Don Prechtel – NWR Artist
2017 Winner of NWR Joe Halko Heritage Award for “Scouting With Custer”
As a career painter and muralist, of almost 50 years, I combine representational oil painting with a deep love of history. I am particularly a student of the settlement of the West and of the Civil War, and turn a sympathetic eye toward all participants. My interests are not limited, however, as I have completed many paintings with contemporary or natural (plein air paintings of existing locations, portraits) subjects. Inspiration comes to me from the words and artifacts found in the historical record, from visiting historical sites and from fellowship with other history centric artists. As I research historic events and places, I gain knowledge regarding a specific scene, personal documents such as letters and diaries are sought for their insight into the experience of individuals.
My paintings commonly reflect a very personal moment occurring within the context of a well-known historical event. In an effort to blend further the past and the present, and further illustrate the intertwined nature of broad historical events and personal experiences.