Fork In The Road

Paintings from beyond about how the universe works. Original acrylics on canvas by Don Shapiro.

About Don Shapiro


Don Shapiro in Joshua Tree National ParkA fork in the road story

How a step-daughter, a greeting card and a famous Russian artist awakened Don to the painter within

In June 2005 at the age of 55, Don Shapiro walked into his favorite card shop to buy a greeting card for his step daughter Kristin but couldn’t find any he liked. This had never happened before. He mentioned it to the clerk who suggested he make his own cards by getting some supplies at a local craft store.

After creating his first greeting card, Don decided to visit an art store to find better materials, pens and tools. As an afterthought, he bought a couple of tubes of acrylic paint and a brush. For several months, Don created very elaborate cards that he would finish with painted designs. That’s when he first imagined what it might be like to paint on a canvas.

In typical Don style, he went back to the art store and bought everything he needed. On Thanksgiving Day 2005, he created his first painting which can be viewed on the Early Paintings page.

After about a month of joyously painting, Don realized he really didn’t know anything about how to paint and wanted to learn more. Yet he knew he didn’t want to end up in a typical art class where the instructor would give him specific assignments that he might not care for. At the end of the first week in January 2006, Don attended First Friday in Las Vegas. This is a monthly event where all the galleries in the art district would remain open with entertainment and more added to the festivities.

It was there where he met Russian artist and art educator Allen Tager who had opened a gallery. Allen was offering a creativity painting workshop the next Sunday so Don decided to attend. He went back every week bringing his own paints and canvas to take in all that Allen had to share. After a while, all the participants went their way and there was just Allen and Don. Allen became Don’s mentor and has helped him learn how to see through the eyes of an artist and understand the relationships between colors.

Allen never told Don what to paint or even how to paint. Ever time Don would ask him about how to do a certain technique, Allen would say “don’t worry about that.” He would then open up a book with paintings by Paul Klee, Chagal, Monet and others to point out how they had achieved a certain look. Allen’s unique approach toward art education earned him an award by the United Nations. He guides his students to see through the eyes of a master in a gentle and encouraging way. Allen now lives in Germany and continues to mentor Don. He is the author of a book about the true nature of artist and what really occurred inside the minds of the great artist titled “Magic Of Super Symmetry In Art,” selected portions of which are available in German. Allen just released his latest book “Mind Floss”.

In abstract art, each person finds their own meaning. What feelings & thoughts come to you when viewing these paintings?

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© 2019 Don Shapiro
Creative Commons LicenseAbstract Fineart by Don Shapiro is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
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