by James Bridges
While shuffling through papers I dropped my phone onto the carpeted floor at this great little coffee joint in Shawnee. Just stupidly busy…
As I lifted up my phone I heard someone call my name and take a seat on the sofa next to me. I remembered at that point to slow down and let the universe do its work.
I had never met this person but he introduced himself in one of the most elegant and proper ways to start a conversation with a stranger which is to NOT talk about oneself. He politely asked me about my work.
We should all practice this technique as it is quite pleasant.
“You said something about art.” Douglas Gordon was clearly at minimum interested in imaginative things. “It’s too bad mine doesn’t really involve cannabis.”
I immediately informed him that it does not matter. “We are always looking for interesting artists no matter what one chooses to…..” He then interrupted with, “well, some of it may be a derivative of cannabis from the past.” We both had a smile.
Come to find out Douglas is a wonderfully talented person when it comes to disrupting blank canvases. As a matter of fact he is quite remarkable.
I noticed people in the background seem to gesture and look over at us. I thought for a minute I was being punked.
“Bee’s wax,” says Douglas. “Bee’s wax is what is use for the encaustic painting that I like to do.” Douglas was very, let’s say, in-tune with his craft.
Turns out… Douglas is a bit of a local artist celeb. I can see why. The attraction as a person is definitely there. He seemed to have a gentle yet passionate eye for things. However, it was more than that. I knew I was communicating with someone special.
In 2016, Douglas and Holly Gordon created a community art space called Studio 112 and a half. Their mission was to provide a place for emerging and established artists to show and sell their art.
“I enjoy creating and I enjoy helping others which is why in every show I tried to have established artists and an emerging artists or two because it’s difficult to have your work seen in a gallery unless you’ve shown somewhere else.”
I literally noticed a tear come to his eye.
Fresh off of his “Art Across America” journey where Douglas, according to him, was able to reconnect with his love of art and purpose, he is pumped up and ready to create even more.
“Now I’m retired. And when I retired I knew I was going to be able to get back into the art scene more heavily. So then, I guess you could say, I fell into a little bit of a grieving process. For 7 or however many years…. This is you this is who you are… then suddenly….you’re not. Who are you?” He laughed.
“So now it’s almost like a rebuilding process for me which is quite enjoyable actually.” Douglas said he is getting into building his own canvases and things like that to help him with the artistic process.
He then revealed something to me which was quite obvious after hearing. He told me he was a fan of Warhol. It made complete sense to me. He, like Warhol, was not only obsessed with the outcome but also with the entire process. To surround oneself completely with creativity including the people you consider your tribe. I could see that in Douglas.
The romance he had bottled up was ready to burst. It was a pleasure to catch a glimpse. I hope I will be able to witness at least a few pages of his next chapter.
Vist Douglas’ website for lot’s of great information:
Douglas G Gordon
Artist & Visual Story Teller