Victory Assembly of God Pastor Doug Harn first used watercolor pencils as a child during 4-H projects, but put the utensils down for several years before using them again.
One day, while Harn was sitting in an ancient-civilization class at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla., a friend caught him doodling. Later, the friend remarked about his skill and bought him a set of paints.
Harn used the paint set as a creative outlet for a short time before abandoning it again while he pursued graduate and doctorate degrees.
This week, he will debut his first-ever public showcase at the Hinesville Area Arts Council gallery at 102 Commerce St. An opening reception begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, and the exhibition runs through Feb. 28.
“In the last few years, I became serious with it,” he said. “When my wife and I watch TV, I’ll sit and draw and paint. Or when I’m going through something stressful, and I need to think through it, I use my painting to think.”
The exhibition will feature 29 mixed-media pieces made of watercolor pencils, watercolor paints and acrylic paints, he said. Lighthouses, seascapes and landscapes are frequent subject matters.
“I just enjoy the water. My wife and I enjoy the water. We enjoy the outdoors,” he said about Debra, his wife of 42 years.
Harn said he’s so new to the art world that he did not even know to name the exhibition. Liberty County Chamber of Commerce employee Monica Eusebio helped him come up with the title: “Sent From Above.”
The pieces are not named, but Harn said he might take time in the future to sit down with his work to glean possible names for the pieces, which required varying amounts of time.
“Some have taken me weeks, and some have taken me 20 minutes. It depends,” he said. “Some I’ve started and just torn up and thrown into the trash. It’s hard to explain. When the inspiration’s there, it seems to flow.”
The pastor, who does not intend to sell his work, shared his goal for the exhibit.
“I just hope they enjoy it,” Harn said. “I hope they can enjoy the world as I see it; there’s a lot of stuff going around in the world, but through paintings we can see peace. Through my artwork, I can see peace and tranquility and I hope maybe they can sense that tranquility.”