Don was awarded second place in the Guild’s 2017 Membership Exhibition for his oil painting Hindsight.
I earned an honest living and became a painter at the same time. I made my living as a Marine Corps Infantry Officer and subsequently as a Medical Doctor. This was probably a better way to support my painting than trying to do and teach art as is a common practice. It certainly paid better than trying to sell it. I also raised a family. Without neglecting any of those responsibilities, I made my life as a painter. Was there enough time to paint seriously? I found time.
I sought out painters whose works I admired and worked with them as mentors. These included art school teachers and working professionals. I was able to learn from my own select faculty. And then there were/are those greatest of art, schools, the museums and galleries. I continue to learn.
I have worked at it for forty-some years and produced hundreds of paintings/drawings. Only in the last 15 years did I become interested in exhibiting. In that time I have been selected for over 30 local, regional, national, and international shows. Of those I would note the selection of Luna for the Berkeley Art Center 20th Annual National Exhibition as unique. It was one of 50 paintings selected from over 3000 submissions.
I want my paintings to be looked at, not thought about. I want to create a visual experience. I want the arrangement of the plastic elements, form, value, colors, composition, to evoke in the viewer an experience that can’t be reduced to thought or words.
I work in a conversational manner. As I paint, each addition (or subtraction) to the canvas requires a reassessment of how to proceed in direct response to the new visual field. Richard Diebenkorn referred to this manner of working when he said:
“... a premeditated scheme is out of the question... I can never accomplish what I want, only what I would have wanted had I thought of it beforehand.”
I can’t say it any better than that.
I don’t paint story-telling pictures but I can’t help it if my painting tells a story.
Hindsight certainly suggests a story but I don’t know what that story is. I was driven by the composition, the placement and attitude of the figures I saw in a newspaper photo. I don’t remember what was said about the situation, young women in uniforms looking in various directions. The cinder block background suggests an institutional setting. There can be lots of stories, but I am pleased with how the painting looks.