Donald Britton is a representational oil painter with a focus on landscapes of the American West from southern California coast to the northern Rockies.
He was introduced to drawing and painting at an early age through the interests and activities of his family. His father, an avid amateur oil painter in New Mexico, provided the first drawing lessons. While active in art through most of his life, his first career took a different path. After receiving a PhD from The Ohio State University he was engaged in neuroscience research for over twenty years. He was struck, as many scientists are, by the beauty of biological organization. The structure and harmony of living things is something he tries to incorporate into his painting. Upon retirement from his research career he began painting full time. His art education included studies with several contemporary masters of the genre including Mark Tompkins, Skip Whitcomb, Jim Wilcox, William Scott Jennings and Gregory Kondos.
Living most of his life in locations abundant in natural beauty including Colorado, New Mexico, San Diego and now Lake Tahoe, he has had no shortage of inspiration. His work includes scenes from all these areas and others in the west. Subjects range from the grand vistas of granite peaks or vast canyons to the subtle beauty of the sage and the quiet pool in a small stream.
Painting for him is a way to enhance the enjoyment he derives from these areas. He notes, “Our capacity to adapt to different environments is so well developed it often masks shortcomings in our surroundings. When returning to urban settings after an extended stay at the lake, the first few days are always a little irritating – the noise, the congestion, the attitudes. And then one begins to adapt and forget that it could be otherwise.” He sees his art is a means to more fully experience the natural beauty and harmony of a setting and for those who enjoy his work to be reminded of their alternative homes.
His process begins with visits to the site, preliminary sketches and dozens of digital photos. While the plein air paintings are occasionally the final product they more often are used as references in creating the oil paintings in his studio.
His award winning work has appeared in numerous regional and national juried shows and was recently featured in International Artist magazine. He is a member of the California Art Club, Northern Nevada Artists Association and Oil Painters of America.