Joining the Unites States Coast Guard in 1957, Don spent 20 years saving lives in the most difficult and dangerous conditions that the Pacific Ocean has to offer. Where unpredictable weather often creates some of the roughest seas in the world he developed a great respect and admiration for the sea.
Don has spent many years perfecting his art. He is able to achieve such detailed realism in his work by researching and viewing his subjects firsthand. He has had the opportunity to join the Inupiat people of Barrow, AK on their annual bowhead whale hunt; has experienced the strand feeding of the bottlenose dolphins in South Carolina; photographed orca whales in the San Juan Islands and gray whales in the lagoons of Baja, Mexico. He has made several trips to Hawaii to view the spectacular humpback whales and recently he was invited by Dr. Bruce Mate of Oregon State University to travel to Louisiana to aid in tagging the resident sperm whales in the Gulf. This is an ongoing project due to the BP spill.
Don has received numerous awards: Two Awards of Excellence at the International Marine Art Exhibition at the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport; People’s Choice Award, Los Angeles Audubon; Award of Excellence, Alaskan Audubon Show and has for twenty years created the annual poster for the Oregon Coast Music Festival.
Don’s goal is to communicate, through his artwork, a compassionate concern for the sea and man’s interaction among the earth’s precious marine mammals.