Artist Douglas Aagard is painting live outside Horton Fine Art in Beaver Creek today and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aagard grew up in Western Montana and was deeply aware of natural beauty since childhood. The deep desire to pass on the sense of awe and respect for nature to others compelled him to draw and paint in any media or scrap paper available. Encouraged by his mother, who also loved drawing, and supported by his loving family, his journey started early on.
He remembers drawing for hours before his bedtime, trying to capture in watercolors the memory of fall colors and the gold and crimson skies. As a young adult, he attended drawing and watercolors classes with Utah watercolor artist Harold Peterson, which he says, made a world of difference in the way he approached the artistic process. Harold encouraged the young budding artist to deeply look into the nature of shapes created by the play of light and shadow. “He (Harold) taught me to pay attention, to really look at negative shapes — the shapes between the solid forms,” Aagard said.
Aagard practiced quietly on his own and with the help of oil painter Gary Earnest Smith, he set his hand on painting in oil with a palette knife.
“I never get bored painting with oil,” he said. “There are so many possibilities to try; one could never exhaust the love of learning. I have found that my work has a more dimensional feel or depth when painted with a palette knife, and often time the textures it creates is more fun than the composition.”
Differently from the flat base and transparency of watercolor, oils can be mixed into many colors and layered to create also a sense of texture.
As an adult artist now 12 years into fully dedicating his life to the creative process, Aagard is still in love with his craft and the fire in his belly still gets lit up by the deep reds of maturing maple trees, or the golden light caressing the top leaves of an aspen grove and the deep, long shadows cast in the sunset light. Douglas’ show will open to the public today and Sunday. He is presently painting in residence every day until the opening of the show, from 10 am to 8 p.m. For more information, call 970-949-1660.