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Last Updated July 13, 2013

To see a larger version of any artwork on these pages, click on the picture

f there was one thing you could say about Don Newton without fear of contradiction, it was that he had a sense of humor. Don had a lighter side and sometimes it came out in his paintings or his sketches and sometimes it was in his letters to friends and associates. Presented here, in some cases for the first time ever, is some of the lighter side of Don Newton.

Don Newton fan Hozona brings us this first piece. As he put it, "I was one of Don's students in 1961/62. After being away from the Mesa area for 30 years, I returned to teach art. I tried to find out where he was through the school system, but nobody could help me. Thank heaven for Google! I wanted him to know how much he meant to me and that the reason I went into teaching art was a direct result of his influence on me as a student. I have one of the paintings he gave away as a prize to me for doing so well on a math contest. It was a self-portrait of himself as Julius Caesar. (9" X 12") I LOVED THIS GUY!!!"

Caesar

This next piece is a note that Don sent Howard Siegel when Don was going to be going back east to visit. Arise indeed!

Caesar

Don loved to paint and was always looking for an excuse to do so. Fan Kerry Benson has brought to us this next, unusual, piece of Don Newton artwork. What is it? Well, in Kerry's own words...

My stepfather, Michael Obrenovich, who passed away several years ago, was a close friend of Don Newton. They both attended Arizona State University, and both became graphic artists. Dad spent his career in the Audio-Visual department at ASU, while Don went on to higher acclaim. Many were the evenings in the mid to late 60's when Don would come over after dinner and visit. Mom could never get him to eat with us because Don was into what Dad called health food and body building in those days. We invited him over to watch an episode of the Adam West Batman series one evening, and Dad dressed me up in a Batman suit to meet him at the door. Great minds think alike, and when the doorbell rang and I pulled the door open, there was Don in a better Batman suit than mine! Dad's favorite piece of art was a portrait Don painted of him as the Mona Lisa. We called it the Mona Michael. My sister still owns it, and it has a reverential spot in her home.

The Mona Michael

Don was a prolific letter writer and those who knew him well and didn't live in the Phoenix/Mesa area, all seem to have mountains of emails from Don. A lot of those emails have to do with his artwork and the trials and tribulations of trying to break in at the big two and in these letters you see Don's sense of humor shining through. Here are a couple of letters sent to Howard Siegel regarding working at Marvel that prominately display Don's lighter side:

Letter on Roy and Stan Marvel Style letter Page 1 Marvel Style letter Page 2
Don's take on Roy Thomas and Stan Lee as he instructs Howard Siegel how to push his work to Marvel's top guys. Two pages of a letter from Don to Howard Siegel shortly after learning that the Phantom had been cancelled. Don bemoaned that fact that he may have to "adapt" his style to fit in at Marvel.

Continued soon, I promise!

Copyright 1998-2015 The Art of Don Newton
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