This distinguished, brooding portrait almost seems to depict some Spanish caballero of the type painted by Velázquez or El Greco. However, I met a cheerier version of this same face on Wednesday at the Cape Ann Museum. It belongs to Leon Doucette, who was our docent for the regular 11AM guided tour. He grew up in Gloucester, moved away for a few years (including college), and then moved back recently and started working at the Cape Ann Museum. His local knowledge and love of art was evident in the tour he gave us.
Besides being a really nice person, he is a very talented painter. When he said he is an artist, I looked him up right away on my iPhone and found his blog. My first thought when I saw his painting was, “why is this guy not 24/7 behind an easel?” I guess it’s hard for an artist – especially a young man who is relatively new on the scene – to get enough work painting to do that full-time. At least he has a job in an art museum! But honestly, his work is really good, worth checking out. Here’s another image from his website:
Great, isn’t it? There is a lot more on his blog.
Sadly, he doesn’t have any work on display right now in Gloucester. I am going to follow his blog in the hopes he announces a local show sometime soon.
I wonder how many other talented young artists like Leon are hidden in our midst… They are the future of the art community here on Cape Ann. I hope they get the support and recognition they deserve.
Fortunately, we have initiatives like the The Cape Ann Painter and Photographer Group, which meets the second Monday of each month from 9:00 to 10:30 at the Annie. In general, from what I’ve seen, the Cape Ann art community is very welcoming and encouraging for artists who are new to the area.