Doyle Hostetler rests his hand on the wheel of his rented SUV, radio turned down low, and a stack of paintings in the back of the vehicle as he cruises from Cortez to a gallery in Durango, Colorado. Although he could have shipped those paintings, he enjoys driving and finds these trips a nice break from his artwork and his construction business.
Hostetler’s wife Charla and his family are back home near New River, Arizona, and he’s enjoying his time alone. He also knows that he’s now on the right road professionally, one that is leading to a successful career as a fine artist after taking several detours over the years.
One of nine children born to an Amish family in Hartville, Ohio, Hostetler says of his childhood, “It was a very naïve, very sheltered life.” As a child, he attended classes in a four-room schoolhouse and spent much of his time drawing. When he was 8, the family pulled up roots and headed to Colorado Springs, Colorado, a bustling city compared to Hartville.
18” by 36”
“I’ve found my style loosens with an uncomfortable subject. I’ve never felt confident portraying people and tend to shy away from them. They’ve become rewarding and very telling, so I push myself regularly to step outside the comfort zone and paint a cowboy now and again. I feel it helps me loosen up on the animal side where I tend to tighten up.”
16” by 32”
“Big cats are my favorite subject; yes, I’m a cat guy. There are times when I can just paint—without agenda, without effort, and without thinking. My hands have all the talent; my head typically gets in the way. When I can separate the two and let my hands go, especially when it is a comfortable subject for me, it feels magical. I especially love the intensity in this one.”