Don Sahli made the decision to become a professional artist at a very early age. By age 16, he was selling his work and by 18, Sahli was exhibiting side by side with seasoned artists as an established painter. In 1982, this self-taught artist formed a faithful relationship with Russian Master painter, Sergei Bongart. During this period with his teacher, Don Sahli was taught in the “old academic way” not how to paint by formula, but how to “see” the relationship of color, form and design in nature.
The broad range of Sahli’s work shows his talent as a painter and his philosophy toward painting. “When I look at a painting, I want it to bring me back to when I was on the scene. I want it to convey the drama and emotion that first captured my attention – the atmosphere and the soul of the place. This is the goal of my work – to go past just the image to touch the viewer in a way that evokes emotion”. Don Sahli strives to continually expand his horizons and push the limits, presenting and creating his work in ways that are unexpected, fresh and stimulating.
Sahli creates his images with dramatic and subtle use of color. His paintings are filled with the contrasts of heavy textured brushstrokes to soft fluid washes. And while Sahli’s work can be seen as traditional with old world qualities that come from his background in the Russian School of Painting, it can also be seen as modern and contemporary – on the cutting edge in terms of color, design and passion.