Parsons alumnus and Charleston native Douglas Balentine has been drawing and painting as long as he can remember. His father, the late Neuropathologist, Dr. J Douglas Balentine, M.D., was an early supporter frequently taking the young budding artist (from the age of six onward) to his lab and encouraging him to draw skulls, skeletons, and brains from life. Douglas spent much time growing up with his grandmother, the late Emily Whaley who wrote Mrs. Whaley and Her Charleston Garden. She was a ubiquitously creative soul whether at the easel, in the garden, at her writing desk or in the kitchen. Drawing and painting materials were always in use at her home. From 1977-1978 his family lived in Paris, France which was a particularly formative experience for Douglas who was 9 at the time. Amongst innumerable stimuli that daily Parisian life offers, exposure to Art in the Louvre Museum proved to be of lasting inspiration.
Douglas continued to draw and paint more and more during his free time throughout elementary and high school where Art became increasingly important to him. This led to his decision to pursue a formal education in the subject. While studying at Parsons in NY and at The International School of Art in Italy, some of his first works were purchased and collected.
In the mid-1990’s Balentine moved back to Charleston where he began to explore the natural and historic beauty of the area through Classical principles that had taken root during his studies at Parsons and abroad. He continued to show his work and execute commissioned pieces during this period and reviews of Douglas’s earliest shows noted his “emerging and surprisingly maturing talent”, “promise of thematic content”, and the “sumptuousness and strength of his draftsmanship”.
Charleston and its environs offer a seemingly eternal source of inspiration and he continues to live and work there with his family. His work has most recently been shown in Paris, France, New York, Miami, and also featured in Los Angeles, CA.