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Original oil and watercolor paintings and illustrations by Don Coker

I’m a painter and illustrator living and working in Columbus, Georgia, the home of blues pioneer, Gertrude “Ma” Rainey and noted author, Carson McCullers. I spent many years in the newspaper business as an illustrator, cartoonist, caricaturist, art director and designer. That part of my career ended in March of 2009 due to corporate cutbacks and a bad economy. But that’s a story for another day and another blog. This blog is about the craft of painting and the passion I have for it.

A couple of years ago I discovered the “painting a day” blog phenomenon and its originator, Duane Keiser. He and others like Julian Merrow-Smith and Stephen Magsig inspired me to take a shot at art blogging. Of course, the fact that I lost my means of income didn’t hurt any either. Can you say starving artist?

Most art bloggers use the landscape/portrait/still life theme. I’ve done some of that and may post them here eventually. In the last couple of years I’ve been painting faces that I’ve been drawing in the cartoon and caricature genre for years. The difference is, I’m doing them as small fine art pieces in traditional oil technique. Basically, I’m blurring that long, goofy line between fine art and illustration. I’ve always felt that if someone loves a piece enough to hang it on their wall and live with it for a lifetime, then it doesn’t matter whether it was created for a magazine or a newspaper, or from a “fine artist’s” hand. What matters is whether or not it touches you. My work is inspired by illustrators Norman Rockwell, Jack Davis, Charles Bragg, William Steig, Ralph Steadman and David Levine and fine artists as diverse as Andrew Wyeth, Paul Klee, Georgia O’Keefe, van Gogh and Lucien Freud… oh, and the Cowboy Artist’s of America. Yes, there is such a group. Look them up, they’re great! Hey, I said it was a diverse group.

So, my plan here is to do what I am calling a “A Daily Curmudgeon”, for lack of another title. No, they won’t all be craggy old farts with nasty attitudes. I love history and culture, politics and pop culture in general. So, in addition to funny faces I create from my strange and twisted mind, there will be an occasional caricature of an author, jazz musician, politician, movie star, sports figure, etc., thrown in for good measure.  It could be Elvis, or Lincoln, Louis Armstrong or Longfellow, MLK or Chechov… oh my. There will be a small, 5×5 or 5×7, there abouts, original oil painting posted here often, and it will be offered for sale on ebay with a base price of $100. You can subscribe to my list and get each offering in your email. What a deal, a piece of fine art and a giggle to start your day with.  Woohoo! I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy doing them.

Thanks for stopping by. Tell your friends! I hope you will bookmark my blog and visit often. I promise to keep it interesting and lively. I invite you to post your comments any time. Just click on the title of the painting of the comments label under each piece. I look forward to hearing from you and making new friends.


All works on this blog are copyrighted by the artist, unless otherwise stated. No work can be used in any way without the expressed permission from the artist.

22 Responses

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  1. john john says

    Woo Hoo! Okay, Cuz! I be de furst commentater, so there! I wish you your second million dollars (we both missed out of the first one) and as another L-E alumni, you know I wish you nothing but success. Franco would be proud (wotthehell!)

  2. Sue Nelson Sue Nelson says

    Good luck to you on your new venture. I feel privileged to see a new piece of art of yours every day.

  3. Mrs. Curmudgeon Mrs. Curmudgeon says

    You are my very own curmudgeon and I love you. Have fun with this!

  4. Allison Kennedy Owen Allison Kennedy Owen says

    You are NOT a curmudgeon. … unless you mean that as a compliment in which case, yes!

  5. Susan C Susan C says

    We are not fooled.
    You are not a curmudgeon — it’s your convenient ruse to hide a big heart.
    Paint on!

  6. bro Chip bro Chip says

    Now you’re tawkin’! This is tre cool- now we must go out and spread the word and the love!

  7. Rick Coker Rick Coker says

    Hey Big Guy, You know your gonna do well in this cause GOD has got your back!You know your LiL Bro. has got you in my prayers,I also will spread this on to my freinds on my mail addi`s!I LUV YA BROTHER………….

  8. Seth Seth says

    Don, I sent out your Email to all my peeps. Best to you my friend in art!

  9. Len Jagoda Len Jagoda says

    Don: I didn’t know about the events of March (beware the ides of …) unitl now; but quite frankly believe that world of art is better off with you back in it with a broader scope than the L-E allowed. I am confident that you will do well in this new venture and those who choose to buy now will soon learn that your offers are a bargain and that they made a good investment. In spite of the current economy, you will succeed and as it turns around you will prosper even more.


  10. ourtown journal ourtown journal says


    So glad we hooked up on the big FB. I’m happy to have your blog featured at Looking forward to curmudgeonly coffee, conversations, and collaborations.

  11. vinod more vinod more says

    hi friend first of all really thankful for visiting my blog.. second thing i wish u big success for ur new venture of daily painting and selling them. i hope u put exhibitions of ur wrk also. u got good hand and heart. wish u all the best,,,,, go on painting……..

  12. Tina Steele Lindsey Tina Steele Lindsey says

    Don, I am a fan, I hope you know that by now! It is a gift to come on here and view your work. I hope to on occasion produce something lighthearted, but I must work at it whereas it comes from your soul, Blessings to you, and thanks.

  13. Don Coker Don Coker says

    Thank you, Tina! You are a dear.

  14. Frank Ordaz Frank Ordaz says

    Hey Don,

    Thanks for stopping by my Blog. I really enjoyed reading your profile and we share similar heroes…most notably Bragg and Levine. They had the full package…a good drawing sense combined with a biting wit.

    Your small painting just put a smile on my face…blessings Bro. One door closes and another opens…..sometimes its just a crack …and it is our effort to open it further.

  15. Phani Phani says

    Hello Don,
    Excellent work! I enjoyed visiting your blog and I’m going to bookmark it for further visits.
    My name is Phani, and i’m from India. I’m a freelance cartoonist/illustrator and animator.
    I look forward to your future posts.
    If you get the chance, I’ll be happy to have you over at my website

  16. Guv Guv says

    Like the site. Looks good even for a fellow that can’t cross the ‘Hooch………
    We are pulling for you in the job search. Want to keep ya’ll nearby!

  17. Jill Joines Christensen Jill Joines Christensen says

    Hi, Don, terrific blog. Can’t wait to see your work. Now where do I click for that…

  18. Jill Joines Christensen Jill Joines Christensen says

    Ah. Right under my nose. Nevermind!

  19. Mallory Hope Ferrell Mallory Hope Ferrell says

    Hi Don;
    Wish you had done that wonderful Argent Lumber Co. painting “After the Rain” before I wrote the Argent book…sadly now out of print. Your painting would have been a “shoo-in” for that project.

  20. Sam Jameson Sam Jameson says

    Your work is absolutely amazing.

  21. Carolyn Glover Carolyn Glover says

    Don, I met you last night at Country’s and am interested in seeing your landscape paintings online. Is there a way to see those that I haven’ t figured out how to figure out yet?

  22. John Williams John Williams says

    I am on a committee for our 50th high school class reunion which will be held Oct 2016 at Green Island Country Club. We are considering hiring a caricature artist for our event. Is this something you normally do? Can you provide a price I can present to our committee? Thanks so much

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