Placer County Artist Don Antram
● By Style
Originally from Southern California, Don Antram found his way to Placer County in 1985, where he raised two children alongside his wife, Teri, and started a business: Faux Finishes and Murals. The artist now divides his time between the business and creating mixed media paintings that incorporate various materials to capture and reflect light. “I want viewers to feel a reaction, to be touched by the beauty of the art,” Antram shares. “I want them to feel the need to come close and inspect what I’ve put on the canvas; I want them to want to touch it!” You can view Antram’s work at the San Carlos Art and Wine Faire (October 7-8), the Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival (October 14-15), as well as the Sacramento Arts Festival (November 3-5).
HLB: What’s your artistic background?
DA: In fourth grade, my art was chosen to be displayed at back-to-school night, which was exciting and encouraging; in seventh grade, I took my first oil painting class through adult education, and continued taking art classes through high school and junior college, [eventually getting] my B.A. from Long Beach State. In 2008, a good friend encouraged me to take classes from Sondra Hersh, an amazing artist in Auburn. Until then, I painted mechanically; her teachings opened me up artistically, emotionally and spiritually. I now have passion for my work and feel like I’m growing as an artist.
HLB: What draws you to your particular medium?
DA: After being introduced to the wonders of mixed media, I couldn’t seem to get enough of it. Between the molding paste, [which] provides endless ways to provide texture and depth, to the subject, there are limitless ways to embellish my pieces. I mostly use broken glass, shells, beads, special rocks, glitter and foils. I also make shavings from mica to use as scales on my mermaids and fish; these—along with metallic paint—capture and reflect light.
HLB: When did you first feel comfortable showing your work?
DA: Shortly after I started my business. I had lots of positive feedback from clients and kept busy with both [that] and commissioned canvas art, but it wasn’t until 2010—after I started creating art passionately—when I started finding ways to show and sell it.
HLB: What inspires you to create?
DA: The beauty God has provided us. I don’t limit myself to one subject, and most of my series are inspired from customer requests. I find peace, contentment, joy and calmness when I’m in my studio, and there’s no place I’d rather be than there—drinking wine and creating art!
HLB: Why is art so important?
DA: I feel art is important to everyone, even those who aren’t collectors. It has a way of touching our hearts and our minds. A piece of art can trigger feelings, emotions and memories, and has the power to inspire, to heal, and even to motivate us. All art communicates something; the joy of an artist is to provide that connection. fineartbydon.com