Born and raised in Tulsa, Mikel Donahue was taught about life on the ranch by his paternal grandfather who raised cattle in northcentral Oklahoma. It was Mikel’s maternal grandfather who exposed him to western art at an early age with memorable trips to Tulsa’s Gilcrease Museum and what was then the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Fascinated by both life on the ranch and the iconic art of masters such as Charlie Russsell and Frederic Remington, Mikel has become in his adult life a perfect amalgam of his childhood influences with a life of breeding quarter horses with his wife Christine on their property outside Broken Arrow, and an award-winning art career.
Mikel is best known for his impeccable depictions of cowboy life. His drawings and paintings portray ranch life during the daily rituals of sun-up to sun-down work. What may seem like ordinary chores are captured and translated into moments of meaning and reflection through Mikel’s artistic style.
As described in Southwest Art magazine, “A pensive, almost dream-like sheen emanates from most of Donahue’s canvases, a result of his informed approach toward his subject matter…of composition and understanding of the principle of design and form.” His extensive knowledge of the subject matter is supplemented with time spent on ranches, hundreds of photographs, and numerous sketches and field notes to remind him of certain moments.
In May of 2017, Mikel was inducted as a member of the Will Rogers High School Hall of Fame, an honor that includes musicians Leon Russell, David Gates and Elvin Bishop; designers Paul Davis and Joe Johnston, and other national and world-renowned notables. Mikel’s numerous awards include: “John Steven Jones Purchase Award” from the Bosque Art Classic, the Academy of Western Artists “Will Rogers Award” for “Artist of the Year,” the prestigious “Premier Platinum Award” and the “William E. Weiss Purchase Award” at the Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale. He has shown in the Prix de West at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, and his work exhibits in many museums, galleries and private collections throughout the country. He has been featured in numerous prestigious publications including: Art of the West, American Art Collector, Southwest Art, Western Horseman, American Cowboy, America’s Horse, and The American Quarter Horse Racing Journal.
CAA Member since 2016
Education: University of Tulsa