Monday, November 14, 2022

M. Stephen Doherty has died

I'm always brought up short when a name which has been very familiar to me for the last two decades of the online art world suddenly comes up on Facebook for all the wrong reasons.

Steve Doherty (known formally as M. Stephen Doherty) died of a heart attack on Saturday 12th November 2022.

Steve was one of those people who straddled the old and new world of communicating to ordinary people about art. He worked in the art magazine industry for 39 years

  • He was Editor-in-Chief of American Artist, Watercolor, Drawing, and Workshop magazines between 1979 and 2010 - which used to be part of the Watson-Guptill art operation which I always highly rated (I used to be a subscriber to American Artist and Drawing)
  • From 2011-2018, he was the Editor-in-Chief of PleinAir magazine (Streamline Publishing, Austin, TX) - and I followed its activities through newsletters and social media

However, having been through the demise of one publishing set-up (when its competitors bought it out, snaffled the subscribers and then closed it down) I'm guessing he also understood the importance of communication with target interest groups via social media. He certainly maintained a Facebook Page which he used to communicate with other plein air enthusiasts and display his plein air work.

He lived in Waynesboro, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and was married. The following is from his website 'about' page.
M. Stephen Doherty majored in art at Knox College in Galesburg, IL and graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. He then earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in printmaking from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY; taught art in public schools, a community college, and at Knox; worked in the marketing department of a company that manufactured screen printing art supplies; and then moved to a suburb of New York City. For 31 years, he was the editor of American Artist magazine and launched three other art magazines: Watercolor, Drawing, and Workshop. In 2011, he became Editor-in-Chief of PleinAir magazine and moved to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. He continues to edit PleinAir, participate in plein air events, judge art shows, teach workshops, exhibit paintings, and give lectures. He writes a blog ny that manufactured screen printing art supplies; and then moved to a suburb of New York City.
This was the video that was made about him to honour his career when he retired in 2018.

He wrote extensively on plein air painting. 
He also wrote two other three books
  • The Watson-Guptill Handbooks of Landscape Painting (1989, Watson-Guptill Publications, Inc)
  • Dynamic Still Lifes in Watercolor, the Art of Sondra Freckelton (1983, Watson-Guptill, Inc)

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