“My plan was to be a cowboy, but by the time I was born the open range was all chopped up by barbed wire,” says Don Weller. Don drew horses as a kid and rodeoed up through college. His career in Los Angeles included doing graphic design and illustration, which included posters for The Hollywood Bowl, covers for Time and TV Guide, and stamps for the U.S. Post Office. He has taught at numerous colleges and universities in California, Arizona, Utah, Texas, and Washington State.
Don paints images of today’s West, as he knows it. He paints cowboy friends and their adventures together. He wants his paintings to be realistic enough that the horses, people and scenes are recognizable; the details correct, and tell a true story.
Don uses watercolor because he feels comfortable with it. His paintings are carefully planned in advance, with a result that feels fresh and direct. Paintings generated by Don are started with the most difficult parts, faces, hats, and horses heads. He is concerned with the subject and sense of story, but he also cares about interesting shapes, texture, pattern, and the abstract quality of composition. Don conveys his goal, “I want the viewer to sense the hand of the artist in the brush work, the colors blossoming into one another, and the details left out.”
Shows and Awards
Idea, Graphics, Photographic, Typomunus 20/2, American Institute of Graphic Arts, Communication Arts, The Art Directors Club of New York (including gold medals), The Los Angeles Art Directors Show (including gold & silver medals), the Hugo Hammer Memorial Award, Creativity (New York), Society of Typographic Arts (Chicago), Biennale Uzite Grafiky (Brno Czechoslovakia), The New York Andy Awards, The Society of Publication Designers, Print Casebooks, and others. He is included in 200 Years of American Illustration published by the New York Historical Museum, as well as several volumes of trademarks and numerous illustration books. Lifetime Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Society of Illustrators, Outstanding Alumni Award, Washington State University.