About Don Woods
I grew up in Akron and always loved to draw. In high school I received a number of art awards, including a gold medal at the National Scholastic Art Awards in New York City for a watercolor painting. I was also a very proficient violinist, and when it was time for college, I was torn between art and music.
After one quarter in music at Akron University, I switched to art and never looked back. During college I sold quite a few paintings at local art fairs and shops in the Akron area. After graduation in 1979 (B.F.A, Painting), I went to work in another field (as many fine arts majors do) with the intent of continuing my art career on the side.
Unfortunately, it seemed like my jobs consumed most of my time, and I painted very little, or not at all. In my early 40’s I had an epiphany. I felt like I was doing very little to fulfill the potential I had in my youth. After working in sales and management for over twenty years, I returned to college and received my teaching license in art.
I did my student teaching in Lorain and was hired by the district in 2002. I also began playing the violin publically again and slowly resumed painting. As I began painting again, I struggled with subject matter for my paintings. I was not sure what I wanted to paint, or what I was trying to say. As a way to start the process, I began to paint small pictures of birds (a favorite subject of mine when I was young). The more I painted, the more excited I became, and the paintings grew larger and more complex.
Now I generally concentrate on bird paintings, many of the subjects coming from the bird feeders in my own backyard. In my current work I try to show the beauty and wonder of God’s creations. The school district I work for has been in severe financial trouble for some time. This past year they decided to eliminate art and music in most of the schools. I, and a number of my colleagues, were laid off at the end of last year. I had to face the fact that there is a good chance that I will never be called back.
Since that time it seems that I have made a complete circle in my career. I am now painting full time and exploring opportunities to market my artwork. In November I had a successful solo art show at my church, selling 34 paintings in one weekend. I have also sold a number of paintings on my website. I feel fortunate to have this second chance at this point in my life. I am going to work hard and continue to pursue my dream of becoming a professional artist.