A native of Wisconsin, Don began his artistic journey in theater, earning a degree in theater arts from the University of Denver. He spent two years as the director of a high school theater department and a community theater program in Casper, Wyoming. To support the needs of his growing family, he launched a new career in the oil and gas industry, in which he thrived for 30 years. During this period he lived in five western states, including 21 years in Alaska operating his own oil and gas exploration and production company. After retiring from that industry, Don co-founded Omega Management Education Group, a training and consulting firm that served leaders and managers of international organizations.
Over a decade ago, Don decided to reclaim his artistic roots and pursue his vision of becoming an artist of note. “It was while I was living in Alaska that my artistic self re-emerged after having been cooped up for years,” he says. Since then, he has studied advanced painting techniques in classes and workshops with Marie Ungemah in Littleton, Colorado and Rob Gratiot, Mitch Caster, Tony Ortega and Ken Valastro at the Art Students League of Denver. Committed to his own artistic evolution, Don continually experiments with fresh modes of expression. His art has been influenced by his background as a theatrical set designer and by the beauty and variety of the western landscape and the many artists’ workshops he attends. Don lists Alaskan landscape artists Sidney Laurence, Fred Machetanz and Marvin Mangus among his inspirations, as well as contemporary artist Richard Schmid. Don’s love for the fine arts is evidenced in his large collection of western paintings, sculptures and native arts.
Don paints under the pseudonym “Dono.” Don is a principal in The Garage Gallery and Studio in historic downtown Littleton. He is a member of the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society, Arts Alliance of Littleton, The Denver Art Museum and the Art Students League of Denver. He lives with his wife, Barbara, also an artist, in Littleton, Colorado.