Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury resident encouraged son to paint at an early age
Doug Dorsey owes his artistic success to his mother, Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury resident Mary Lu Dorsey. So the least he could do is exhibit his paintings at her home at RWC.
Dorsey, broker/owner of Select Properties of Virginia, will be the featured artist during May in RWC’s Gallery Hall. Lancaster High School Visual Arts students will show their work (beginning May 5) at RWC’s new Life Enrichment Center (formerly known as the Wellness and Creative Arts Center) next door, which opens May 4.
“From the time I was little, my mother encouraged my interest in art,” Dorsey said. “Old photos of birthdays or Christmas always show me with drawing pads, colored pencils and watercolors. It’s a great outlet and hobby. It’s the total opposite of business. My mother is probably the best artist in our family, but she chose to support my work. I'm grateful for that."
Dorsey paints 20 to 25 watercolors per year. Many are commissions, but others are inspired by his travels to some of his favorite places in Virginia, New England and Colorado. He gives away much of his work through charitable events. In 1990, he began creating an annual calendar with a representative watercolor for each month. Calendars are sold at Rappahannock Hang Ups in Kilmarnock and Peter Blair in Richmond, and a sample will be at the show.
2017 calendar scenes range from cross country skiing in Central Park, N.Y., to dog training on the banks of the James River in Richmond. Many are places he’s been, but others are created from photographs that friends or clients send him of places they’ve visited. There is a short commentary for each scene.
“It’s amazing to me how many people I meet who end up with one of my calendars or even my paintings, Dorsey said. “People from all over the country have my work hanging in their homes or offices.”
Dorsey graduated from Cherry Creek High School in Englewood, Co., and Washington and Lee University in Lexington, where he studied art and art history. He and his family live in Richmond, but they have a small place on Gwynn’s Island, and spend as much time as possible on the Chesapeake Bay.
Residents and community members are invited to view Dorsey’s exhibition from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily throughout May in Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury’s Gallery Hall, 132 Lancaster Dr. in Irvington.