Doris Downes (born 1961) is the third generation of American Artists from Virginia who lives in the Soho area of New York. With a joint degree in Fine Art and Art History, her career began as an award winning Creative Director and an illustrator in the subject matter of Natural History. She was influenced by her father on their walks through the countryside observing nature and its complexities. Eventually she began working full time as a fine artist painting in watercolor, gouache and oils on canvas. Her first solo exhibition was in Barcelona, Spain where she is represented by the Galerie Sala Peres and has shown her work internationally as well as throughout the United States.
Art Critic, Olga Spiegel described her work in a review as :
“Downes shows the particularities of the flower, its nature, its fullness or destined decay, the curve or arabesque of stems and petals subject to the whim of the wind, always with a great mastery of drawing and the possibilities of watercolour to show the light, to heighten the colours or to reduce them to grey, as in the triptych Chinese hibiscus.”
Her work is in the collection of various patrons and institutions and she continues to show her work in group exhibitions as well as solo shows. She divides her time between Soho and a farmhouse in Westchester County, New York.
Painting is all about feeling, for me. My first instinct is to present living matter in all of its beauty, real visceral beauty that is also fleeting. I am influenced and inspired by the contents of my studio: books, poetry, paintings, opera synopsis, all leading to life’s inevitable losses. With each brush stroke, I am, as nature is able to do, bring about a renewal, life and representation that defies our destiny. My work is influenced by other artists’ tragic lives who found comfort in creating the world around them. Casper David Friedrich, Italian painter Jacopo Pontormo, Spanish sculptor and painter, Antonio Lopez as well as El Greco gives my work a ‘brooding’ quality in a Mannerist Style, treading deeply in familiar territory.