Essay by John Stobart
“My internal and external selves merge when I am with the sea. I experience a sense of wholeness. The Ocean is an all encompassing and very public phenomenon and yet, to me it is the most introspective, solitary and private place on earth”
Although many artists paint the sea, only the elite few have gone to such lengths as Don to establish an almost instinctual sense of his subject. Don’s ability to evoke a response from the viewer, to go beyond the literal representation, is a feat few artists achieve. Don’s work has a timeless quality, reminiscent of the great marine painters of the 19th century – Lane, Bricher, Richards - and his warm patterns of sunlight and shadow call to mind the early American impressionists. Because the artist loved narrative art, particularly the work of the Wyeths, Winslow Homer, and Norman Rockwell, Don started his professional career as an illustrator. In the early eighties, however, Don moved to Maine and began to shift his career from illustrator to artist, devoting much of his energy to painting maritime subjects. Don Demers is a “Fellow” of the American Society of Marine Artists, an elected member of the Guild of Boston Artists, an elected member of the California Art Club, and a signature member of PAPA (Plein Air Painters of America). He has won a record seventeen awards at the Mystic International Marine Art Exhibition, Mystic, CT. including the Rudolph J. Schaefer Maritime Heritage Award in 2006.Contact Vose about this artist
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Born in the rural town of Lunenburg, Massachusetts, Don Demers' love for the sea stemmed from early summers spent on the shoreline near Boothbay Harbor, Maine. After finishing an exemplary high school art program, he furthered his education at the School of the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA, and the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, MA. Demers left the Museum School to become a crewmember aboard many traditional sailing vessels, including schooners and square-riggers, which gave him invaluable experience for his future maritime paintings. In 1984, Demers settled in Maine, and his close affiliation with the ocean has remained an ever-present theme in his work. He continues to be an avid sailor.Demers' professional career began as an illustrator, and later expanded into the field of fine art. His illustrations can be found on many book covers and in national publications such as Reader’s Digest, Sail Magazine, Field & Stream, Sports Afield, Yankee, and National Geographic. Demers’ paintings have been featured in a number of publications including American Artist, Artist Magazine, Plein Air Magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur, Art and Antiques, Yachting Magazine, Nautical Quarterly, Nautical World, Offshore Magazine, and Maine Boats and Harbors. His work has also been featured and discussed in a number of texts, including Concordia Yawls, The First Fifty Years, by Elizabeth Meyer, Marine Painting and Yachts on Canvas, both by James Taylor, Yacht Portraits, published by Sheridan House, A Gallery of Marine Art, Rockport Publishers, Marine Painting, Techniques of Modern Masters, published by Watson Guptill and Bound for Blue Water, by J. Russell Jinishian.
Demers is a Fellow of the American Society of Marine Artists, an elected member of the Guild of Boston Artists, an elected member of the California Art Club and a signature member of PAPA (Plein Air Painters of America). He has won a record seventeen awards at the Mystic International Marine Art Exhibition, Mystic, CT, including the Rudolph J. Schaefer Maritime Heritage Award in 2006. Demers’ illustrations have been recognized by the Museum of American Illustration four times in their national competition representing the finest examples of work in the field. Recognized also for his communication skills, Don has conducted numerous workshops for artists, has produced instructional DVDs, and lectures on his art at museums, art associations, yacht clubs, historical societies and educational institutions.