Donald Demers was born in 1956, in the small, rural community of Lunenburg, Massachusetts. His interest in painting maritime subjects began while spending his summers on the coast of Maine near Boothbay Harbor. Demers, having drawn and painted from a very early age, furthered his education at the School of the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA, and the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, MA. Demers’ maritime experience came about as a crewmember aboard many traditional sailing vessels including schooners and square-riggers. He continues to be an avid sailor. His professional career began as an illustrator and expanded into the field of fine art. Because of Demers’ love of illustration, it continues to play a role in his career. His illustrations can be found on many book covers and in national publications such as “Reader’s Digest,” “Sail Magazine,” “Field & Stream,” “Sports Afield,” “Yankee” and “National Geographic.” Demers’ paintings have been featured in a number of publications including “American Artist” magazine, “Yachting” magazine, “Nautical Quarterly,” “Nautical World,” “Offshore” magazine and “Marine Boats and Harbors.” His work has also been featured and discussed in a number of texts including “Concordia Yawls,” “The First Fifty Years,” by Elizabeth Meyer, “Marine Painting” and “Yachts on Canvas,” both authored by James Taylor, of Greenwich, England. “Yacht Portraits” published by Sheridan House, “A Gallery of Marine Art,” Rockport Publishers, an instructional textbook titled “Marine Painting,” “Techniques of Modern Masters” published by Watson Guptill and “Bound for Blue Water” written by J. Russell Jinishian and published by Greenwich Workshop.
Demers’ diversity has enabled him to apply his skills to clients ranging from American Airlines to the National Park Service. Various projects have included creating art for national television advertisements, educational television programming and designing art glass for Steuben.Recently, Demers’ body of work has expanded to the study and creation of plein air landscape painting. These works are created from subjects across the country and beyond, often in consort with other artists of similar inspiration. His landscape work garnered him two awards at the Laguna Plein Air Invitational in 2001 and 2002.
Demers’ is a “Fellow” of the American Society of Marine Artists, an elected member of the Guild of Boston Artists, and a signature member of PAPA (Plein Air Painters of America). He has won a record twelve awards at the Mystic International Marine Art Exhibition, Mystic, CT. Demers’ illustrations have been recognized by the Museum of American Illustration four times in their national competition representing the finest examples of work in the field. Recognized for his communication skills, Demers conducts workshops for artists as well as producing instructional videos and DVDs. He also lectures on his landscape and marine art. His audiences include museums, art clubs and associations, yacht clubs, historical societies and educational institutions.