Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, Doug grew up in a rural environment near the small town of Riley. In 1970 the family relocated to the city of Columbus, Indiana. Here he received a formal High School education in a town where local industrialists had spared no expense in creating a unique art and design inspired community, also known by many as "The Athens of the Prairie". A 1974 graduate of Columbus North High School, by 1977 Doug had enrolled at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis and took up studies under the Abstractionist painter Robert Berkshire (1932-2010) and the social realist Edmund Brucker (1912-1999). Upon graduation in 1981 he quickly established himself locally and regionally by exhibiting regularly and receiving numerous awards for his endeavors. During this period he also began to receive important public and private commissions as well as teaching at the local Art League where he became friends with Regionalist Painter and Illustrator Cecil Head (1906-1995).

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