MY ART STORY by

Don Reed

Merrimack
New Hampshire

don-reed-bicycle-rider-in-traffic-smaller.jpg

Impressionistic painting of a bicyclist riding in city traffic

Bicycle Rider in Traffic, 18" x 18" acrylic on canvas. Photo by Don Reed

Although I have always loved to draw and sketch, my real introduction to art started at the age of 12, when I attended oil painting classes in a little fishing shack in picturesque York Harbor, Maine, with a crusty old seascape painter by the name of Edwin Booth who taught basic painting to kids on Saturday mornings during the summer months. The laughter of children happily painting and the distinctive smell of linseed oil remains one of my most cherished childhood memories.

Although I have attended many classes and workshops, throughout my life, I consider myself to be primarily a self-taught artist. I have painted in acrylics, watercolor, pastel, gouache and oils over the last 50 years. In 2007, after a lack luster art show season, I told my wife Susan that if I could not find a new direction in my art that I was going to give up the shows and just paint for my own enjoyment. 

In 2007 I viewed a instructional video by well known southwestern artist Matt Smith who demonstrated using a square brush for his landscape paintings. I had been trained using the filbert or rounded brushes. This little change in my painting technique was the beginning of my new approach. My original goal in this new painting style was to eliminate the detail that I had been so used to painting by reducing the image to an almost pixelized appearance. This was accomplished by vertical strokes using a square or flat brush and working on the painting upside down. Lots of squinting and viewing the ongoing painting using a mirror held overhead. From 2008 to 2013 the technique continually evolved until in 2014 I put down the brushes and picked up a palette knife and took a major step toward perfecting the painting style you see today.

Impressionistic painting of an individual walking on a tree lined sidewalk in the autumn at night

Autumn Rain, 36" x 36" oil on canvas. Photo by Don Reed