Stephen Douglas' paintings are visual documents of struggle, missteps, decision and indecision, lessons learned and lessons failed, challenges met, challenges (and opportunities) passed. They are a virtual battleground of conflicting traditions and new thinking; more than a battlefield; a lifelong war, where is no more than a good intention.
Douglas' paintings challenge and honor tradition at once. With a respectful nod to the tradition of portraiture and the classical painting methods, his Case Studies paintings, demonstrate a sophisticated and instinctive understanding of the precepts of modern painting - the concepts of object to ground relationship, plasticity in paint, the materiality of paint, the give and take of space, air, and atmosphere. They clearly make the argument that process is critical to production - that process demands new efforts juxtaposed with long-standing, established methods - that failure is an integral part of success, and that transparency of paint and painting is critical in the lexicon of contemporary art.