As a boy Don Weller drew horses and cowboys when he wasn’t exploring with his horse along the Palouse River or over the rolling hills that surrounded his childhood home near Pullman, Washington. Graduating from Washington State University with a degree in Fine Art, he sold his horses and moved to Los Angeles where he spent decades doing graphic design and illustration. Clients includedTime Magazine, The Hollywood Bowl, The National Football League, the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, and he created five stamps for the United States Post Office. Besides illustration and graphic design, he taught school part time, three years at UCLA, where he met his wife Cha Cha, and eleven years at the Art Center School in Pasadena.
Finally, Don realized he had seen all the cement and palm trees he could stand and moved to Utah. He and Cha Cha live in rural Oakley, Utah, with Eddie the border collie, two cats, and three horses who are bred to cut. Don creates western paintings and rides the cutting horses.
Besides illustration and graphic design, he taught school part time, three years at UCLA, where he met his wife Cha Cha, and eleven years at the Art Center School in Pasadena. Finally Don realized he had seen all the cement and palm trees he could stand. They moved to Utah, near the skiing at Park City. A book project for the NCHA introduced him to a neighbor who trained cutting horses. The west of his childhood came flooding back. It was still there, just as he’d left it. The cutting horse book project took him to Texas and Arizona, California, and Montana. He was in arenas and on ranches. He began to wonder what it would be like to ride those cutting horses. He found out, and his adventures expanded to cutting contests, rodeos and ranch life.
Recent awards include 2020 Western Heritage Award from National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum for Don’s memoir, Don Weller: Tracks. Don was also awarded Lifetime Achievement award from the Los Angeles Society of Illustrators and an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the San Francisco Academy of Art.
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