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 Don Ward  (1947 - )

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Lived/Active: New Mexico      Known for: landscape, still life and figure painting

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from Auction House Records.
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A plein-air landscape painter, he has been a long-time resident of Taos, New Mexico where he has also conducted many workshops.

He was born in Tacoma, Washington, and graduated with B.F.A. honors from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles in 1973. After working as a billboard painter, he moved to Taos to pursue a career in fine art.

From 1987, he conducted the Taos Sketch Group, artists that meet three times a week to draw and paint from live models. He credits the Old Masters--Velazquez, Titian and Tintoretto--as his earliest influences. He also studied at the Art Center in Los Angeles under Lorser Feitelsen.

Biography from Taos Gallery:
DON WARD
Living in Taos, New Mexico

Don Ward was born in Tacoma, Washington in 1947. He graduated with an Honors B.F.A. degree from the Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles, California, in 1973. Until 1985, Don worked as a freelance illustrator and in the field of Outdoor Pictorial Advertising. He then moved to Taos, New Mexico, to pursue a career in fine art.

Since 1987, he has been conducting the Taos Sketch Group, artists that meet three times a week to draw and paint from live models. In addition, he has been teaching oil painting classes twice a week. He has been invited to participate in the "Taos Impressionists" show and was represented in the "Taos Invites Taos" exhibitions from 1991 to current.

"My early influences were the Old Masters, such as Velazque, Titian, and Tintoretto. Then, after I’d painted a few years, the color and brushwork of the Impressionists became important to my work." Russian painter Nicholai Fechin also heavily inspired Ward. In the early 1970’s, a group formed in Taos that shared a passion for painting plein-aire landscapes, thus becoming known as the "Taos Six". On the advice of artist Ray Vinella, a member of the "Taos Six", Ward developed his painting and drawing skills at the Art Center in Los Angeles under Lorser Feitelsen.

Don Ward is a quintessential Taos artist. His landscapes, still life’s, and figure paintings render a dignity of person, place and thing, recording a deep attachment to life in the Southwest. His "living" color and virtuosity in drafting link him to such Taos Master as Walter Ufer, Kenneth Adams, and Victor Higgins.

"I like to think of my work not so much as pictures of places or things, but records of having been there. And I try to make my paintings give the viewer a sense of that experience".


Biography from a third party submitted on 10/23/2006:
Don Ward graduated with honors from Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles, California in 1973.  He has resided in Taos, New Mexico since 1985.  After a career in freelance illustration and outdoor-pictorial advertising in Los Angeles, he decided to pursue the life of a "fine artist."

Don has instructed both portraiture and landscape painting classes for the University of New Mexico, Taos, and has done numerous "plein-air" workshops for the Taos Institute of Art, Scottsdale Artists School, and the Fredericksberg Artists School, among others.  Since 1987 he has also held a weekly figure drawing group that is attended by many local artists.

Besides teaching and painting around the Taos area, Don Ward enjoys going on painting trips in his specially designed mobile painting studio.

"Painting nature from life, for me, is the ultimate experience.  It's like the excitement a musician feels when playing 'live.'  Nature is the foil that I can react to and interpret. Painting is a performance of how we see and react to what is around us.  Hopefully my work brings to the viewer the visual experience of the moment and is something more than just a picture.  And, that after years of 'plein-air' painting, I can bring into my studio the same quality of life to my larger pieces."


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