Artist Update: Creative Catalyst Artist Doug Lew

July 22, 2015 3 min read

We filmed Doug Lew and produced his art instruction workshop: Painting Motion in Watercolor with Doug Lew a number of years ago.  Here are a few pics from our filming studio and from the excursion we took to Newport, Oregon the next day.  


We recently contacted him to find out where he is on his artist's path.


Nice to hear from you Jim.  Am happy to give you my thoughts. 


  • What have you been doing since filming here at Creative Catalyst?

       Mainly preparing submissions for variety of watercolor competitionsaround the country.  I was finally accepted  this year by the American Watercolor Society for the first time, very gratifying.  I have also finished working on a personal exhibit for the Art Association of Vicenza, Italy.  Will also conduct a 2 day, (Oct. 17 to 18)workshop there following the opening of the show.  I’ve also been invited to be the juror for the Minnesota State Fair Fine Art exhibit (water soluble media section)


  • Do you remember any highlights about your visit to Creative Catalyst to film your video(s)?

I thought the whole filming process was thorough and profefessional. It was delightful to be taken out to dinner and to be driven to Portland for the return flight.


  • What did other artists or students say about your video?

They all thought it was such a privilege to have a video made by a professional outfit.    


  • Tell us how your art has changed / evolved in the last few years?

I am doing less motion paintings and more in figures and portraits.


  • What subjects, styles, materials are catching your interest these days?

Figures and portraits and trying to put more “Drama” in everything I do.


  • What inspires you to keep creating? How did you overcome them?  

Excitement – in knowing the possibility of doing something good. It’s an on-going process.


  • Have you had some obstacles to overcome to continue art? 

There are always obstacles in every painting, so I do a lot of “what if’s”  What if I should change to another color combination?  What if I eliminate  this portion of detail.  What if the contrast could be more or less, sharp or muted, stronger or softer, etc.


  • What are some of the most common questions your students have?

       More demos and less talk.


  • Do you use your videos (or others) in your teaching?

       Not always.  Sometimes I use your productions of Salminen’s abstract video for composition and Carla O’Connor’s for inspiration.


  • New books, videos, shows, galleries, awards?

      “Great Composers in Watercolors” by Trafford see question #1.


  • Have you learned anything new about art marketing?

       No, I have not.  Some good artists and poor ones, are good marketers.

       I am not.


  • Do you have any advice to someone who wants to learn to paint?

       There some very good videos and books available. Attending good workshops are also good for beginners.


  • How do you know when to quit (a painting)?

       I somehow know when to stop, usually before I think I should do more.


  • Where do you see your art taking you in the next 5 to 1years? 

Hopes and dreams?  I believe every honest artist knows exactly where he/she stands on the scale of excellence.  I broadly consider my self as a contemporary realist and I have still have many miles to travel.  I just wish to improve and be recognized, that’s all.

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