David B. Dooley

David, an artist, was born in Shreveport as one of three children of William Kenneth Dooley and Priscilla Ann Krahl Dooley. With his father as a long-time minister of music at First Baptist Church of Shreveport and a member of Shreveport Civic Opera, and his mother a piano teacher, David was "surrounded by music." By age eight he was visiting R.W. Norton Art Gallery with a friend. "We would come up here on hot summer afternoons," he recalls. "I loved the feeling of the marble floor. When you come up it would be cool in here. I'd look at those Remingtons and just go into this dream world. It was so adventurous to me." He also liked to walk in the woods around the museum "and pretend you were a cowboy or Indian." David graduated from Byrd High School but earned his diploma through a "school away from school" program. Later he took courses at Louisiana State University in Shreveport and at Centenary College in drawing and painting. In 1979 David moved to New York where he joined The Art Students' League (attending classes three hours a day, five days a week) and copied paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He resided in an artist's studio. "I slept on a couch that he had there. I cooked out of a wok. I bathed out of a sink, literally," he recalls. After two years in New York David returned to Shreveport before moving to Madrid in the fall of 1982, the first of his three "sojourns" in that city. There he earned money as an English tutor and copied paintings at Museo Nacional del Prado. David became fascinated with the artist Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1923), a Spanish painter whose works, he remarks, were comparable to those of John Singer Sargent. Returning to Shreveport after his third residence in Madrid he showed at Somner Randall Gallery. "I don't think I sold a thing there that I'd brought back, but I got a few commissions out of it," he recalls of the show. Much of his artwork, he says, has been through commissions, including portraits and house portraits. David worked with a furniture restorer, Francois Deguerce, who arranged a show for him in his hometown in France in October of 1986. David lived for several months in Quebec where he painted and showed in a gallery. In 1993 he married Jean Leveta, a stone sculptor. They lived in her hometown of Delhi, Louisiana for a year, and then ventured to Virginia, where they camped for several months before settling in Roanoke and a small community nearby called Eagle Rock for six years. David painted commissions, such as well as murals for a bluegrass performance center, and taught at Beverly Street Studio School in Staunton, Virginia. The couple now resides in Shreveport where David painted a series of scenes from famous literature throughout history that now adorn the walls of the new library at R.W. Norton Art Gallery. David has also worked as an illustrator for The Shreveport Times. He enjoys painting landscapes and human figures.