In 1987, Noel Oddy was asked to help assemble and curate a large exhibition entitled Eight British Artists for the Royal Borough of Kingston-on-Thames, which was opened by the late Sir Roger de Grey, President of the Royal Academy. One of the Eight British Artists he chose (alongside Frederick Gore, RA ) was Douglas Wilson, RCA. Now, twenty five years later we are privileged to continue to present Wilson’s unique landscapes - their distinctive qualities, showing his great affection for the subject and his ability to present small details revealed by long observation.
Douglas Wilson was born in 1936; he studied Fine Art at Oxford under Percy Horton, Geoffrey Rhoades and Lawrence Toynbee. A member of the Royal Cambrian Academy, he has always been inspired by that English landscape which retains the atmosphere and beauty he associates with the works of Sir Edward Elgar, A E Houseman, Mary Webb and also the Welsh painter Richard Wilson (1714 - 1782).
Douglas is a true romantic, this quickly becomes evident from a close look at his paintings, many of which have an air of mystery in them. One only needs to talk to Douglas to be transported to another time - he is so enthused about the tiny villages and landscape his paintings meticulously depict in Shropshire and North Wales where he has lived and worked for many years. He is driven to paint particular places exposing their nuances and distinct personalities. Although we seldom find figures or a ‘people’ focus to his paintings there tends to be an inference of human order in his untamed world - which can, in some of his paintings, be seen in the wild skies above. To delve into the mysteries of a Douglas Wilson painting is compelling, you are transported into another time of quiet, hidden activity and sense of place, where in the majority of his paintings his attention to detail draws you to look closer, to see more and more. It is very tempting to wander up a driveway or to travel down the country lane to see beyond the hedges and walls and daydream of the lives beyond the painting.
Douglas’s output is slow. Layer upon layer of oil paint carefully laid onto board to create his distinctive and luxuriously smooth surface which allows him to build up his image and retain the crisp colour and lifelike details that makes his work so unique and popular.
Douglas Wilson has exhibited extensively since 1980 since resigning from his teaching post as Head of Art at a well-known public school to concentrate on his painting. He has since been invited and participated in exhibitions at the Ashmoleum Museum, Oxford; Royal Cambrian Academy; Royal Society of British Artists; Royal Institute of Oil Painters; Royal Academy Summer Exhbition, plus many notable private galleries. His work has been eagerly collected and can be found both in USA, Europe and the UK.