Don Rantz Pastel Artist

Don Rantz has always tried to make art. He started drawing as soon as he could hold a pencil.

He majored in Fine Art at Northern Arizona University, working in oil and in drawing mediums.  Don has also studied with notable artists David Leffel, Bret Blevins, William Hosner, and William Scott Jennings.

In 1998, working in watercolor, he and partner Beth Neely illustrated two children’s books written by Conrad Storad–Don’t Call me Pig!-A Javelina Story, and Lizards for Lunch-A Roadrunner’s Tale.  Both books received numerous awards and are still in print and available today here and here.

He became obsessed with painting in pastel in 2003, focusing on painting the landscape en plein aire. He learned to capture the light and texture of the landscape near his home in Prescott, Arizona, developing a style that is unique among pastel artists. He found that he could create a kind of textural quality that he had been unable to capture in other mediums. He started entering shows and competitions in 2006 and quickly started receiving recognition and awards for his unique interpretation of the western landscape. His work has appeared in Pastel Journal, Southwest Art and  Western Art Collector and was included in the book Art Journey America Landscapes: 89 Artist’s Perspectives. For a list of  his accomplishments, go here.

Don is also an accomplished instructor. During his student years, he taught figure drawing at Northern Arizona University. He began teaching classes and workshops in pastel in 2006. Today he teaches regular classes at The Art Store in Prescott, AZ, private lessons from his home studio, and small and large group workshops whenever he can.  Many of his students have gone on to receive national recognition for their work. For more information on classes or lessons, please click here.

Don previously was a medical sculptor and is also an accomplished woodworker and makes a mean cheesecake.

He currently lives in Chino Valley, Arizona.