By Connie Leinbach
A beloved off-island artist, Douglas W. Hoover, 52, of Archdale, Guilford County, died Aug. 14 of natural causes in the Hospice Home at High Point.
His striking oils of Ocracoke graced two island galleries, Down Creek and the Harborside Motel gift shop, and many island homes.
A fulltime painter, Hoover had previously spent 20 years toiling in the printing industry as a graphic artist while always painting and drawing on the side.
When the recession hit in 2008, he decided to quit graphic art and jump fulltime into fine art.
“And I became the happiest man in the world,” Hoover said in a 2017 interview.
Then Corky and Sue Pentz, owners of Harborside, agreed to show his original paintings in their shop.
“They helped me get my foot in the door,” he said.
Hoover received many commissions for scenes, buildings, portraits of both pets and people, but he is most well-known on the island for his scenes of island life.
His website, douglashooverstudios.com, features a many of his works and notes that he spent half of his time on Ocracoke, and his frequent visits made him like an islander.
“I really cannot find words that fully express how amazing a human being this person truly was except that everyone who knew him,” said Marissa Gross, former owner of the Down Creek Gallery.
Hoover had a booth at Ocrafolk Festival for many years where many got to know his gentle spirit and his work.
He called on his graphic design background to create logos for Ocracats and Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree.
He was one of several regional artists featured in Down Creek Gallery. New owner Mary Carolan, who frequented the island before moving here recently and purchasing the gallery, said when she met Doug, they instantly hit it off, which was the case with so many who met Hoover. She said there are only five of his works still available for sale.
In 2016, Hoover was commissioned by Our State magazine to paint 35 illustrations for a book of the editor Elizabeth Hudson’s monthly columns titled “How to Collect a Life.”
Born May 5, 1968, he was a son of Ronald Hoover and the late Barbara Ann Peterson Hoover.
He graduated from Southern Guilford High School in 1986 and earned an associate degree in graphic arts from Randolph Community College.
In addition to his father, Hoover is survived by a special “sister” Sherri Staton of Archdale.
The family requests that memorials be given in Doug’s name to Hospice of the Piedmont, 1801 Westchester Drive, High Point, NC 27262, or the American Cancer Society, PO Box 42040, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73123.