Douglas FlackmanI began to paint in 1979 at the age of twenty-two. However, the origins of my artistic inspiration can be found in my childhood. My love and talent in art came from my mother. She took art classes for many years. She introduced me to art as she frequently brought me to museums and community painting exhibits. Also of importance, my father was an accountant who had a strong sense of business and dedicated work ethic. He also enjoys the outdoors and is an avid trout fisherman. I share his love for nature and devotion to work with my artistic career. I was raised in Ramsey, New Jersey as the youngest of three children. My family took many exciting, memorable vacations in which we would spend the month of August in beautiful destinations, including many national parks across America. I will never forget our wonderful camping trips. From my upbringing and parental influences emerged my path to a life committed to my fine art pursuits.

After graduating high school, I went in search for my calling and, though I looked far, it was always very near. As my mother had taken classes at the Ridgewood Art Institute, which I fondly call The Barn, I went there and was captivated by the magical discovery I made. There magic lived in the landscape paintings. My imagination was stimulated by these illusions of depth, dramatic light, and mystical atmosphere created with oil paint. They appeared so alive to me that I felt I could step into these sublime, heavenly places and escape into their romantic serenity. My senses transcended reality into a dreamlike state in which I journeyed beyond just seeing to hear the songbirds or roaring waves of a seascape, to smell the spring dew on the trees, or the salty air of the ocean. I yearned to travel through these imaginary places and discover what was around the next corner, on the other side of the mountains, or around the bend of a trickling stream. Furthermore, I desired to create my own worlds and beauty in paint. I was fortunate to meet the artist, Arthur Maynard, whose extraordinary paintings had inspired me. He had studied at the Art Student’s League under the well-known artist, Frank Vincent Dumond, who gave him his colorful, natural palate and extensive knowledge. Carrying on his teacher’s legacy and expertise, Arthur Maynard began teaching at The Barn and taught for forty years. I became his student and he my mentor. For four years, he taught me how to turn a blank, white canvas into the open window into wonder and excitement of earth and sky. After this experience, I embarked on my career as a professional painter and now carry on the creative influences of his lineage.

Between 1983 and 1985, I won a myriad of highly recognized prizes in the New York and metropolitan area. In 1986, I won the Orvis Award at the Southern Vermont Art Center that included a cash prize and one of my pieces on the cover of the widely distributed Orvis Fly Fishing Catalog. I have exhibited and sold my paintings at a gallery in Carmel, California, my own Gallery in Sedona, Arizona, and Cavalier Galleries of Greenwich, Connecticut and Nantucket, Massachusetts, and also on Madison Avenue in New York City. I am currently represented by Lisa Helmholz-Adams and my artworks are on display and available at Helmholz Fine Art in Manchester, Vermont.

My life’s journey as an artist has kept me moving. I have traveled to and painted at various beautiful destinations, including France, West Africa, Scotland, England, Ireland, Scandinavia, Central America, the Caribbean, New Zealand, Hawaii, and elsewhere. I resided in Vermont for several years, and then lived in Sedona, Arizona for over a decade. I now have returned to New England and reside in the beautiful, quaint artsy Great Barrington area of the Berkshires of Massachusetts. There is truly an extensive abundance of culture, creativity, and inspiration to be discovered here. I am grateful to have found such a nurturing and supportive community.

Even after years of painting, my creative passion still lives within me. I have continually sought to challenge myself to explore and create something original and more beautiful. I look forward to each day bringing me a new experience. I learn something new everyday and make each piece better and better. I will further my joyous journey as an artist and let it take me to greater places in the future.