Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies

Unforgettable Art Supply Moment No. 5 - Doug Fraser

January 8th 2012

"My Most Unforgettable Art Supply Moment" is a series of short interviews with seasoned artists who have survived substantial combat in the great war of the graphic arts. Each participant was asked the same five questions.

Award-winning Canadian artist Doug Fraser describes his work as "brutal sign painting, comic book social realism, and or specific generics." After having attained a Masters Degree from School of Visual Arts in New York City, he has enjoyed a long successful career as an illustrator for such diverse clients as The New York Times, the Washington Post, Time Magazine, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, Motor Trend, the NHL, IBM and Levi's.

Recently, however, the need to shift away from the ubiquitous burden of client constraints that comes with illustrator territory has led him toward an intense personal immersion into his other passion (besides motorcycles!), namely painting. He now resides in Victoria, British Columbia, with his wife Linda, where he is represented by Winchester Galleries.


1. Can you recall for us your worst most unforgettable art supply experience?

My worst art supply memory – well, at least that I can remember -- was with frisket. After working for what seemed like days on an airbrush piece, I slowly pulled the damn stuff back to look at what was the most disgusting edge possible. I was crestfallen. The airbrush always drew me in with it's promise of mechanical perfection, but it was frisket that destroyed my vision. I hate masking anything to this day!

2. Other than your first answer, is there an art supply that you’ve hated having to use more than any other?

Chalks, and/or oil pastels. Yeesh! Those two things just frustrated the hell out of me. I had a comp/rendering class back in college. We were to render products with felt markers, and chalks. It's a skill that only a few in our class went on to perfect after years of practice. Most of them are doing other tasks today. I think we all poured over local furniture flyers and the pages of Road & Track magazine, looking at the car renderings. The damn markers bled so much, too! As for oil pastels.... I tried em' several times, and, well, it wasn't pretty.

3. On the other hand, can you think of an especially favorite art supply that you miss the most that has unfortunately left us for that big art supply heaven in the sky?

No, not really. most of the crappy stuff lives on in niche markets, and waits to demoralize some new victim. Wait! Oh, never mind.....

4. Are there any other art supplies that you’ve just plain thrown away that you wish you still had?

Gouache. I enjoyed the rich opacity of the colors. Just never liked how sensitive they are to handling. They do have their virtues though for flat opaque color.

5. At one time or another, a lot of us have purchased something that we thought was soooo cool when we saw it at the art supply store, then we ended up never ever using it. Has this ever happened to you?

It was a drafting item I used for graphics: a flexible curve/ruler. Dumb blue thing that took more time to use than just drawing it. If needed, I preferred a good set of french curves.

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