Welcome to the first of many posts on the Art by Doug Oliver blog! I am so excited as I am writing this first post, blogging is such an amazing way to share my thoughts, ideas, and snippets of my work and life with you. I feel that there cannot be a better way to genuinely express myself to the fullest.
If you’re new here, I’m glad you’ve joined us. My name is Doug Oliver and I’m a Fine Woodcarver and Sculptor who lives and works in Santa Fe, NM. I have a deep love and respect for traditional and representational (realistic) art in most forms. Whether that is design, sculpting, carving, art, architecture, figurative, ornamentation, or history it all melds into one in my mind and soul. I firmly believe that there is always more to learn in the world of art and I’m on a lifelong journey to continue expanding my expertise, knowledge, and understanding.
My artistic process started early in life, I started drawing at a young age and always loved art and have enjoyed the creative process. I was inspired by my mother, Marilyn, who was a talented amateur painter. She took me to classes with her when I was younger and I took a few art classes in high school but thought I needed to pursue a more safe path since I wanted a family. For many years I had the urge to tap into my creativity again, and then one day in my early 30s, a family friend introduced me to woodcarving and it felt like the whole world of art and creativity opened back up to me.
After being introduced to woodcarving I was fortunate to find and study under a Bavarian master wood and stone carver, Ludwig Kienniger, for many years. I now have over 27 years of experience and am well versed in many classical and contemporary styles, and enjoy carving in many types of hardwoods. I also enjoy sculpting in clay (primarily figurative) as it allows for more freedom of expression than wood or other hard materials. Throughout these 27 years of learning, I have explored a wide variety of techniques, approaches, styles, and mediums. All of this has culminated in creating Art by Doug Oliver as a way to share my art with others, connect with fellow artists, and take commissions for those who’d like my art in their home, workplace, religious space, etc.
In December of 2019, I changed my life and moved away from the Dallas area (a place I called home for decades) and moved to Santa Fe where I did not know a single soul. I came here to pursue my passion for art and to live and work in this inspiring environment. I have not looked back since making this big life change. Getting the opportunity to live in such a beautiful, inspiring environment as well as being able to connect to the very well-established Santa Fe art world has been incredibly beneficial to my art and my life as a whole.
If you’d like to keep up with my work, the best way to do so is by joining the Art by Doug Oliver email list. On the 1st of every month, I’ll be sending out an email to this community to catch up on what projects I’ve been working on in the past month, information about commissions and availability, new techniques or mediums I’m experimenting with, as well as little snippets of my life as a Santa Fe artist. In each of these emails, I’ll provide a link to the monthly blog post as well which will have more in-depth & detailed information, photos of my work and process, and a full overview of what’s been going on in my work and life. You can also visit the Art by Doug Oliver website at any time to read this or past blog posts!
My hope is over the coming months I’ll be sharing blog topics that will inspire, educate, and enlighten you. These posts won’t only contain information about carving, sculpting, and art – but many other topics that continue to fascinate me like travel, museums, geology, and the natural world. I plan to showcase how I start a project and then how I proceed through the different stages until completion. I’ll also show you and discuss how I choose tools and types of wood for projects. This way I can bring you along from the initial drawing to the completed sculptures.
I also will cover topics such as tools, woods, clays, benches, armatures, and many of the things that I use to create my art. I also plan to showcase some artists that inspire me (past and present). I hope that you will follow the journey and process with me, and I would also love to hear from you if you have questions, topic ideas for posts, or anything else you’re curious about. Thank you for being here, I appreciate you and your support for my artistic journey!