Douglas McGarren Flack was preparing to be a medical doctor. But life seemed to have other ideas for him. A chance visit to National Gallery of Art, Washington DC in 1999 to see a travelling art show exhibiting John Singer Sargent’s paintings opened a Pandora’s Box in front of him. The fluid language of Sargent’s painting revealed, for the first time, the possibilities in the world of art to Douglas. And, he submitted to its charm. After graduating from Brigham Young University in 2002 he joined University of Utah and completed MFA from there in 2008. Like Diego Velázquez, whose work Sargent took a great care in studying, Douglas likes the spontaneous burst of energy that alla prima provides. He masterfully utilises this technique in his visual diary capturing emotions and stories from everyday life.
Billy Dodson is sitting inside a dry and shallow trough. His eyes are fixed far into the horizon. He has been told that a herd of elephant is on its way to the nearest waterbody. Like a skilled marksman he too is ready with all his arms and ammunition, his camera with an optimal setting. The excitement starts building up in him with every passing minute. But his many journeys into the wilderness have taught him the value of patience. He knows it may take several hours. It could also be a possibility that the herd changes its track and could not even come anywhere near the area where he is waiting to photograph them, in which case it the whole endeavour may turn out to be fruitless. But he takes heart in knowing that Africa has never been a source of disappointment for him. He simply needs to find more ways in exploring the treasures tucked in every nook and corner of the continent.
It is a trip to Tanzania in 2001 that influenced Billy’s course of life in many ways. Not only he visited and revisited the continent many times since to fulfill his passion for photography but also to collaborate actively with many institutions striving to preserve the wealth of African fauna. He is a patron of Giraffe Conservation Foundation. He also regularly donates images both for spreading awareness about the cause and also to help in raising funds for African Wildlife Foundation, the Nature Conservancy and other conservation initiatives. That his art has found a greater purpose beyond being a source of a positive delight for the audience is perhaps his greatest achievement.
Very early in his life Larry Moore learnt to value the pleasure of walking barefoot on a spongy carpet of green grass or listening to the rapturous song of the great waves of Atlantic. Even after all these years, the artist absolutely loves being out of door which is self evident from an array of plein air paintings. However, Larry Moore’s success lies in equally admiring the human connections, appreciating the strength of human creativity and having an empathetic view of life instead of turning the face away from society which many are predisposed to do if found at a similar situation. Perhaps, that is why ‘The Sail Maker in Her Studio’ intently busy at completing the task at hand feels equally charming as the allure of nature in ‘Into the Woods’.
The artist’s list of awards is lengthy including gold medal from Society of Illustrators, NY, 2005, Society of Illustrators, NY annual exhibit 1995, 1997, 1998 through 2005, Communication Arts Illustration Annual 1999 through 2008, Luerzers Archive Top 200 Illustrators Worldwide, 2005, Maui Islanders Plein Air Artists’ Choice Award, 2009, Carmel Art Festival Best of Show, 2006, 2010, Bucks County Local Color Best of Show, 2012. To borrow the words of Bill Watterson, creator of Larry’s favourite comic strip Calvin & Hobbes, ‘Life is like topography, Hobbes. There are summits of happiness and success, flat stretches of boring routine and valleys of frustration and failure.’ There could not have been a more apt description of the nature lover artist’s journey so far.
A fiercely concentrated Andrea Pozzi is busy working at the ski slopes of Alps. Every winter he manages spending time in his native Lombardi, Italy, he occupies himself with his other love, skiing. In descending the slopes he leaves his trail on the snow covered mountain. But it is only for a few seconds before fresh snowfall covers the traces. It makes him acutely aware of the ephemeral nature of time, a lesson he particularly treasures during photography. Sometimes, he needs waiting for hours before capturing that ‘precious’ yet fleeting moment in his Canon camera. Being a nature photographer he often finds himself at remote corners of earth. And with only nature accompanying him in his journeys he finds enough time to breath into the tranquillity of fresh air and pristine landscapes. From disparate Patagonia to frozen Alaska, from dramatic Fiordland to unforgettable Ireland, Andrea travelled many miles under the sun with his faithful camera at hand. In going uphill and down dale everyday on ski slopes Andrea has learnt another great lesson, that of taking the highs and lows of life in his stride accompanied by the power of endurance. So today faced with an obstacle in his life’s slalom this visual storyteller from northern Italy knows how to overcome it.
In 2009, Iris Scott earned her degree in Bachelor of Fine Arts from Washington State University. But more importantly she took a decision that affected her entire life. She set her sail about and reached Taiwan to dedicate an entire year in honing her skills at painting at a relatively lower cost of living. But the universe had an even bigger surprise in store for her. All of a sudden one day, when, she was busy correcting a little blob of paint with her fingers on canvas an idea struck her—what if the entire scene is set up on canvas through painting with fingers? This fanciful thought did not take much time to be translated into action and there born the first of the ‘impressionist finger paintings’ series. With practice, the soft touches on canvas started producing that magical quality in paintings that did not escape notice of the admirers. And, soon Iris started criss-crossing the globe collecting fragments of images that not only touched her heart but were also translated by her waltzing fingers on canvas to capture the audiences’ imaginations.