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 Bev Doolittle  (1947 - )

About: Bev Doolittle


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Lived/Active: California      Known for: animal and Indian paintings, nature subjects

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BIOGRAPHY for Bev Doolittle
1947 (California)

Often Known For
animal and Indian paintings, nature subjects

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
From California, Bev Doolittle is a painter of western wilderness subjects whose subjects come from traveling the western United States and living outdoors for first-hand observation.  She is noted for her careful attention to realistic detail of her wide-ranging western subjects including cowboys, Indians, horses and natural landscape.  She has also built a career by having great success with the print market beginning in 1979 when Greenwich Workshop did a limited edition of 1000 prints of her horse painting, Pintos, which had won the 1979 American Watercolor Society competition in New York.

She was born to a large family in Southern California, and showed early aptitude for painting and drawing.  She studied at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, having earned a scholarship there while still in high school.  Two years after graduation from the Art Center, she married a fellow student, Jay Doolittle.  Their honeymoon was a painting trip to Bryce and Zion National Parks. 

Then, for the first five years of their marriage, they were focused on creating images for advertising and television, endeavors that paid reasonably well when combined with traveling to art fairs to sell their work, but which were not aesthetically satisfying nor financially stabilizing.  Working on a series called "You and Me" paintings, they found moderate success with works that had Jay's semi-abstract background and Bev's detailed figures and animals. 

In 1973, they 'dropped out', leaving the advertising agency and moved to a rural area, and from there spent a year in backpack travel in the United States, Canada and East Africa.  Beginning with transportation in an old pick up truck, they went to National Parks including the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Sequoia.  With paintings to exhibit and fresh air in their 'veins', the couple explored marketing options, which included outdoor fairs and established art festivals.  This approach now proved successful, and they increasingly drew on subject matter from their year-long trip.  By the end of the 1970s, she had strong gallery representation.

In 1981, the couple had a son, Jason, and several years later, Jay Doolittle took over the business side of her artwork as well as much of the daily care of Jason.  Her prints continued to be successful, with a 1989 work titled selling 69,000, a record that for a long time was unmatched in the world of print distribution.  A 1993 project called 'Painting in Sound"by the Greenwich Workshop won a grammy award and, setting her paintings to authentic bird and animal sounds, raised over $200,000 for wildlife organizations.

Doolittle has also written and illustrated many books including Music in the Wind, The Spirit Takes Flight, and The Forest Has Eyes.  Of her painting and writing, she says:  I try to look beyond the obvious and create unique, meaningful paintings that depict our WEstern wilderness and its inhabitants."  (geocities)

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