The oil paintings of the late Gerard Doudera (1932-2014) are particularly noted for their bold Impressionistic style. Often painted plein air, within the landscape, the pieces present a richness of expressive brush strokes which capture the intent and motion between artist and subject. Throughout his life, Gerard honed his abilities and technique. Experimenting with style and brushwork, he continuously worked for over 5 decades to develop his own artistic style.
As an instructor at UConn, many of his works revolved around portraiture depicting his students and fellow artists and colleagues. However, Gerard Doudera would come to be know for his vast body of rich and expressive landscape paintings. Many of these paintings are on exhibit in museums worldwide as well as in private collections, including that of the Governor’s Mansion in Hartford Connecticut. Despite the challenges which accompany creating plein air artwork, such as the ever changing conditions of light and shadow, Doudera chose to forgo the aid of photographic reference and painted on location without even so much as a practice sketch. “I hold the picture that I am painting in my head,’’ said Doudera, ‘’but the difficult thing is that when I go back later I find something has changed, and I see another painting instead, but I have to remember the first one.” Often requiring a specially crafted easel to accommodate his enormous 6 to 8 foot and larger canvases, Gerard would build up layer upon layer of paint directly onto his canvas, capturing the ever fleeting moments in time.
1932 – Born December 29, in Sharon, Connecticut
1946-1950 – Began painting and exhibiting while a student in high school in Torrington. Encouragement from area artists Paolo Abbate, Arthur Covey, and Austin Purves. Studio assistant to Purves for a mural commission in 1950
1951-1956 – Student at the Hartford Art School. Influenced by the collections of the Wadsworth Atheneum, which housed the School at the time. On scholarships for four years
1955 – Fellowship to Yale-Norfolk Summer Art School. Studio assistant again to Austin Purves for a mosaic commission.
1956 – Graduated, B.F.A. cum laude, Hartford Art School. Awarded the William Gedney Bunce Medal. Won first major exhibition award, the McGinness Prize, at the Silvermine Guild
1956-1957 – Graduate Assistant Fellowship, University of Illinois, Urbana
1958 – Withdrew from graduate work at Illinois to work independently in New York City
1959-1960 – Awarded a grant from Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. Worked independently in Frascati, Italyfor eight months. Attracted to Roman art, especially wall painting. First solo exhibitions and museum purchases
1961-1987 – Teaching at The University of Connecticut: Lecturer at Storrs in 1961, Instructor at the Hartford and Waterbury Branches in 1962-1964, at Storrs from 1964-1987. Summer Faculty Fellowship in 1968. Acting Department Head, 1973-1974. Department Head 1974-1977
1981-1985 – President, Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts.
1987 – Artist-In-Residence, the Camargo Foundation, Cassis, France.