Cincinnati Art Club’s President Don Schuster uses his talent to communicate the beauty in scenes that other people often overlook.
Don’s Finneytown HS teachers recognized his gift early on and provided independent study when he advanced beyond what they could offer in class. He also gladly accepted the role as the go-to guy for high school musical set design. Later attending University of Cincinnati’s DAAP college, Don pursued printmaking as his major, but also packed his schedule with enough courses in theater design to count as a minor.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude, Don worked in the printing, packaging production art and pre-press industries. Upon leaving the corporate world, Don pursued a wide variety of art-related areas of interests ranging from making stained glass windows to restoring antiques until settling in as a full-time artist, devoted mostly to oil painting.
“I painted Boreas’ Profound Fervor after watching the movie Mr. Turner, J.M.W. Turner’s dynamic snow painting of the train moving across the railroad trestle impressed me to the point where I wanted to tackle a snow nocturn of my own. I worked from daytime photos of the other side of the U.S.S. Constitution and views of the naval yard in Boston where there had been a great blizzard. I did thumbnails, enlarged my drawing by freehand on the canvas and transformed day into night.”
The content of Don’s work is largely focused on landscapes – from cityscapes to rural environments. He seeks to document visually-striking focal features and draw the viewer into the scene – evoking feelings of being part of the locale he depicts. Many of his landscapes, such as Gregory Creek 12, are part of series about particular places around Cincinnati from multiple perspectives and over the course of changing seasons.
“My hope is that if I single out things that catch my eye, others may start noticing the extraordinary visual wonders of this region.”
“Working on drawing skills is so important and figure is one of the hardest areas to do well… That’s why Sketch Group has been so helpful in bringing back my figurative perception. I don’t want the people in my paintings to look flat, like they’ve been painted from photos.”
Don also became involved with Southwest Ohio Plein Air – SWOPA – to regularly brave challenges posed by changing light, often inclement weather and sometimes uninvited critters. Plein air work can yield subject matter for more complex studio paintings. But in the hands of an experienced plein air painter such as Don, they can stand on their own merits.
Don also regularly attends the Signature Critique, which serves as an informative and supportive vehicle for artists of varying skill levels to improve.
As a board member of the Cincinnati Art Club for six years and the Club’s current president, Don has high respect for the Club and its heritage of highly regarded artists. He also is a member of Oil Painters of America, the Art Renewal Center, the Ohio Plein Air Society, SWOPA, Fitton Art Center and Arts Alliance Painters.
Don also participates in exhibitions and has won many awards, including numerous times being featured in the Bold Brush FAV 15, being awarded the Architectural Artist of the Year at ACA 2018, and getting three Meritorious and a Finalist piece in last year’s Richeson 75- Landscape, Seascape & Architecture. His work has been featured in Artist’s Magazine and Venue Magazine and he is represented by the Eisele Gallery of Fine Art and Bodenheimer-Mayer House Gallery.