2019-2020 Featured Visual Artist
August 4th to August 30th ( Working live August 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th)
Growing up, Don was surrounded by a family of artists. His uncle was a member of the American Water Color Society (AWS) with galleries throughout the United States. His father was a “regular” at Florida art shows.
His artwork in high school earned him awards and recognitions including a scholarship to college. His focus shifted to business management and his days soon after became full with raising a family and working in retail management full time.
In the 80’s Don started his own painting/decorating business and found himself quickly sought after by high end homebuilders and homeowners for his unique style and artistic finishes with architecture and walls. Known as a master finisher/painter, he started decorating/designing doors, cabinetry, and furniture.
Eight years ago, Don was faced with personal struggles and challenges that inspired a new form of art. Within a 12 month span he lost his father, both of his in-laws, his business and his daughter was diagnosed with a life altering medical condition. He ended up working as the paint supervisor for a friend who had a company that engineered machinery for packaging. During these long and difficult days, he would find respite painting the scrap metal with leftover paint while waiting for machinery to dry. These industrial creations took on a life of their own and acted as a therapeutic outlet as he quickly gained momentum and a renewed enthusiasm for creating.
This work is on industrial aluminum with various oil based enamels and thinners. Versatility is key as these pieces can be enjoyed in a variety of outdoor applications as well as interior walls. These pieces are an organic morphology with unintentional consequences caused by the way the paints and thinners flow on the metal surfaces.
Don’s work has incorporated a variety of techniques, styles, and themes over the years. He has created work from folk art to expressionism to non-objective art to abstract. He has enjoyed exploring all of these styles. Typically, he works on three or more pieces at a time and prefers standing over them while working so that he is constantly changing his vantage point. Exploring the connections of emotional response to colors and techniques, he sometimes finds himself painting or constructing works that have a social or environmental statement buried beneath their surface.
At this time he is exploring upcycling sculptures [thanks to John Whipple] as well as a variety of painting processes including cold wax, reactionary [both chemical and mechanical] and plaster applications. He currently has a full time studio/gallery space at FAVO in downtown Orlando and participates in the First Friday art show every month.