these scenes.”
GALLERIES: Kneeland Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho, 208.726.5512, www.kneelandgallery.com. Meyer Gallery, Park City, Utah, 435.649.8160, www.meyergallery.com. Manitou Galleries, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 800.283.0440, www.manitougalleries.com. Turpin Gallery, Jackson, Wyoming, 307.733.7530, www.turpingallery.com. Walton Horton Fine Art, Beaver Creek, Colorado, 970.949.1660, www.walthortonfineart.com.