Doug’s M.A. is in English Language and Literature from the University of Toronto where he did graduate work with Robertson Davies. He’s taught English, Art, and Media at the senior high and university level and received the McLuhan Distinguished Teacher Medal for his work on Visual Communication.


Informal talks with digital projection by Doug Cockell


In Praise of Kaleidoscopes: The Value of Lateral Thinking

The critics said art was evolving straight towards a new purity, but the artists themselves had to leap in all directions into the unknown. We experiment with a game of free association that demonstrates the possibilities for innovation through lateral thinking.


The Visual Language of the Movies

Hollywood movies and “foreign films” are all forms of visual art. A look at key moments in the history of the cinema suggests why American movies do everything they can to hide the art and the artists from us.


The Lady Vanishes

Portraits of Lucrezia Borgia, Jane Austen and Hollywood stars remind us of the importance of involving the viewer in our art. The evolving portrayal of  women by artists shows us how they used mystery to involve the viewer.


Whimsy, seriously though...

Using his own art and the work of artists who inspire him, Doug Cockell describes his search for the right balance between imagination and mood in creating whimsical drawings and paintings.


Images from the Beck: Fairies in Art

Where the fairy tradition comes from and why it’s still with us. The importance of Shakespeare to the genre. The Victorian fascination with fairy art and the famous fairy photographs on the Antiques Roadshow.


My Last Duchess

A look at the interdependence of poetry and the visual arts, showing how artists have drawn inspiration from great verses--and how poets have expressed the ideas and stories contained in paintings.

Visualizing Dante: The Divine Comedy in Art

The historical background to Dante’s tale of a love that triumphs over the torments of Hell. The artists who were entranced, and gave Dante his legacy in paintings and engravings.


The Mansions: Towards an American Art

The great American  mansions  played a role in encouraging American artists, and one now houses a collection of art by the great illustrators of the golden age.

A Visit toVauxhall

The elite of eighteenth century London’s theatre, art and music world went to Vauxhall Pleasure gardens where they mixed with rakes and courtesans. For the first time the delights of the English Rococo could be enjoyed by anyone who could afford a ticket.


Maps and Monsters

Early maps included compass roses and monsters. Four colour theory, the London Underground map and the FBI’s hunt for a clever map thief bring cartography and the world of Art together.

There at the New Yorker
The art, artists and characters associated with the magazine. 

Ballads and Broadsheets
How the adaptable ballad form has taken us from Robin Hood to Sinatra.

Route 66 and All That
Some thoughts on the power and dangers of nostalgia in art: the mood, art and artefacts of the fifties.






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