Remembering Don Stone: An Artist, A Kind Spirit

In the art columns, writers will remember Don Stone (above, right) as a modern impressionist painter and one of the great American artists to have called Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine—one of America’s great artist colonies—home.

Those who knew him, however, will remember him as a kind spirit as much as a great artist (e.g., artist Russ Cox with Stone in the photo above).

The Man

“Don brought a painting into the gallery shortly after I’d given birth to my second child,” recalls Liz Moss of the Elizabeth Moss Galleries. “The painting depicted the headlands and crashing surf of Monhegan. When I asked Don what the title of the piece was, he asked what the name of my baby girl was. I said: ‘Ava.’ He said: ‘Let’s name it Ava’s Point.’ That was Don. He knew what a happy time it was for me in my life, and he made it even happier.”

Ava's Point...

Ava's Point by Don Stone

Born on March 27, 1929, according to his obituary in the Boston Globe, Stone attended the Vesper George School of Art, served in the U.S. Navy, did commercial and cartoon work at the Boston Post and Lowell Sun…and then escaped to Monhegan Island to become a fine artist and teacher.

He fell in love with the island and spent the rest of his life painting this beautiful place and the people who lived there. For 40 years, he conducted painting workshops on Monhegan, which were enormously popular because of his remarkable knowledge of painting and his unique sense of humor.

According to his obituary, he died peacefully on March 12 at Exeter Hospital, surrounded by family, after a short illness. “To the very end,” he kept his sense of humor.

Remembering His Art…

The art community has lost a giant.

He will be remembered for his contributions to the artist community all over New England and beyond.

He was a very caring and talented man.

It’s very sad to think of Monhegan without Don…He was a kind person and someone I admired. Through his art and through the many lives he touched, he leaves a rich legacy.

Don Stone has been so good at painting for so long…he’s considered one of the few remaining great marine painters of his generation, a group that includes Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper and George Bellows…[His] life brims with accolades. He’s referenced in and is the subject of dozens of books and national magazines, and [he’s] won more than 75 major awards…His teaching credits include years at two prestigious Boston art colleges as well as four decades at the legendary Maine art colony on Monhegan Island.Fosters

To be a truly great painter, it’s not enough to have perfect technique; you must also have a superior aesthetic. You need to have really good taste. You have to know what’s beautiful and what will remain beautiful to a viewer over time. Don Stone had all that ability and so much more.—Liz Moss

Remembering His Spirit…

Don, I miss you already. Monhegan won’t be the same. So long for now.

Loved that man…An all-around great human being.

Those years during the mid-90s when I was in Don’s painting group on Monhegan are full of special memories…He was a special man. Monhegan will not be the same without him.

It seems impossible that we will no longer see Don tearing around Monhegan on that golf cart of his. He was always so generous; welcoming us in to see his work, to be inspired by it…The world has lost an amazing artist and a great human being.

Cape Ann has lost a great artist and one of the best people I have ever known. His influence lives on in all of us who knew him.

And so on…

Goodbye, Don. Rest in peace.

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