Neil Douglas Paints James Dean
Across the pond, in England, an artist created a great body of work toward receiving his art degree. He’s Neil Douglas, who received a BA (Hons) degree at Wolverhampton University. The University is in the west midlands of England, about half an hour outside of Birmingham and about 2 hours from Neil’s hometown of Bristol. His degree project was a series of portraits of James Dean, interpretations both small and large. The large portraits are each 5 feet by 4 feet!
After this series, after Neil came to Fairmount in September 1999 for the festival, he commenced another series showing the surroundings of Fairmount. This art is on a second Neil Douglas page. Here is Neil on the left with a fellow student, Pat, at Neil’s Uni exhibition of his amazing photorealism oil-painting technique.
Art by Neil Douglas
Here’s a close-up of this remarkable painting.
A preliminary sketch
A small portrait. A small portrait.
The first of the large portraits.
Here is that oil-painted view of Wolverhampton that Neil showed in his exhibition. Next series, in the year 2000, will show Fairmount, with James Dean!
This newer art is on a second Neil Douglas page here in deaners.net
Neil looks forward to every minute in Fairmount.
After the University reviews the paintings, they can go to the homes of their new owners. You could be one of those owners. For more information, visit Neil’s website at Neil’s tutor at Uni was Knighton Hoskins, an established abstract painter. Knighton is as big a Deaner as Neil.
Deaners asked Neil some personal questions:
Deaners: What is your painting style
Neil Douglas: “My painting has undergone many style changes and I would say it is only over the past 2 years that it has settled into a style which I am comfortable and confident with. Photography plays a large part in researching and producing my paintings. If I had to give my way of painting a title it would definitely come under photorealism, a pretty new style (started around the early ’70s). My favourite painter is an American painter, Richard Estes.
Before the James Dean series a lot of the painting were sharp landscapes of towns and cities where I have lived. My work this year has been divided between the portraits of James Dean and landscapes of Wolverhampton. Next year (2000) the entire work will be based on the trip to Fairmount and will merge the portraits and landscapes into the same body of work.”
Deaners asked Neil how he discovered James Dean
Neil: “How I became interested in James Dean, that’s a tricky one! I think it all started when for a time growing up I lived with my grandparents. My grandad would always say how they never make movies like they used to. He would always tell me stories he had read in the papers about Clift, Brando and Dean. I think James Dean always appealed to me the most, as his life always seemed more of a struggle. Being a student living on my own in Wolverhampton, having to apply and get turned down by numerous galleries, I can relate to the whole time when James Dean lived in New York City, trying to get a break.”
Remember, all work is copyright by Neil Douglas, 1999.
Neil’s brother-in-law is a computer genius who worked up a slide show of Neil’s paintings. If I learn how to post it on-line here, I can show it to you. Meanwhile, the picture above is a gift to us all from Neil and his brother-in-law. See you in Fairmount!
Be sure to see Neil’s own website
Loads more James Dean pages at DEANERS e-zine, by, for and about the fans.
See what all Neil saw at the 1999 Fairmount Museum Days festival that Deaners think of as the James Dean September festival.
Here’s Our Tentative Times, the parent of this family of magazines.
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