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 Donald W. Demers  (1956 - )

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Lived/Active: Maine/Massachusetts      Known for: luminist marine and landscape painting, illustration

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Ad Code: 3
Donald W Demers
from Auction House Records.
Off Jamestown
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A marine and landscape painter who lives in Kittery, Maine, Donald Demers learned to paint in the 19th-century classical realist style.  His paintings are depictions of his rural surroundings.

He grew up in Lunenburg, Massachusetts and spent his summers at Boothbay Harbor, Maine where he was especially fascinated by the sailing vessels.  He learned the fundamentals of art from a high school art teacher and then attended the School of the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts and the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston.  Frustrated with the curriculum Demers left art school and worked aboard traditional sailing ships before returning to illustration.

He began his professional career as an illustrator for Reader's Digest and Yankee magazines, and won national prizes in marine competitions.  He is an elected Fellow of the American Society of Marine Artists.

Sources include:
Stephen Doherty, "Donald W. Demers", American Artist, June 1999
Editors, "Don Demers: Painting the Visual Landscape", Plein Air Magazine, March 2005

Biography from Quidley & Company:
Donald Demers was born in 1956, in the small rural community of Lunenburg, Massachusetts.   His interest in painting maritime subjects began while spending his summers on the coast of Maine near Boothbay Harbor.  Crewing aboard schooners, square-riggers and other traditional craft has provided both the foundation for his technical expertise and the vision to transfer his first-hand experience to the canvas. His love of sailing has not diminished over the years.

A move to Maine in 1984 marked a shift in his career in which illustration morphed into marine and landscape painting. Illustration has served as a diversion from the demands of fine art for Demers and over the years, Reader’s Digest, Sail Magazine, Field & Stream, Sports Afield, Yankee, Downeast and most recently, National Geographic Magazine and several book publishers have called on Don to create visual illumination for the written word.

Feature articles on his paintings in a number of publications (American Artist, Yachting, Nautical Quarterly, Nautical World, to name a few) have generated interest in his art and his story.   Among his clients are American Airlines and the National Park Service, with projects as varied as creating art for national television advertisements and designing art glass for Steuben.

Demers’ body of work has expanded over the last several years to include the study and creation of landscape paintings based on 19th century methods and philosophies.  

He is a Fellow of the American Society of Marine Artists and has won a record number (9) awards at the Mystic International Marine Exhibition, Mystic, CT.   His illustrations have been recognized four times by the Museum of American Illustration in their national competition as representing the finest examples of work in the field. 

Demers conducts workshops for artists and lectures on his art and maritime experiences.   His audiences include representatives of museums, art clubs & associations, yacht clubs, historical societies and educational institutions.

He acknowledges his high school art teacher as the most formative influence in his early training.  Demers continued his education at the School of the Worcester (MA) Art Museum and Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, MA.

Biography from Tree's Place Gallery:
Donald Demers, born 1956, in Lunenburg, Massachusetts.  He was educated at the School of the Worcester Art Museum (Massachusetts), and the Massachusetts College of Art.  Demers is an elected member of the Guild of Boston Artists, an elected Fellow of the American Society of Marine Artists, and has won a record nine awards at the International Marine Art Exhibition, hosted annually by the Mystic Seaport Museum Gallery in Mystic, Connecticut.  Demers has long been known as one of the premier marine artists in America, and more recently as a major painter of landscapes. 

His work has been featured in numerous publications including recent articles in Yankee Magazine; Maine Boats and Harbors; Offshore magazine; Art Ideas; and in American Artist Magazine.  His work has been extensively featured in an instructional textbook by Susan Rayfield, Marine Painting: Techniques of Modern Masters.  Demers has had works exhibited in recent museum exhibitions in Washington state, Florida, and Massachusetts.  He is a founding member of the New American Luminists.

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