An award-winning member of the Cowboy Artists of America, artist Mikel Donahue is best known for his impeccable depictions of cowboy life. His drawings and paintings portray ranchers and their livestock during the day-to-day ritual of sun-up to sun-down work on the ranch. What may seem as mundane chores are captured and translated through his artistic style into moments of meaning and reflection.
As described in Southwest Art magazine, “A pensive, almost dream-like sheen emanates from most of Donahue ‘s canvases, a result of both his informed approach toward his subject matter —-of composition and understanding of the principles of design and form”. His knowledge of the subject matter is aided by time spent on ranches, hundreds of photographs, and numerous sketches and field notes to remind him of certain moments.
Donahue, who was born and raised in Tulsa, was taught about life on the ranch by his paternal grandfather who raised cattle in northcentral Oklahoma. It was Donahue’s maternal grandfather who exposed him to western art at an early age with memorable trips to Tulsa’s Gilcrease Museum and what was then the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Fascinated both by life on the ranch and the iconic art by the likes of Charlie Russell and Frederic Remington, as an adult, Donahue has become a perfect amalgam of his influences with a life breeding quarter horses with
his wife Christie on their place outside Broken Arrow and an award-winning career in the arts.
In May of 2017, Mikel was inducted in as a member of the Will Rogers High School Hall of Fame, an honor that includes musicians Leon Russell, David Gates, Elvin Bishop, designers Paul Davis, Joe Johnston, among other national and world-renowned notables. Donahue’s numerous awards include: The John Steven Jones Purchase Award from the Bosque Art Classic. The Academy of Western Artists’ “Will Rogers Award” for “Artist of the Year”, the prestigious “Premier Platinum Award” and the “William E. Weiss Purchase Award” at the Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale. He has shown in the Prix de West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, his work hangs in many museums, galleries and private collections throughout the country. He has been featured on the covers and in articles of: Art of the West, American Art Collector, Southwest Art, Western Horseman, American Cowboy, America’s Horse, and The American Quarter Horse Racing Journal magazines.
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