After 35 years as a writer, Don rediscovered his earlier love of painting and added it to his calling as an author. Just as two 19th-century artists, Remington and Russell, captured the essence of Native American cultures replete with teepees, buffalo hunts and warfare, Don aspires to capture the mystique of typical New Guinea tribal people as he himself observed them at the end of a vanishing era, i.e., just prior to the onset of contact with the modern world.

The originals of most of the paintings listed below are 48" x 36" on canvas. To purchase one of the original paintings, please talk with Don directly at a meeting where he speaks OR e-mail him at

Each poster includes a white border and is suitable for framing at 12" x 18" (with border) or 11" x 14" (without border).

Posters reduced to greeting card size (approx. 5x7") are $19.95, plus shipping, per set of 10 cards. A set includes one of each of 10 designs, plus envelopes. The back of each card provides the same description as its corresponding wording on this site.

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01 Testing A New Drum 350x263.jpg Testing A New Drum
"Tribal life in New Guinea prior to outside contact:  TESTING A NEW DRUM" - captures the moment when a village artisan, after months spent hewing and shaping a drum with stone tools, at last caps his masterpiece with a lizard-skin drumhead and lets its thunder rumble. Admirers gather from smoke-venting, loaf-shaped houses which--aeried at treetop-level--provide safety of women and children should enemies attack. Hornbills soar raucously overhead. Egrets survey the scene from water's edge.
Mealtime Beckons To Home
"Tribal life in New Guinea prior to outside contact: MEALTIME BECKONS TO HOME"
Papuans in New Guinea's highlands trudge up slopes scalloped with gardens en route to fresh, hot meals of taro, yams, pork and perhaps bananas. New Guinea highlanders, wary of earthquakes and the landslides they unleash, prefer to reside on the crests of ridges, despite the added toil of lugging provisions and water uphill. Small circular houses conserve warmth on windy, rainy nights a mile or more above sea level. Careful scrutiny of this scene reveals four villages or sets of huts--two on each side of the gorge (one in the foreground and another behind it).
Discovering A Salt Cave
"Tribal life in New Guinea prior to outside contact:  DISCOVERING A SALT CAVE" depicts the elation Papuans feel when--crossing lofty ranges--they find a cave where salty water, dripping over ages of time, has left a pool of brine. Note: seams of gold ore around the cave mouth are ignored! For stone-agers, gold is only yellow rock. Salt is "white gold." May we as Christians fulfill our God-appointed role as "the salt of the earth."
Building a Bridge of Peace
"Tribal life in New Guinea prior to outside contact: BUILDING A BRIDGE OF PEACE" (formerly called "Spanning a Chasm in the Clouds") captures the suspenseful moment when two brave men risk life and limb to advance a `peace bridge' project by laying the first pole across the final gap above a raging torrent. Men in bright illumination on one side of the chasm reaching out to men in the enshadowed area on the other side suggests a spiritual analogy.
05 The Lore Sharer 350x263.jpg The Lore Sharer
"Tribal life in New Guinea prior to outside contact:  THE LORE SHARER" depicts a specialist in tribal legend keeping an audience spellbound under the Milky Way and the moon. Origin narratives and perhaps a tribal saga about a Great Flood may be his topic. Tree-houses (which give women and children relative safety should enemies attack) glow like jack-o'-lanterns as women tend to their fires. Moonlight glistens incongruously frostlike on ridge-caps. Canoes hollowed out of tree trunks lie tethered at river's edge. Giving such men the Gospel of Christ enables them to use their communication skills for God's glory.
Harvesting Sago
"Tribal Life in New Guinea: HARVESTING SAGO": Sago palms in lowland New Guinea tower like pillars in a natural temple. Huge fronds, like cathedral arches, overshadow Sawi people as they pry open a palm after felling it with stone axes. "Harvesting Sago" shows them separating sago from palm pulp by sluicing water through the pulp using the concave side of a palm frond as a ready-made `trough.' Nearby, two boys hunt frogs. A girl finds shrimp in a `basket trap.' A hunter brings home a golden possum as prey. A dog protects new sago loaves from village pigs. When distant tides reverse the river's flow, the gap in a nearby `dam' made of palm fronds welcomes fish upstream. When the tide ebbs, closing the gap with extra fronds leaves upstream fish floundering in shallow pools.
A New Valley Beckons
"Tribal Life in New Guinea: A NEW VALLEY BECKONS": Thousands of remote valleys in New Guinea--settled despite rugged barriers--attest explorers like those Don depicts in "A New Valley Beckons." Over the ages, nearly naked tribal men braved icy chill by scaling grim crags in search of new village sites in valleys beyond. Clouds already forming on treeless cliffs forebode obscuring mist and bone-chilling rain by nightfall. Grass skirts and leafy rain-capes are no shield from hypothermia; so a swift descent below tree-line, where firewood abounds and rocky overhangs provide shelter, is essential for pioneers' survival. Don depicts a part of New Guinea where lofty peaks fall precipitously to sea-level jungle with almost no foothills!
Sensing Danger
"Tribal Life in New Guinea: SENSING DANGER": Exploring a new area in New Guinea's vast lowland jungles entails risk. If another tribe occupies a given region, the slightest intrusion by strangers may provoke conflict. In "Sensing Danger," the paddles these befeathered warriors use, turned end-for-end, double as spears. Plus! The inner hull of each craft is lined with bows, arrows and war shields. These explorers, aware that something has spooked that flight of squawking parrots overhead, decide to hold their war shields at the ready. Does an ambush await them around the next bend? Crushed seashells and red soil provide color for the shields.
The Pleader
"Tribal Life in New Guinea: THE PLEADER": A would-be peacemaker leaps to a midstream boulder to plead for peace as a roar of raging rivers merges with an uproar of enraged New Guinea highland clans. Will furious combatants heed the pleader? Let one arrow fly and hundreds fill the air. Blood will flow. Lives may be lost. Above a slope laden with sweet potato plots, women, children and other anxious non-combatants await the outcome.
"Tribal Life in New Guinea: MIGRATION": Among hunter-gatherer cultures of lowland Papua, communities relocate as one body, rather than family by family. Abandoning old longhouses--where roofs leak, floors sag, firewood is scarce and the jungle has been foraged bare--in favor of a new village surrounded by abundance makes for a celebratory "MIGRATION"! Paddle blades rattle on the hulls of freshly-hued dugouts. Paddlers shout. Paddle tips adorned with cockatoo feathers scissor overhead. Sleek canoes cleave water so blackened with algae it barely reflects. Women and children huddle among rolled sleeping mats. Weapons and war shields lie near at hand. Miles ahead, a new village awaits eager occupants!
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