A Modern Tarzan In Today's Renaissance
Doug Hiser readily admits his life resembles a cartoon: funny, and exciting with many "Coyote falls off the cliff and lands in a puff of dust at the bottom" vignettes. A fitting description for this character of a man, Hiser fashions himself a modern day Tarzan. Living in a suburban jungle on the banks of a bayou in Dickinson, Texas, Hiser is a master at traversing the wilds and wrapping it all up in a renaissance of creativity meant to inspire a closer look at the world around us.
Growing up on a small farm in Santa Fe, Texas with assorted animals, Hiser enjoyed the freedom to explore the prairies and woods capturing anything that crawled, jumped or flew, not knowing these animals would become his life’s calling.
“I really was a young Tarzan! Reading the books made me want to be ‘in’ nature,” Hiser says. “My dad helped by building cages and enclosures for the small zoo of turtles, armadillos, opossums, gar, bullfrogs, horned lizards, snakes and birds. Now, as an adult, I capture them in a different way and show them off in paintings and stories.”
What started out as sketching wildlife moved to incorporating heroic figures from cherished comics and novels into his art. With no formal art program during school, Hiser turned to sports playing football, baseball, basketball, and running track. Not straying from his artistic talents, he regularly drew athletes with pencil by looking at photos in the newspaper.
It was during his senior year that Hiser picked up “Journey to the Center to the Earth” by Jules Verne. Opening a floodgate that still flows to this day, Hiser dove into books by John Norman, Stephen King, Dean R. Koontz and more. Influenced by these works, he took to writing to express the angst he was experiencing. It began with poetry and grew into stories that would become bestselling novels on Amazon.
Entering his first art show in 1980 (which won a Best of Show), Hiser took a different course as life intervened and artistic pursuits were put on hold as he worked at the Texas City Post Office (1978 to 2004), got married and had children.
To satisfy his artistic passions, Hiser enrolled in the Humanities program at University of Houston Clear Lake and graduated in 1996 as Student of the Year with a degree in Applied Design and Visual Art. At the time of his enrollment, he was a master at pencil and ink and was thrilled at the introduction to color, collage, sculpture, and exploration. With a repertoire of pieces that ranged from his own style of "Elaborism" (the illumination of wildlife art), Hiser dabbled in surrealism and hyper-abstraction, learning a variety of different mediums before developing skills in watercolor.
“Even though I have become a professional wildlife artist using watercolors, my technique and styles are all my own – invented in my own studio,” Hiser proclaims. “I have never taken any instruction in watercolor and I don’t follow the ‘Old Guard Fine Art Rules.’ I think that might have been a blessing as it’s allowed me to develop my own unique style and I almost always incorporate ink and color pencils – even White-out – in my watercolors.”
Hiser's love of writing resurfaced as he participated in the Writer’s in Schools project and won the 1993 Houston Poetry Slam at the famed punk rock club, Catal Huyuk. He also published a poetry chapbook, “Shards of Lies,” in 1993, followed by “The Seven Rages (Lust to Love).” During his studies he was introduced to the works of authors Rick Bass, Alice Hoffman, and Joe Lansdale and self-published his first book, “Bite Of The Mailman.”
Once again turning his energies to artistic pursuits, Hiser entered and won first place in the Texas City Art Festival in 2001 and published several works including “Secret Grotto,” an award winning short story anthology, the novel “Cavern of the Eggstone,” and “Lost Oasis,” a poetry anthology. In 2003 Hiser’s first hardback “Crow Canyon” debuted as did the young adult anthology, “Wink Eye Creek.” In 2006 the novel, “The Honey Bee Girl,” topped the Amazon Bestsellers list; this feat was also accomplished in 2011 with “Montana Mist.” His most distinguished honor came in 2012 when his alma matter deemed him a Distinguished Alumni and awarded him a portrait, ring and inscription on the Alumni Wall at the university. Kicking off 2014 in style, Hiser’s works were displayed at Brazosport College Center for the Arts & Sciences in “Painted Jungles - Wild Art by Doug Hiser.”
As Hiser continues his pursuit of being Tarzan, he travels the world for inspiration. With Gayln (his wife of 14 years) by his side, the two have visited Kenya, The Pantanal in Brazil, The Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, Florida’s Everglades, Yellowstone National Park, the Pacific Northwest and Vancouver Island in search of wild animals and colorful landscapes.A trip to the Alaskan wilderness is in the works for summer of 2014.
“I love wildlife and have traveled the globe in search of wild art. My books will touch your heart while my art will show you the amazing colors of animal life on our planet.”
Sensitive and imaginative, Hiser creates paintings to convey an awareness of the world around us, captures the magic that we should never lose in nature and writes stories that bring it to life. His unique paintings and exotic words are thrilling and the emotions he instills hang around long after the ink has faded.