Don’s art education started in 1962 at the age of 12. While living in South Berwick, Maine, he attended oil painting classes in York, Maine with Edwin Booth. Don’s stepfather, well-known cartoonist and advertising artist Wilbur Bullock, was a strong influence on Don’s desire to become an artist. In high school, Don developed an interest in dry brush watercolors and was especially influenced by Andrew Wyeth and Winslow Homer.
After high school, Don attended The Art Institute of Boston and took courses from The Famous Artist School. He left school to raise a family and went to work in the sign industry in 1973. In 1976, Don enrolled in a portrait class at The Manchester Art Institute instructed by well known New England artist, James Aponovich.
In the early 1980’s, Don began to use acrylics and developed an interest in science fiction painting. Redirecting his interest to aviation art in the late eighties, Don began exhibiting his work at air shows and art shows throughout New England.
In 1990, Don won purchase prize awards at the Rochester Art in the Park Show and at The Portland, Maine Sidewalk Art Festival. Many of Don’s aviation paintings are included in private collections all over the country.
From 1992 to 1998 Don was pulled away from painting when he was asked to help restore and maintain several World War II era aircraft. Don was responsible for recreating authentic paint schemes for the aircraft as well as promotional materials for various warbird organizations.
As much as he loved flying and the restoration work, he began to miss his work in the studio. In 1998 he refocused his attention back to his love of watercolors. That year he enrolled in a watercolor class at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. In December, at the Institute’s 100th Anniversary Student Exhibit, Don was awarded first place in the watercolor category. Bolstered by this experience, he devoted himself to his art while maintaining his full time career as a sign designer.
With the support of his wife Susan, 2001 marked the first year Don had exhibited since 1990. In September, Don captured a second place award in the Downtown Nashua’s Fine Arts Festival.
2002 began with Don being recognized at a juried art show at the Lawrence Heritage State Park gallery, which featured 136 paintings and sculptures from area artist.
In 2004 Don took a giant step back to his first art instruction in 1962 by squeezing out some oil paints on a pallet and creating beautiful landscapes and seascapes. On Monhegan Island, Don studied with nationally recognized artist, Stan Moeller.
Today Don's work is in collections all over the world. His unique style has captured the imagination of dozens of new collectors. Don continues to experiment with new subject matter and new ways to expand the scope of his technique.
Don is a member of New Hampshire Artists Association, Nashua Area Artist Association, Newburyport Art Association and is also a member and past president of the Manchester Artist Association.
“I have finally arrived at a place where I can truly express, through my art, my love of landscape, my wonder of form and my fascination with creating the illusion of light. I am constantly amazed with each completed piece and gratified by its effect on the viewer. My work has become a journey that I take with each painting, a journey that does not end when the work is displayed for the first time but continues with each new viewer.”
A life long artist since the age of 12, Don has worked in most mediums, particularly watercolors and oils. Since 2004 he has been primarily working in oils. In 2007 Don made a radical change in his approach to painting which started as a quest to see how little visual information the viewer requires to process an image. His work at this early stage has a bit of a pixelated look but gradually, through constant refinement and experimentation, developed into a more complex and organic style. In 2014 he put down the brush and picked up a palette knife and took a major step forward toward perfecting his style.
Today Don believes that his style has matured into a unique painting technique with consistent sales numbers and numerous awards as affirmation.