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

6 comments:

uncle said...

That's some fine and interesting art work!

His self portrait sure caught the Mullins' 'eyes'. wow for capturing that energy.

melissa lion said...

Geez, Cathy, you are in a really cool place mentally. All of these posts have been really good. It's like watching a past unravel and we're all watching it together.

Of course, I've always thought you were in a cool headspace. But lately -- wow.

Cathy Mullins said...

Dear Uncle, I agree. His art is truly fine. When I win the lottery I'm going to build him his own gallery -- he can reject others artwork if he wants to. You and I will put on the Opening Night party.

Hey Melissa, Thanks for that. Actually today I was feeling a bit manic -- even my pilates trainer commented on it. But mostly I am enjoying myself. Can't wait to see you and meet Archie and Steve!

Coffee Messiah said...

Thanks for sharing. There are too many of us with lots of creativity that only a small portion of the the world knows about.

Perhaps that's meant to be, in order to keep the creativity going. Seems some get complacent once they start generating lots of money.

My mind is blank, but once met the Peter Max at a gallery in Sausalito
and found him to be quite a bore and his newer work to be very bland and unimaginative.

But who am I to talk. ; (

Cheers!

Lauri said...

Wow, amazing work! The self portrait is just awesome, and I love the work that looks like sardines and seaweed. Something wonderful about wanting to keep producing art work without receiving any recompense. I get the feeling through his portrait that it's a matter of he just HAS to create....

Cathy Mullins said...

cm, I would love to find more ways to show my brother's work to the world. Feel free to throw one on a page or two. My brother did sell some work and I think it was more of an impetus to do better than to slack off.
In the '60s we certainly did love Peter Max.

Lauri, You've hit the nail on the head, he can't NOT to art. It would be like trying NOT to breathe. It's who he is -- like the baseball and the butterflies (and even the race car).