Posts Tagged 'Windsor'

Doug Hastings – Artist Profile

Doug Hastings with Sculpture

Doug Hastings is the artist that I started writing this column to spotlight.  I have met others along this ten year journey but he is the epitome of my targeted artist – self-effacing, talented, passionate, unknown.  Let me qualify unknown – not unknown as a person but unknown as an artist.  Ask any parent in the greater Forestville area about Doug Hastings and unless their children are in there 40’s or they never played a sport, they will tell you what a great coach Doug is and has been for years.   First as a volunteer than as an El Molino girls’ soccer coach, Doug made a second career in coaching.  Today he is still coaching as he moves into his third career as sculptor and artist.

Doug is a local – one of those West Sonoma County people who can trace their roots back a few generations to places right down the road.  Doug is a local with no plans to venture far from home.  He attended Santa Rosa Junior College before transferring to UC Davis.  People around here know of Doug excelling in sports throughout his childhood.  They know of his accomplishments in any sport he attempted.  Many may remember that Doug Hastings was chosen as UC Davis Athlete of the Year with letters in football, basketball and track – the first student-athlete in Davis history to have that achievement.   The not so public side of Doug Hastings is that he has known since second grade that he was an artist.  There are also the degrees in 19th Century French History and Philosophy that he gathered as he was making history on the athletic field.

So what does an artistic, athletic intellectual pursue for a career?  Construction, of course.   Doug looked for a career that he would relate to his life as a whole.  His father was a heavy equipment operator and provided the inspiration that great statements could be made by moving earth and constructing things – things like bridges and retaining walls and making concrete esthetically pleasing.  For many years Doug led and participated in a great construction company.  These were not small projects but lifting houses and changing the landscape.   The intrigue with structural form as an extension of art continues in Doug.  His fascination with Frank Gehry , the acclaimed architect merging building and art, and the Gehry designs that remain unbuilt, let us know that while Doug has retired from construction many years ago, he has not relinquished that part of his life.

In 1991 Doug concluded his construction career and focused his efforts on raising his two children.  It was not long before he was coaching soccer.   Then he became the El Molino High girls’ soccer coach.  He spent 13 years at El Molino before he took on the challenge of assistant coach to the San Jose State University Women’s Soccer team.  Today he is back in Sonoma County coaching still.  As if developing young athletes was not enough, Doug successfully led the efforts to build an all weather track at El Molino High to provide a safe environment for our youth and a wonderful walking and running surface for the greater community.  This was no small task and drew upon all of Doug’s skills and experience.

I could easily have left out the construction and coaching and spoken only of Doug’s art.  Doug produces a great deal of art in a variety of media.  But not addressing Doug’s background would leave a gap in the discussion of his art.   Driving into Doug’s studio/home, I recognized the realm of a sculptor who likes big installations and has welding apparatus nearby.  What I was not prepared to see were the stone carvings, bronze athletes and bold paintings that filled the interior spaces.  The breadth of work is as broad as the past professions and interests.  The first stone sculpture that grabbed my attention was an armless man with a face of determination.  Then my eyes went to the bold colors on canvas depicting bodies in motion.  In the end, what commanded my mind were the unique bronze figures of athletes that appear to be straining every muscle to hurl a discus or reach that goal.  Doug uses a wax instead of the common Plasteline to form these figures and works with the foundry to produce one-of-a-kind statues.  The breakdown of the wax during the heating process yields unpredictable texture that sets these figures aside from other athletic likenesses.  The vastness of Doug’s collection and his dedication to continuing his exploration are testament to his internal drive.  No hesitation in his declaration that he is where he wants to be – painting, sculpting, collecting – coaching, gardening and living the good life of Sonoma County.

Doug Hastings is ready to show his works to those beyond his closest circle.  He has once shown paintings at the Town and Country Salon in Santa Rosa but that is the extent of his public exposure.  Doug is not yet on the open studios circuit but if you would like to see his creations, email Doug Hastings at dghstngs@earthlink.net for a private showing.   Be prepared to meet a great human being and see some terrific art.


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