Don Whitson

Posted by Greg Youngs - December 17 2018

Art for me is more than paint, easel, and a brush.  It’s more than a career.  Art for me is a life choice. I have always been creative and even from the time that I was a young child, I don’t ever remember a time in my life where I didn’t want to be an artist.

My career has spanned well over four decades, first as an illustrator in the United States Air Force, then, a long career in corporate aerospace art departments.  In 2010, after twenty five years as Chief of Visual Services for the Department of the Army, I decided to leave my position so that I could pursue my lifelong dream of painting full time. Most recently, I was juried into the 37th Annual Virginia Watercolor Society Exhibition, the 25th Anniversary Show of the Central Virginia Watercolor Guild, an Honorable Mention in the Turner Watercolors national painting contest and an Honorable Mention in the SOHO Urban Artist national painting contest. I recently had a painting accepted in the Ella 100 Exhibition that will be on display at the Downing-Gross Gallery in Newport News, Virginia from April - June 2017 and then traveling to Japan, China, Germany and France until April 2018.

The transparency of watercolor totally delights me.  I love the way the colors move and blend in unexpected and pleasant surprises.  Watercolor paintings present a unique challenge because the results are both unpredictable and exciting.

Recently, I have been inspired by doing a series of paintings of women in a variety of locations and various themes. The uniqueness of each setting continues to challenge me each and every day to push my abilities further. I hope that my paintings will allow the viewer to be inspired and use their own imagination to look deeper into the subject matter itself.

I am a member of the Shenandoah Valley Art Center, Co-Art Gallery, Reid Street Gallery, Crossroads Art Center, Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Central Virginia Watercolor Guild, and the Virginia Watercolor Society.   ~    

Here are my current exhibitions....
I have recently been juried into the Virginia Watercolor Society's 39th Annual Juried Exhibition, the 32nd Annual Shenandoah Valley Watercolor Society Exhibition,  and I have also been juried into the 27th Annual Watercolor Exhibition of the Central Virginia Watercolor Guild.
One of my paintings "Speakeasy Blues" has been selected as the cover art for a new board game by Artana Games which will be available summer 2018.
One of my paintings on display at the Charleston International Airport for the South Carolina Watermedia Society National Digital Show Oct. 7 - Nov. 24.  And then will be traveling across the state of South Carolina for the next year.
One of my paintings was selected to be part of the Ella 100 Exhibition honoring the late, great Ella Fitzgerald. . 
Two of my paintings were juried into BuyRVAart in Richmond, Virginia and received First Place, also the Central Virginia Watercolor Guild show at the Louisa Arts Center in Louisa, Virginia.  I am also showing in the Annual Shenandoah Valley Art Center show.
I received an Honorable Mention in a national all-media painting contest by Turner artist paints for my Janis painting and an Honorable Mention in a national all-media show by SOHO Urban Artist paints for my Spit Shine painting.