Link Magazine

By DeAnne Bradley
Photo: Bill Manley
© April 21, 2008
LIQUIDMETHOD wants to be a mystery. You won’t see his photo on his MySpace page – just his art. His age is posted as 102. And, sorry, you won’t see his face here, either.  “It’s almost like seeing the voice of Bugs Bunny,” he said. “When we see who it really is behind the voice, it kind of ruins it.”  We did manage to get his real name – Doug Clarke – and a few more details.
Clarke and a group of friends came up with the name Liquid Method. “We were going to be kind of this collective. I was thinking Liquid Graphite and Painting Method. A friend came up with the name, and then the collective never happened. It was the web domain I’d gotten.” Instead of changing the domain name, Clarke took it for himself.
Artists with one identity usually run into problems, Clarke said. “Take Michael for example. He’s Michael Jackson 24/7, and I think that’s primarily why he’s so messed up. Britney Spears – she’s Britney Spears 24/7, and she can’t turn herself off.”  So how is Liquid Method different from Doug Clarke?  Liquid Method creates characters with style. “I’m definitely attracted to more of the pulp stuff, but I don’t like go out and dress in a pinstripe shirt and jacket and live this retro lifestyle. You’re not going to find me wearing a bandana around my head,” he said.  Doug Clarke is big on being a husband and a father. “Doug likes to go surfing and skating and hang out with the little man.”
Clarke specializes in oil and acrylics but always tries to remember how permanent it is. “Once you start, you can’t go back and erase,” he said.  His digital work is easier to reproduce. “There’s this thing called posterity. How well will it hold up in 100 years? The advantage of digital is that it’s easier to stay true to the original. If you take a picture of a painting, the duplicate never does the work justice.”  Lately, he’s been experimenting with opaque watercolors and graphite, mediums he doesn’t know well.  “I like to be in an uncomfortable zone,” he said.