About the Artist

Paint every day

Don Sinish - Biography

Don Sinish
60 Helmsman Ct.
Essex, MD 21221

It was in my 5th week of Calculus II at Hanover College in the spring of 1971, when my great aha moment occurred.  I had tried majoring in Psychology, but found it too vague a science for my taste and was doing math because I had always found it to be easy.  I asked the prof my usual question, what is the point of these equations and learning to operate them.  He said that if I were a third year engineering student, the point would be clear and useful.  This group of equations described the expansion and contraction of aluminum at sub-zero temperatures.  I didn’t need to know that ever.  I realized that I was done with math.

I was in art 101 and really enjoying it.  I went to the other art prof, Barney Cook, and asked him if I could transfer to his printmaking class.  He said that it was pretty late in the semester, but he’d OK it if the administration went along.  Then began my days of heaven, art school in the psychedelic era.  I transferred to Indiana University, Bloomington, graduated and eventually made my way to the Art Institute of Chicago and then the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  I was stunned that Henry Moore wrote back when I wrote him, and he even sent me two books on his work.  I was particularly moved by encounters with Greg Gillespie and Joseph Raffael.  Joseph convinced me over the course of a summer’s correspondence that the inner critic is of no value.  He wrote me that when his critic spoke, his art became harsh and contracted.  It was when he just gave his paintings love that his art and his whole life blossomed.  Thanks again, Joseph.   

When I finally decided to get serious, I moved to the east coast so I could live near the National Gallery of Art.  I continue to go there to feed.  I visited the NGA at least monthly for 25 years before moving to Baltimore and getting lost in my studio.  I have had countless shows and galleries and sold thousands of pieces.  They are all out there somewhere.  In February 2011, I passed the 40 year mark of the daily practice of painting.  I paint every day.  It’s not work or play, it’s much more like breathing in and breathing out.  Remember to color, artists are just kids who refuse to put away their colors and then learn how to trade their paintings for other stuff.

Born in Fort Wayne Indiana April 18, 1951

1969-71 Hanover College, Hanover, Indiana
1971-73 Indiana University, Bloomington
              Rudy Pozzatti, Marvin Lowe, Alma Eikerman
1973-76 Art Institute of Chicago
1976-78 University of Wisconsin, Madison
               Deeply moved by workshops with Gregory Gillespie and Joseph Raffael
1971-03 Long standing love affair with the National Gallery of Art.  Moved to Washington in 1984 to be able to visit the NGA on a regular basis

1984-03 Teach innumerable workshops and seminars on art in schools, stores, churches and at the Torpedo Factory Art Center
2001-02 Art Therapist, grades 5-12, Oak Valley Center, Fairfax, Virginia
2004-05 Teacher, Special Education, Sterling Middle School, Loudoun County Public Schools

Solo Shows
1983   Images from Inner Worlds, The Upper Crust, Madison WI
1984   Inner Realities, Shakti, Madison WI
1984   Inner Realities, Metropolitan Bank, Monona WI
1986   Studio Open House, WPA Open Studio Project, Alexandria VA
1987   Quiet Mirror, Washington DC
1987   The Light Center, Washington DC
1987   Artist-in-residence, Smith & Gold, Alexandria VA
1988   APIS, McLean VA
1988   Cardinal Images, Alexandria VA
1988   Artist-in-residence, Smith & Gold, Alexandria VA
1989   Resident Studio Artist, Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria VA
1990   Turning Wheel, Pasadena MD
1992   Resident Studio Artist, Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria VA
1995   Elestial Gallery, Washington DC
1999   Covad Corporation, McLean VA
2000   Eye Ticket Corporation, McLean VA
2000   Resident Studio Artist, Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria VA

Group Shows
1973   Indiana University Student Show, Major Purchase Prize
1973-77 Riley Gallery, Nashville IN
1974-77 Towne Gallery, Chicago IL
1983   Eckankar Creative Arts Festival, St. Louis MO
1984   26th Wisconsin Biennal, Wustum Museum, Beloit WI
1984   Made in Wisconsin, Spaightwood Gallery, Madison WI
1985   Midtown Gallery, Washington DC
1986   Fortfest ‘86, Washington DC
1987   Calvert Gallery, Washington DC
1988   Artworks Gallery, Alexandria VA
1991   Uptown Gallery, Washington DC
1991   Enchanted Art, Annapolis MD
1992   Uptown Gallery, Washington DC
1992   Mariposa Gallery, Washington DC
1994   Mahler Gallery, Washington DC
1994   Mystic Mountain Trading Company, Front Royal VA
1995   The Collector Gallery, Washington DC
1995   The Collector Gallery, Hot Springs AK
1995   Mystic Mountain Trading Company, Front Royal VA
1995   Yesterday’s Memories, Leesburg VA
1995   A Place of Wonder, Leesburg VA
1999   Broadway Gallery, Fairfax VA
2000  Miller Richardson Gallery, Occoquon VA
2000-02  risingartist.com
2003-06  Jane Haslem Gallery
2004   Results Gallery, Washington DC
2005   Lost interest in updating this list

Don Sinish - Biography