More paintings by Donald Maier
I graduated from the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts, in Newark, New Jersey in 1968 and won several state and local shows in the early seventies, including 1st place in oils at the Garden State Art Center in 1971, 1st place for Watercolor at the Red Bank Festival of Arts in 1972 and an Honorable Mention in the Emerging Artists exhibit at Rutgers University in 1973. I have had numerous one-man shows in both New Jersey, California and Georgia and has exhibited in many fine galleries as well in California, Scottsdale, Arizona, Santa Fe, New Mexico and Georgia. In 2007, had a watercolor exhibit at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA called 'Four Corners'. This collection of some 30 plein air watercolors from the southwest were also shown in several other venues that year. In 2008 I had four group shows and in 2009, at the Carrollton Cultural Center in Georgia, I had a large retrospective of some 61 pastels, oils and plein air watercolors, spanning over a 40 year period of paintingon location in some of the countries most beautiful places from 'Coast to Coast', becoming the title of this one man show.
For more than 50 years I have been calling myself an artist. It began on my tenth Christmas in 1957 when my father gave me an oil paint set. I used up some of the colors and all of the canvas boards and needed more supplies. So I began going door to door to sell my paintings for $25 dollars around the block where I lived in Shark River Hills, New Jersey. Someone took pity on me and bought my first painting and that is really all I have wanted to do ever since. I first used watercolor only to make color notations on pencil sketches for oils. I realize that the pencil line inhibited the brush stroke, so gradually I eliminated all pencil drawing and began blocking in large areas of color, isolating the white space, often becoming the paintings focal point.
As a young man, and being inspired by Winslow Homer, one of my first watercolor trips was to his home state of Maine. I remember waiting for over an hour for my paper to dry as I tried to paint on the foggy coastline. Thank goodness Fredrick Remington was also an influence to me inspiring my interest in western landscape and the desert.
This is a fast medium, lending itself to painting on location, demanding a rapid approach. There is nothing like being there, in the moment, capturing the feel of the location. It also helps give the paintings a sense of place that is hard to achieve when working from photographs because the limited tonal range of a photograph cannot match what the human eye can adjust to and see.
An impatient person when I am painting, I love the desert for plein air painting because one does not have to wait long for the water to dry on the paper allowing you to proceed to the next step to achieve a hard edge. In fact a wet into wet technique is a real challenge there. Also, battling time and the elements of wind and sand and having a sense of urgency with constantly changing cloud patterns on the ground offer a real challenge to the artist.
In 1994 I moved from California to Atlanta, Georgia and taught at Bauder College until 2006. I enjoy painting at our local Sope Creek during the Autumn months and realized how much I missed the change of seasons. I have become very active in the past few years, painting more than ever and getting some attention in galleries In Georgia and online. I think the online art galleries are perhaps something that will greatly change the way artists become known. Here everyone is everywhere and people from around the world can see, comment and purchase your work. Now, selling museum quality giclee prints allowing people to have fine art who could never before afford it, well, it's all very exciting.
In recent years I have been having numerous one man and group shows in the North Georgia area, being a founding member of Gallery 4463 in Acworth, founder of the website pleinairartists.ning.com and the founder of the North Georgia Artist's Association. In 2010, I was commissioned to do portraits of all of the outgoing Attorneys General (21 total) which were given as retirement gifts at their respective ceremonies.