Donald Beal was born in 1959 in Syracuse, New York, and grew up in Westford, Massachusetts. He studied painting at the Swain School of Design in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, New York, and received an MFA from Parsons School of Design in 1983. In 1985 he moved to Provincetown, Massachusetts, where he married photographer Khristine Hopkins. They have a son, Max. Beal has been a Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Massachusetts in North Dartmouth since 1999. He continues to live and paint in Provincetown. He is a 2013 recipient of The Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation Grant.
Interview with Donald Beal, Painting Perceptions, March 2017
"Donald Beal's instinct for color is deeply appealing. And instinct it is. Color sense cannot be forced. It has to come of itself, rather as memories do, by natural association and unbidden, long after striving for it has ceased." --Maureen Mullarkey
Read the full review of Donald Beal by Maureen Mullarkey here.
"But even with my long association and familiarity with Beal's work, his newest exhibition, simply titled Donald Beal: Selected Works was a revelation to me. --Don Wilkinson
Donald Beal's work breaks new ground in a gentle but inviting manner; his use of color and light are only devices designed to accent his unique sense of observation. What sets Beal's expression apart from those of his formers, however, is the lens from which he gazes. His perspective of nature is, in a sobering yet enlightening style, reflective of himself. “I'm more interested in coming up with a voice that communicates something felt," said Beal. "Rather than (highlighting the beauty of a location), I'd rather add something that makes the viewer or myself feel something. In some way, it translates experience; it somehow gives voice to experience." …"I'm not trying to literally make the things in front of me," said Beal. "It's really a frantic, intuitive conversation, a contemplation of what's out in front of me, what it's like to be there at that moment."