Stories Behind the Artists

Photo of Doug Dawson

Doug Dawson
ASLD Founder & Painting Faculty


How did you first get involved with ASLD and when?
I was one of the schools founders.   I have taught at the league since its beginning.

How has ASLD shaped you as an artist?
Teaching has been a source of inspiration for me from the beginning.   I learn when I help others learn. Teaching encourages me to explore ideas, principles and techniques I might not have considered.

What faculty members have you taken courses with as ASLD?
Years ago, I took stone carving  from Madeline Wiener

What do you like about the ASLD community?
It is a community of people who share ideas and collaborate with others.    It is a group of people with whom you can talk art.

Anything else you want to share with us?
The Art students League was started in reaching to art education that was happening in colleges ad universities. The league was intended to be a place where anyone wishing to develop their art could work with master artists. Colleges and universities weren’t teaching art principles. The pervasive belief, seemed to be, that teaching principles and techniques would somehow damage a students creativity. Students were encouraged to do their own thing. It was an era of absentee teaching.  To compound the problem those who teaching at the colleges and university were graduates from programs where they hadn’t been taught principles and techniques. It  had become a case of the blind leading the blind.  Few of these teachers actually worked at their own art. Unfortunately this is still the case in many schools of higher education.

The league was intended to be a place were master artists could share their knowledge, skill and craft.  Academic degrees don’t matter.  Teachers are sought who have mastered their art and who could pass that knowledge on to others.