DORSET - On Saturday, Aug. 3, the Dorset Public Library will present artist Mark Tougias at a public reception to view his work and to meet the artist.

The reception will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with refreshments. All works will be for sale, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the library.

Receiving his first oil paint set at nine years old, artist Mark Tougias has had a love for painting and paintings as far back as he can remember.

At about the same time, his father took him to the Springfield Museum of Fine Arts in Massachusetts, the city of his birth, where he saw his first real paintings.

"I can still remember going there as a kid," Tougias recalls. "It was not just the pictures that captivated me, but the surface quality of the paintings, the beautiful frames, the colors of the wall and even the floors!"

Tougias painted and did pencil sketches through his childhood educating himself and learning to paint by studying the masters. "I have not stopped painting since those early days and have not stopped learning from great painters both known and unknown. There is so much to learn, but most of the learning has to come from doing, that is truly the only way."

Inspired by the beautiful landscapes of Vermont and upstate New York and by his frequent trips to Europe, Tougias is excited to paint almost any landscape where he can find (or make) a composition. "A strong composition, no matter how simple, real or made up, is of paramount importance to me. With a good composition you have half the battle won."

Tougias loves both tonal and impressionistic styles and you can see this in his work. One painting may be dark and moody with a limited palette while the next is bright, sunny and full of color and light.

"I vary a bit between styles because I love them both, so I refuse to limit myself. Why should I? I realize it is somewhat unconventional but I paint a painting for me first. . . then I hope others will see what I see in it, like it and maybe purchase it. I can't think of painting any other way. You have to love what you are doing. If you paint for someone else, yes, maybe you can make some money, but it is a slow artistic suicide."

Tougias has exhibited in over 40 galleries throughout New England and has had almost 30 one-man shows.

His show at the library will extend through the month of August. For more information, contact the library at 867-5774 or visit their website at www.dorsetlibraryinfo.org.