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Totems
posted: June 16, 2014
I've been by this Totem many times. In the summer people are stopped and photographing it, or having a roadside break from their travels. The front tells a story that must end up on thousands of cameras & phones from all over the world, but the back tells another version. From a roadside stop on Vancouver Island. A stretch of highway know as 'The Malahat', or 'The Hat', it's part of BC Highway 1. The Totem is carved from cedar, it sits along a ribbon of asphalt, and concrete barriers, with scenic beauty on either side.
Thumbnail sketch & base sketch...

Totem - oils on linen - 36 x 22 inches...

Promotional Poster art;
For the Arena Stage's production of King Hedley II, the powerful ninth installment of Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s “Century Cycle,” a scarred and haunted ex-convict has the chance to lock away his past and achieve an entrepreneurial dream, but will life in Pittsburgh’s unforgiving Hill District let him?
Art Director - Nicky Lindeman
Arena Stage, Washington, DC - 2014-15 season
KING HEDLEY II
Written by August Wilson
Directed by Timothy Douglas
February 6 - March 8, 2015

Sketch Stages...

Construction of final art....

King Hedley II...

15 comments
fiedler June 16, 2014
Very Super Doug!
Victor Juhasz June 16, 2014
Solid pieces. Real nice.
Mark McBride June 18, 2014
Dang man! Someone tagged up that pole. Paintings look great Doug. I love that totem.
Paul Rogers June 18, 2014
It's cute how you Canadians name your stretches of highways. Both paintings are beautiful.
GĂ©rard DuBois June 18, 2014
I love the Totem piece Douglas. You seem to be in total control of your lines, colors, structures, composition... A great one.
Chris Spollen June 18, 2014
Wow,great very powerful work keep going
Jack Hornady June 18, 2014
Great Totem!! Love your work!
Richard Downs June 18, 2014
That Totem piece is really nice, Doug. The contrast between the historical kitsch and the concrete lane dividers and then the graffiti on the back side is both humanly pathetic and funny. I couldn't imagine this piece taking too long to find a home.
Bill Mayer June 19, 2014
What a great Totem...So Funny and ironic... Just brilliant Doug.
Sean Kane June 19, 2014
Great subject, observation and point of view, Doug. So many, myself included, have stopped there and probably not considered much beyond the front side postcard view.
Rob Dunlavey June 20, 2014
I'd love to see that totem of yours glaring at a flock of Emily Carr totem paintings. And not in a show of disrespect for Carr but with an updated urgency and appeal to the spirits to intercede.
Douglas Fraser June 20, 2014
Rob, thank you for your contemporary Emily Carr reference.
THIBEAULT June 20, 2014
Knockouts all!
.Nick Wright June 23, 2014
Douglas- that totem pole is incredible. Reminding me of why you are one of my illustration design heroes....
Walter Vasconcelos June 29, 2014
Great Totem Douglas!
All images copyright Douglas Fraser