Finding the narrative within

Doug Fiely likes to tell stories. His books are gallery shows. His subject matter? Anything from nature, to architecture, to people. His chapters are separate paintings and prints. His sentences are disguised as delightful visual narratives. The Dayton artist is currently presenting paintings and prints at The Art Gallery at the Centerville Police Department.

“My inspiration comes from observation. I spent years teaching figure drawing.

So I like working with figures in different variations. Generally, I’m inspired by glancing at something,” said Fiely. “I raised chickens for many years; but I’m fascinated by the shapes, the contrasts and dissonance of things. I have a sort of modernistic, geometric style.”

He creates those styles in his studio at the intersection of Keowee and Webster Streets.

“I spent a few years doing non-objective or abstract art. But it was too linked into what I learned in art school, you know, color and balance,” said Fiely. “I wanted to be more of a storyteller. I want to say something about a subject.”

He grew up on Grand Lake St. Mary’s, so he used to fish. One of his paintings depicts fat fish in a gray to blue continuum shown vertically on a vibrant geometric background. The shapes and angles are paramount to the piece. He is also presenting a textured painting of the Carillon Brewing Company, along with some prints in the glass case that include a wood engraving of St. Anne’s rooftops.

“Printmaking is schizophrenic. Wood engravings are meticulous and time consuming. The drawing may be spontaneous, but the execution is very precision oriented,” said Fiely. “For painting, it’s just nice and loose and free; reacting to the subject and trying to get the story.”

He has a graduate degree in printmaking at Bowling Green. He taught K-12 art at Stryker, a little rural community in northern Ohio where he raised chickens, goats and turkeys on a 5.6-acre farm. He is a professor emeritus from Defiance College, where he’s taught all types of art classes.

Fiely moved to Dayton about 3 years ago, but he’s been involved with the Dayton art community for the past 20 years. He’s been involved in Art on the Commons, and he has some private and corporate collections in the Oregon District and downtown.

On February 25, he will be the featured artist for Art at the Trace at Yankee Trace Golf Club. The painting that he is donating for the auction is “Ruth’s Pewter,” an acrylic on canvas still-life of a woman’s collection of mugs, and vases, and chalices. The event is sponsored by the Centerville Arts Commission. Advance tickets are $15; price at the door is $20.

Fiely is a member of the Dayton Visual Arts Center, the Dayton Society of Artists, and the Dayton Printmakers Cooperative. He presented works recently during DVAC’s Holiday Gift Gallery, and this past year has shown his art at River Center Gallery in Toledo, ArtSpace in Lima, and 4 Corners Gallery in Angola, Indiana.

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