The influence of a traditional European art foundation education is clearly present in the paintings of Doug Zeigler who studied with several European teachers at the Art Institute of Chicago. Though he always wanted to be an artist, the pragmatist, Zeigler, majored in design which provided for him a means to support his art habit over the years.
Now retired, with plenty of time to paint as much as he wishes, Zeigler divides his time between painting, reading, travel and playing golf. “I must confess, I don’t paint a lot,” he says. “I consider painting or making art a very intense activity and I cannot do it 8 hours a day. I like to work in 2 to 3 hour segments.”
La Route de Campagne, Oil on linen, 20x20, $1,100
He works primarily in his studio but expands on the values of plein air painting. He says, “It is important to get out and letting it hit you in the face. You have to work fast and make decisions very quickly and your prospects for success are very limited because you have a one to three hour time window to paint.” However, if a plein air painting is unsuccessful, Zeigler condones its use as the basis for a great studio painting that uses the failed painting as a guide. “I think of doing a painting as something you build. It is certainly not rigid; it is a constant series of small decisions,” Zeigler explains. “You go through the building process and hopefully you have a pretty good idea when to sign it.”