Douglas Edwards, born in 1936 in Newburgh, N.Y., discovered his passion for drawing at an early age. However, like many others, he chose a more “practical” career path in engineering and joined the workforce. Despite this, he continued to draw and nurture his artistic talents. In 1976, Douglas’s wife Terry recognized his potential and enrolled him in a watercolor class taught by the esteemed artist William Webber. Although he could only attend a dozen classes due to work commitments, this experience was enough to ignite a lifelong devotion to art.
The primary focus of Douglas Edwards’s art lies in capturing the essential emotions of strength, independence, and even loneliness evoked by the disappearing landscapes of rural America, particularly rural Pennsylvania. To him, the fields, woods, streams, and mountains, combined with the functional beauty of the sturdy barns, houses, and outbuildings built by earlier generations, create a unique portrait of a part of the nation as it is… and was. These farms stand as visual testimony to the intelligence, flexibility, and sense of balance that lies within human beings, as these structures seem to blend seamlessly with the land, rather than intruding upon it.
Douglas believes that realism is the most effective way to draw the viewer into his scenes, allowing them to feel the rough stones, weathered wood, breeze, warmth of the sun, or coolness of shaded areas, and to hear the sounds of life or stillness. A friend once asked while viewing one of his pencil sketches, “Don’t you just want to go down there and see what’s inside?” This simple question perfectly encapsulates Douglas’s approach to his work.
Douglas has not participated in many exhibitions, preferring to spend his time creating works for sale and personal enjoyment. However, his art has been showcased in juried shows held by the Art League of Nassau County (N.Y.), Susquehanna Art Society, and the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society. Douglas and his wife Terry, a weaver and lace maker, reside in Orrtanna, Pennsylvania, and have four grown children and twelve grandchildren spread across California, the Carolinas, and England.
Douglas Edwards’s evocative art captures the essence of a bygone era in rural America, inviting viewers to connect with the beauty and simplicity of these vanishing landscapes. His commitment to realism offers a unique and immersive experience for those who appreciate the rich history and heritage of rural Pennsylvania. As we celebrate the work of this remarkable artist, let us also honor the spirit of the land and the people who shaped it, preserving their legacy for future generations to cherish.