A Closer Look: Doug Brega Watercolors
Doug Brega is a contemporary master of watercolor painting, often drawing comparisons to Andrew Wyeth. Doug Brega captures the rich and rugged character of New England structures and people. Brega shows us much more about his subjects than just the amazing levels of detail rendered by his brush.
Brega’s talent continues to attract new admirers who recognize the freshness of his New England portraits and landscapes. His dedication to his subjects and to the tradition of American realism is maintained with such integrity that his work has been widely acknowledged for its important contribution to contemporary art .
Brega’s images have been described as “sensitive,” “richly detailed,” “insightful,” and his style “spontaneous,” “precise and technically mature.” But words fail to capture the visual and emotional impact that greets the viewer coming to Brega’s work for the first time. His subjects are familiar and well loved, yet rendered in a flawless technique and imbued by the artist with a simple grandeur that transcends the objective reality of the world he paints.
“What I strive for is a precise and honest interpretation, not a mirror of reality or a personal comment about a subject,” Brega says.
Brega has achieved a national reputation for his work and is no stranger to recognition, having garnered prestigious awards in virtually every show he has entered over his 25-year career. Early in his career, two of Brega’s works graced two covers of Yankee magazine. Brega and his work have been featured in an article on working artists in American Artist magazine.
Brega’s first major solo show at the Alexander Gallery in New York City, which sold out opening night, was just the first of several successful shows that were to follow in Nantucket, Cape Cod, Washington, D.C., and Jackson, Mississippi. The shows generated interest among serious art collectors around the country and have led to several private commissions. Many of his works are found in numerous private and corporate collections, including two private collections which are listed in the top 100 collections in the country, those of Michigan entrepreneur Richard Manoogian and Kansas City banker Crosby Kemper.
Two of Brega’s works recently were installed in prestigious museums, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in Kansas City, Missouri, and the permanent collection of the Albrecht-Kemper Museum in St. Joseph, Missouri.
A native of Eastern Massachusetts, Brega attended Paier College in New Haven, Connecticut where he studied under the noted tromp l’oeil artist, Ken Davies, who impressed upon him the importance of drawing as a foundation.