For most of his adult life, Doug Pearson wanted to share the skills that made him prominent in the art and advertising world.
In August 2012 he took the opportunity and opened the Fine Arts School in the Pines, a multi-faceted arts center at 6290 Pony Express Trail, Suite G, in Pollock Pines.
The curriculum is broad and includes basic drawing, water colors, painting with oils, sculpture and ancient instrument making.
Pearson’s art company offers unique and customizable teaching programs, based on the interests and needs of the students.
His artist-in-residence program projects onsite courses to outside venues such as schools, business and community settings.
Pearson wants to reach schools that suffer with limited budgets or scarce resources to provide art education to students. He also looks for young adults eager to pursue a career in the fine arts. As well, seniors have flocked to the courses enthusiastically.
Recently the artist-in-residence visual art program kicked off with two sessions per week, extending for six weeks.
Each session runs from 3 to 5 p.m., at a cost of $18 per student. Sessions 1 through 3 focus on drawing, layout, perspective and shading.
In the next three sessions, students choose one of three mediums; oil, pastel or water color for additional instruction. They determine subject matter including landscape, portraiture or still life.
Another subject option includes replicating a painting from one of the school’s fine arts books.
The courses include art paper, pencils and specific supplies for each medium.
Aside from the nominal fees for art courses, the school relies on donations from the public and upon grant awards for art education, performing arts and art education advocacy.
“Our annual budget is $125,000,” Pearson noted. “Beyond the grant awards, we rely on help from regular folks to ensure that art education remains a valued and critical part of our community.”
Pearson’s goal isn’t to get rich by developing the school but it is OK with him if it pays for itself.
“We created the Fine Arts School in The Pines to share our expertise and passion for the creative arts with the foothill communities,” Pearson said. “There are a ton of excellent artists locally, evidence of the wide-spread interest in fine art.”
Students are provided with unique opportunities to creatively express themselves and explore their talents.
“The learning cycle is truly comprehensive,” he stated. “Beyond learning new skills as artists, they also develop self-confidence and self-discipline, sharpen their critical thinking and learn respect for themselves and others.”
Pearson advocates a unique way of capturing the memory of subjects, a process he dubs “Memoramics.”
He co-developed the method with Charles Curtis, a lifelong friend from art school.
“It’s a way of holding on to what you see. We teach artists to look at something briefly, then turn around and recapture all the detail of the object in their art. It’s important to keep a usable image of your subject when you’re not looking at it,” he said.
For 38 years, the art school entrepreneur played a key role in the development of advertising graphics from “the early days of cut-and-paste to the digital design programs, and from labor-burdened printing presses to high-speed computerized plants.”
He held senior marketing and production posts with start-up and established companies, and watched how proper management produced success.
He took the plunge into his own business in 1995. Creative Art Services got off to a good start, and Pearson never looked back.
He retired in 2006 and quickly began his quest to found an art school.
Pearson holds degrees in business and advertising from the University of Maryland, commercial and advertising arts from Chamberlain Art Institute, and fine arts from Corkrin Art Institute.
In addition, he completed the printing apprenticeship in color separation, camera, stripping, layouts and general printing management at Darby Printing Company.
The Fine Arts School in the Pines will showcase students’ work in the adjoining art gallery.
Pearson can be reached at 530-366-5116, or [email protected]