Don Rainville was born in Salem, Massachusetts and presently lives in midcoast, Maine where he maintains his studio. Foregoing acceptance to art school at the Massachusetts College of Art, he parlayed his interest in the natural world by attending the Essex Institute of Agriculture in Hawthorne, Massachusetts, studying Forestry and Ornamental Horticulture. Upon graduation, Don entered the world of high end antique and art restoration. For twenty years, he was able to hone colorist skills and the ability to experiment with diverse materials; the consistent nature of such refined work is in direct contrast to how he approaches painting.
Employing action techniques, his works have been likened to landscapes of "abstract realism." Don paints in house oils, using torn shapes of lightweight cardboard and plant clippings rather than brushes; by doing so, paint to a greater degree can dictate form. Don’s paintings begin with abstract intensity, leading to a concentrated focus on refinement—the last 10% of any painting takes 90% of the time to complete—and most of his paintings take several months to finish.
Primarily, his work focuses on “treescapes” and the never ending inspiration provided by Maine and New England forests—Don likens his paintings to orchestrations of visual music, much like jazz which is different from more formalized concepts of music. His paintings are invented as they proceed, and as each portion of the composition comes forward on a moment by moment basis, the components are random and abstract, yet consciously orchestrated—the growth of a living forest works in much the same way.
Don works to create paintings where a viewer feels themselves present within the scene to a point where there is an actual unconscious desire or instinct to use all of one's senses, not just sight.