Don started drawing at an early age when he would get in trouble doodling on his desks and books in grade school. He went on to receive a degree in art from Oklahoma State University in 1986. His inspiration and love of birds comes from his mother, Jeri McMahon who is a world-renowned bird watcher. With this passion for birds and an obsession for drawing, Don decided to put the two together. But, it wasn’t until he was skiing on Mt. Hood with his family that Don noticed a little Black Capped Chickadee flitting around on his skis.
“It was perched perfectly on the tips of my skis with a view of the mountain behind. It was a classic post card picture. I couldn’t get my camera out quick enough and of course it flew off. That’s when the idea hit me of birds on things.