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I grew up in a tiny town in Nebraska, one of 5 children with parents who instilled in us a strong work ethic and a belief we could accomplish anything we set our minds and energies to. I married too young, moved to Lincoln, a really big city to us, and the University of Nebraska, then moved to Tucson, AZ, on to the U of A, for my engineer husband to pursue a doctorate degree, then Ventura, CA, two daughters born. For too long, as a deep ocean engineer, he was everywhere in the world, but home. After an amicable divorce, I moved to Los Angeles in 1970, was hired as manager of a multi-city Law Corporation in Beverly Hills, married the boss. We worked hard, played hard and travelled the world by way of golf courses. Two wonderful daughters growing up with all the ups and downs of loving and growing.

Retired and started painting. . .my life's dream. I bought every art book available and learned or created techniques to get the results I wanted.

Most think of me as a wildlife artist, but for a period of time early on, I was considered a seascape artist. My first commissions were seascapes, then a Golden Retriever, a lab, an Australian Sheep dog and other pets, then landscapes of the desert which usually included wildlife...quail, roadrunners, and the like.

I competed and qualified for many juried shows, including the Pacific Rim Art Exposition in Seattle, Intl. Art Competition, New York, Marousie Pfeifer Gallery, New York, Michael Ingbar Gallery, New York, Atists' Society Intl., San Francisco, CA, North American Wildlife Art Show, Cheyenne, WY, Arkansas Wildlife Federation Art Show, Little Rock, AR. Awarded First in Oils in Scottsdale, AZ show, People's Choice Award in LaJolla, CA show, exhibited in invitational shows like the Gene Autrey Heritage Museum Western and Wildlife Show, solo show at the Framers' Gallery, El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA, in the richard danskin Gallery on El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA for several years, as well as Dawn of Time Gallery, Laguna, CA, Danville Gallery, Danville, CA, Lula Galeria, Budapest, Hungary and the Brave Heart Foundation, Beverly Hills, CA.

In '94, we introduced my first Limited Edition prints and in '95, we launched my website: www.donikendig.com.

Annually, from the inception in 1999 of the Artists' in Residence Program, with the opening of Wa-Tu-Tu Village, at The Living Desert in Palm Desert, CA through 2004, I spent a Friday through Sunday weekend painting, interacting with the people and selling prints and artcards. A percentage of the proceeds were donated to the Living Desert.

My most loved and beneficial trips were to Africa...to Kenya in '92 and South Africa in '97. A highlight in Kenya was a 5 a.m. hot air balloon ride in the Masai Mara, an unequalled experience. We were at treetop height and I coaxed the pilot to nudge us within about 30 feet of an acacia with a leopard sprawled on a limb. It had wedged his catch of the night's hunt in a crotch of the tree. As we crept nearer, he glared and growled, but did not change position. I got some great shots. Leopards are nocturnal hunters, although if unsuccessful they will hunt by day. Safe in his perch, he was ready to sleep and eat the day away. "Daytime Hangout", "Head's Up" and "The Sentinel"were inspired by this midair encounter.

In South Africa, near Durbin, we were sitting on the patio with our host with after golf drinks when an entire pride of lions from the huge male and alpha female to the small cubs in strict order of rank, strode through the grass on the perimeter of their yard. We froze. Our host explained there were embedded electrically charged cables along the edge of the compound, 3 feet wide, and the animals could not cross it without being severely jolted. Not to worry! and pass the hors'd oerves. Observing all the animals from the smallest antelope to the largest elephants in their natural habitat gave me the insight and understanding of the struggle for survival facing these unique and beautiful animals.

Everywhere we travelled, I locked in the impressions to be recalled and used in creating paintings on my return to my studio. I paint every day and travel with my portable studio, including lights.

The glorious peacocks were painted in 2002 -2003 at the urging of a dear friend and peacock lover in New York, Danny Potente. As a lifetime breeder, he provided plumes, photos and peacock feathers. Other exotic bird breeders from all over the world emailed me photos and material.

Most of my land and seascapes were commissions. The flowers and palms are decorative and group beautifully.


Animals-Bobcats,horses, caels,giraffes,zebras, elephants, kittens and puppiesBig Cats-cheetahs, leopards,lions,tigers, panther,cougarEaglesFlowers and decorative and tropical palmslandscapes, including desertscapespeacocksDecorative and tropical palmsSeascapes

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Wildlife Prints | California Wildlife Paintings | Leopard Art Prints