Works of Art
October 2016 CVA Featured Artist Award
A native of Johnston County, North Carolina, Don grew up in the Four Oaks community, graduated from Four Oaks High School, and obtained a BS in Wildlife Biology and a MS in Zoology from NC State University.
He worked as a Principal Environmental Scientist with CP&L, Supervisory Fish and Wildlife Biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and biology instructor at Johnston Community College (JCC).
As a professional biologist, biology instructor and conservationist, Don has been honored with many honors to include JCC Faculty Emeritus, JCC Faculty Association President, Frances Finch Hobart Award for Community Service Johnston Community Foundation, Finalist(1988) and Semi-Finalist(2001) in NC Community Colleges Teacher of the Year Award, Special Service Award Soil and Water Conservation District, and Special Service Award US Fish and Wildlife Service. He is now retired after 26 years as a biology instructor at JCC.
He has dabbled in art all of his life and is for the most part self-taught although he has completed coursework at JCC in art fundamentals, basic design, acrylic painting, and art appreciation. He has completed several watercolor courses taught by Mr. Jim Brown, a noted free lance artist and illustrator for Wildlife in NC Magazine, and periodically attends workshops of noted artists.
Don has exhibited at the Clayton Center, the CVA Arts Faire, and the CVA Poster Contest, the Hocutt-Ellington Library, Clayton Steakhouse, Melody’s,Skylines Cafe, the Frank Creech Gallery and the Bistro. He headed up a show and sale of plein air paintings for the Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail’s 2009 Celebration, and was a member of the now defunct Johnston Visual Artists. He is member and a former board member of Clayton Visual Arts and serves on the Johnston County Arts Council Advisory Board and the Frank Creech Gallery Exhibition Committee.
Don has been a resident of Clayton for the past 28 years, residing in Walden with his wife Francine. Their two grown children are Rebecca Ewing and Victoria Ewing Brousseau.
My objective in this exhibit is to make viewers aware of the rich heritage of Clayton and the surrounding areas by introducing a number of historical figures and places in the general locale. The history of Clayton has always been an interesting subject for me over the years. I grew up in the other end of Johnston County and my first real knowledge of Clayton came during the early 1960’s when my next door neighbor brought several of the neighborhood kids to the Clayton skating rink weekly for a night of skating and fun. It never occurred to me that I might someday live here but in 1987, I moved into my new home in the Walden Subdivision. Here my wife, Francine, and I raised two girls, Victoria Brousseau and Rebecca Ewing, who now live in Raleigh and Durham, respectively.
This exhibit is of historical figures and places that were painted mostly from reference black and white photographs that I found online through the Hocutt – Ellington Public Library and the book Images of America Clayton by Pamela Baumgartner and Todd Johnson. Existing buildings and contemporary individuals were painted from my own or borrowed reference photographs. The composition and color scheme of each painting are original and solely from my imagination and study. Information on the subject matter is from a number of sources to include Pam Baumgartner and old Clayton News Star articles. However, any errors of fact are my own.
The exhibit consists of 17 watercolor paintings approximately 12 X 18 inches in appropriately sized frames. A plaque explaining the significance of the painting is mounted beside each painting along with the required label.
The history of Clayton has always been an interesting subject for me over the years.