Don Trout The Artist's History
Don Trout was born in Lawton, Oklahoma, and grew up
in the Midwest. His father Perry, worked for the Great
Lakes Pipeline Company and the family followed him as
he advanced in the company from Lee, Illinois, to Des
Moine, Iowa and finally to Kansas City, Missouri.
Showing an early aptitude for drawing, Don's first art
success was winning a Saturday scholarship to the Art
Institute in Kansas City for a grade school watercolor
painting. Drawing and painting throughout his school
years led to enrollment as an art major at the University
of Kansas City (now University of Missouri in Kansas
City) where he studied with Henry Scott. The rich legacy
of paintings and lithographs by Thomas Hart Benton,
who was Artist in Residence just prior to his enrollment,
was very much an influence on the young artist and
Don's early paintings reflect a Benton influence. Further
study years later would include school courses in
watercolor and head and figure painting with Paul Souza
and Mary Sheridan at the Art Center College of Design
in Los Angeles, California.
Immediately on graduating from college, Don was drafted
into the army and classified as a camouflage expert.
After basic training he was ordered to Granite City
Engineer Depot and oddly, since he had no experience
in it at all, classified as a heavy equipment repairman.
After a few days at the depot, a call was made for a
volunteer to work in Troop Information and Education
and Don quickly stepped up for the job. This was a lucky
move which turned into an opportunity to work on the
post newspaper. Thanks to his college experience,
where he edited the yearbook, he was soon appointed
editor of "The Graniteer" another move which led to his
technical publishing career after his army discharge.
A high school trip to Colorado had created a desire to
see the west, so after his discharge he and his wife
Barbara moved to Los Angeles, California. Following a
brief course in technical illustration at Glendale City
College, Don was hired by Lockheed Aircraft Company
as a technical illustrator. This was the beginning of a
career in aerospace art, as technical illustrator,
freelance artist, and finally supervisor/art director for
Lockheed's Special Arts Group in Burbank, California.
Following an early retirement, Don was soon involved in
a new career, teaching drawing and painting in Glendale
and Santa Clarita, California, to classes as well as
private students. Don maintains a studio at his home
where he continues to explore the possibilities of oils,
acrylics, watercolor, and mixed media paintings in
particular, utilizing rice paper collage to enhance the
textural surface imagery.
Don now lives in Cathedral City, California with his
adopted dog Corey.
|Don was one of two artists honored at the
39th Annual Sierra Madre Art Fair.
|Don with collage and watercolor paintings at a Senior
Center show in Canyon Country
|From the Artist's Sketchbook
"A home on Silvertip Lane"
"Creek Street in Ketchikan"
Sharpy Marker and
"They Gave Me a Peace Medal, Whoopee!"
soluble ink wash
The guitarist is Darryl Denning playing:
Choros #1 by Heitor Villa Lobos, a selection
from Darryl's CD: Classical Guitar Artistry.
"Lake Mary Road"
Sharpy Markers &
|"Camp Circle Skull & Shield"
|"Save our oaks"
Oil painting on canvas
Size 30" x 40"
Inspiration came from an unlikely source. While making a
weekly trip down the Sierra Highway in Canyon Country,
California, I watched the earthmover steadily reduce the
hill to make room for housing. A tree sitter in Stevenson's
Ranch was using an oak tree as a protest site and real
estate signs were sprouting out all over the place. I
combined these separate elements into my statement.
|"Is This Progress?"
Mixed media, found papers, collage,
watercolor, and acrylic on 300 lb Arches
Size 22" x 30"
My original intent was to create a snapshot of Newhall,
California history. As I watched rural Santa Clarita give
way to subdivisions, Starbucks and chain stores, The
painting took on a life of its own. Higher gas prices and
the economy downturn burst the real estate bubble and
brought foreclosure tours. What's next?
|Barbara Ann Trout
passed away Oct 3,
This is one of my
favorite photos of
her holding our
We were married