Artist Profile

Doug Singletary

Residence City:


Garden Location(s):

Rotary Plaza/SA Fynbos

Artist Biography:

I believe that painting from life, in nature, is essential to developing deep sensory connections with my subject matter. Painting on the scene at the mercy of the elements and the constantly changing light creates challenges, friction, and risk. But those factors can also yield heightened intuition, humility, and poetic spirit. When faced with these tensions, it seems to me that inspiration often arises. Therefore, I work directly from life, in nature, as much as possible.

My goal is to develop a deep understanding of nature through attentive observation. I hope that my work helps people see the beauty and the miraculous that surrounds them. I want to inspire and encourage people to embrace their communities with compassion to protect and sustain our planet.

Each artwork is influenced by the philosophy I bring with me to the field. From the writings of Giovanni Picco Della Mirandola in ‘Oration on the Dignity of Man’, the amazing painter Marc Dalessio has summarized as follows: “The artist is nature revering itself. As such, the painter should attempt to avoid developing any personal style in their work. My painting is an attempt at letting nature depict itself without overt interference of personality or ego.” I concur with and embrace that philosophy.
Each artwork has influenced my personal history – Biography:

Born in 1948 to a third-generation Southern California family of both parents, I was fortunate to tour and camp from the Sierras to the Pacific and Mexico to Oregon for many summers and occasional winters while growing up. Wandering and daydreaming in California infused an enduring awe in the presence of nature’s wonders.

Intrigued by the paintings of an aunt displayed in the home of my grandparents, I then became thoroughly entranced by a major Van Gough exhibition in Los Angeles while still in elementary school. The jewel-like colors and textures of the oils and the scenes of places, people, and seasons I’d never imagined seemed impossibly magical to me. It was thrilling! I learned early that art is needed in my life.
Soon, I accumulated the needed materials to begin teaching myself to paint by copying the works of classical artists. Later, in my high school years, my interests broadened to include the study of architectural drawing and design.

Prior to committing to full-time college studies, I continued my creative pursuits by means of sketching and photography while serving several years in the US Naval Security Group. It was a great opportunity for my first travel and exploration of cultures and landscapes outside my native California. I learned a lot in Texas, South Carolina, Florida, New York City, and Washington, DC, as well as Brazil and several countries in Africa in those years.
I then returned to school and earned an Associate Degree in Architecture at LA Pierce College and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at Humboldt State University, where I studied with painter Larry Gray
and ceramicist Reese Bullen. This was followed by becoming a licensed architect in California and a member of the American Institute of Architects.

Now retired, my architectural project types were wide-ranging. They included university buildings, luxury resorts, master-planned communities, religious institutions, residences, office campuses, and an array of specialty facilities. Many were designed for various locations in the USA. Some were designed for Europe, South America, and the Middle East.

For several years my office was in Germany with the good fortune that and my wife, and I were able to travel widely and often from there, visiting the art museums, art events, historic sites, and natural wonders that we’d studied in our school years.
Community and the environment are important as well. Highlights include:

I served on the board of directors during four foundational years of the creation of the Ventura Botanical Gardens and provided guidance on master planning and environmental review details that helped gain City approval of the initial VBG conditional use permit and lease agreement. I’m extremely proud to have been invited to join the pioneering team of visionaries that launched VBG.
I currently volunteer my design consulting services to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. They have been my client for nearly twenty-five years, and it is an honor to provide them with ongoing advice as they approach the 100-year anniversary of their extraordinary botanic garden.



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