Kottmann was an influential drawing instructor of Kaffeeklatsch's owner Jessica McCarrel at AUARTS.
Kottmann's abstract paintings are influenced by the natural world and often resolve themselves into horizontal bands, sediments and sometimes "space between". He has said "I begin every painting not wanting to know what I will do or how I'm going to do it ... It's good to embrace doubt ... The big sky and big space, the Rockies, Lake Louise with its cerulean blue, just overwhelm and inspire me; the vast Midwestern spaces affect me the same way". His principle of "Everything, nothing, something" informs his process of working through each painting and understanding of its origin and potential.
Don Kottmann was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. He earned his BFA from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and his MFA from the University of Washington, Seattle. He is Professor Emeritus at AUARTS at Calgary, Alberta, Canada part of the year, and maintains a studio practice in Kansas City, MO the other part of each year. His travels by car between Kansas City and Calgary, often stopping to observe the vast open spaces, have a big impact on his work. Don was awarded a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant for Painting in 2014.
Photo credit: Jessica McCarrel