Doug St. Denis
Oil, Acrylic, Mixed Media, Ceramics
Throughout her long and interesting life, Doug has been passionately active in the arts - as an actor, dancer, painter, writer, potter, folksinger (in the 60s, of course), and author of two books of poetry. Born into a distinguished Navy family that spans six generations, she was partly raised in Coronado, where she took dance lessons, joined Junior Theater, and as a teenager acted and painted sets at the “original” Coronado Playhouse on the Strand. Her serious study of oil painting began some years later while living in Carmel, where she also performed in local and regional theatrical productions.
Back in Coronado as a Navy wife with three young children in the 60s, she regularly showed her paintings in juried exhibits throughout San Diego County, including the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park, where she had two solo shows and was part of group of artists who met weekly to draw and paint from live models. She was a frequent award-winner in Coronado Art Association shows. In 1967, her collage, “The Way I See Things,” won the top prize at the Del Mar Fair. By 1970 she was acting professionally in television (LOTS of commercials!) and the occasional film, commuting regularly to Los Angeles for auditions, work, and acting classes.
Working in oil, acrylic, mixed-media, and ceramics, she describes her paintings as “impressionistic,” although she has experimented with a variety of styles over the years. She continues to be influenced and inspired by the work of Van Gogh and Matisse. More recently, her work has been seen at Emerald C Gallery, the C3 Gallery, Spreckels Park, “Florals by Locals” in Coronado Flower Shows, and the Coronado artist banners along Orange Avenue. Her painting medium of choice at the moment is oil on plywood.
At the age of 51, her children grown with careers of their own, she returned to school to earn her degree in Architecture, becoming design partner at St. Denis & Assoc., an award-winning San Diego architecture firm founded in 1972 by her architect/artist husband, Dale St. Denis. She has been an active participant in Coronado community life, serving on the boards of Lamb’s Players Theatre and Coronado Historical Association, and on Coronado’s Design Review, Historic Resource, and Planning Commissions, as well as on various City task forces and sub-committees. In 2011 she was co-founder (with Heidi Wilson) of the Coronado Cultural Arts Commission, and in 2014 she founded and is currently Board Chair of the Coronado Island Film Festival, which officially launched in 2016 and is going strong.
Doug is happy to be back in the artistic fold of Coronado Art Association! She is also an active member of Coronado Rotary Club and Coronado Community Church. She practices yoga daily, has a big, close, fun family (one of her favorite painting “subjects”), including a “slew” of grandchildren, and is blessed with treasured friends of all ages.