Last Updated July 13, 2013
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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!!!"
This next piece is a note that Don sent Howard Siegel when Don was going to be going back east to visit. Arise indeed!
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
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.
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:
|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!
The Art of Don Newton
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