Cherwell

Home is where the art is—Doug Eaton and The Forest of Dean

Pine Wood, Doug Eaton

Coming from the Forest of Dean, I am well used to looking at trees. Doug Eaton, also from the Forest, seems to be used to looking at trees, too. However, he reinvents them in a way so vibrant and fresh, that the landscapes he paints, through the colours he uses, seem alien.

Yet if you were to inspect the landscapes he takes his inspiration from, in the bursts of light between trunks, in the glisten of damp leaves, or the shadows in the bracken, these colours can be found. There is a believability in his paintings—remarkable when, with the palettes he uses, he veers on loosing such a cohesive and natural image, avoiding making something rather ‘tacky’ and ‘pop-arty’.

Doug’s style chases after what he terms as a “painterly style”, not afraid for the material to show the subject. It seems to be not just about simple depiction, but rather a deep evocation of place.

The landscapes he chooses are often places that have been previously industrialised, remains of a mining past. It is perhaps nice to think areas that were once sooty and black have now, through nature and human creativity, become colourful new environs.

As an artist, by depicting the locale of a relatively isolated community that doesn’t have much access to big galleries or a professional art scene, he does a remarkable thing in inspiring many to look at the landscape they live within in different lights, and from different perspectives.