1.31.2008

My very gifted brother


His name is Doug and he's an extraordinary artist, has been since he was 8 years old. His other passions are lepidoptery (butterflies) and baseball. He's loved those things all his life, with a side trip into building race cars some years ago. Except for that detour, he's been completely faithful to making art, playing ball, and finding and raising butterflies. As I mentioned earlier, our family hasn't been big on staying in touch, being close, or knowing what's going on with each other. I found out the other day that this brother of mine has published papers on the subject of butterflies. He's a known and respected lepidopterist -- this is my brother we're talking about here. Not that he couldn't be a known and respected butterfly guy, but gee whiz, what a thing to find out. Most of the articles and papers were published 20 years ago, but there are still people referring to him and his research and his methods even now. I'm really proud of him.

What I love about Doug is his imagination. I love his paintings, especially this one. It hangs in our house and it's fantastic. He's very talented but has never had representation, has never figured out the "art scene," hasn't had a show in a gallery. He's had his work in an artist's coop in Tucson, where he and his wife Mary live, and he used to take the time to get in the local art and craft fairs.

Fusion of Light

Fusion Alchemy

This one hangs in our house too. It's a much older painting than the others. This was done before he started adding other materials to the surface. Nowadays he puts pieces of mirror or metal or cloth or candy wrappers, whatever makes the texture more interesting. I admire him so much.

Kim and I had dinner with Doug and Mary a few years ago. We were on our way from San Diego to Florida. So I haven't completely lost touch with him, but to be honest, I've never tried very hard to know him. I like him. Being the self-righteous jerk that I can be sometimes, I don't think I've let him be himself. I keep wanting to make him into someone else. My bad.

Doug made this set. I've owned this for 20+ years and I've actually used it a few times. It's exquisite. I don't think we have any other things that he made.

Self Portrait by Doug Mullins