Donald Sayers starts with drawings of horses, people and other subjects, then splashes exciting and complex arrays of colorful paint to create attention-grabbing works of art.
Art has always been his passion. Originally from Humbolt, Iowa, Sayers spent the first thirty-seven years of his professional career working in the child welfare system in Colorado. Starting as a case worker, he later became an administrator in Social Services for Boulder County. He followed a, “parallel career path,” between his social work and painting over the years. After his retirement from Social Services in 2000, he began devoting full time to painting.
Sayers holds a BA in psychology from the University of Iowa and an MSW, (Masters in Social Work ) from the University of Hawaii.
His interest in art first began when he painted a seascape in the fourth grade, which was entered in an art exhibition at the Iowa State Fair . At age 10, he took a John Gnagey, "Learn to Draw" correspondence course. He also did a lot of cartoon work, during his elementary and junior high school years, some of which was inspired by MAD Magazine.
After college, he entered the army and was stationed in Europe, where he spent several years working in a large hospital in the department of neuropsychiatry.
After his discharge from the military, Sayers returned to the states, came to Colorado, and began his social work career. At the same time, he resumed his interest in art, spent time visiting art galleries and museums, and began drawing again - which he had always liked to do. In his mid-forties, a friend encouraged him to take some art classes, so he signed up for classes at "Lifelong Learning" in Boulder. He has continued his art studies with a variety of instructors over the years.
He entered his first art shows in the late eighties. “...I had some success in those shows, including the Poudre Valley Regional Art Show in Ft. Collins and a national juried competition, sponsored by the Louisville Art Association, where I won Best of Show.” He continued to gain exposure for his work through shows held in Colorado and some in California.
Sayers describes his work as incorporating strong emotional and/or action elements. His paintings, he commented, "...might be classified as Abstract Expressionist." Sayers explains his work style as using, “... drawings as foundations,” He typically paints with acrylics, accented with compressed chalk on Yupo, a synthetic paper, which he says offers a good surface to paint on. His drawing process includes, “scratching into the paint with the ends of paint brushes, while it is wet. “ His original works are usually done on 24 x 40 inch sheets. His giclees are usually 8x10 limited reproductions that are scanned, then printed with digital printers on watercolor paper. His paintings typically sell for $100 to $1,500.
He admires the work of French painter, Paul Gauguin, considered today as a highly influential founding father of modern art. Sayers traveled by freighter to the Marquesas Islands north of Tahiti, where Gauguin spent his last years painting. He wanted to observe the people and the landscapes that Gauguin had painted. He appreciates Gauguin’s use of color and his figurative work.
Sayers has worked a lot with models, particularly at the Art Students League of Denver, a non-profit school based on the New York City model. He was also associated with a Denver-based painting group taught by Dr. Oksana Ross. This group painted at various locations in the city, such as the Denver Botanical Gardens and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Sayers said he likes to spend time painting with other artists in their studios because it offers the opportunity to expand his artistic knowledge and build friendships.
has gained recognition for his work and has won many awards in juried regional,
national and international exhibitions. He participates in Boulder’s
and Longmont’s Open Studio Tours. Sayers sells his paintings direct
and through dealers, among which are: Walker Fine Art, located in Denver’s
Golden Triangle, Danish Furniture in Longmont, Gallery at Rich Designs in
Colorado Springs, and Rosahnda Gallery in Niwot. Donald Sayers may be reached
at his Niwot studio at 303-652-8052 or on his cell phone at 303-847-3109.