There exists a certain kind of artist to whom a golf course represents ideal subject matter. Donald Keller is such an artist.
“I regard golf courses as an opportunity to apply my disciplined ‘old-masters’ approach to illustrating,” Keller says.
Medical Illustration: A Specialty
Golf-course illustration is just one segment of Keller’s successful career in illustration. He earned a B.S. degree from the University of North Dakota in 1970, followed by a Masters-equivalent degree in the field of medical surgical illustration in 1975 from The Ohio State University. Since then, Keller’s medical-surgical illustrations have been published in numerous ophthalmic medical books and journals throughout the world. The hallmark of his work is the seemingly infinite detail which, when combined with his astute ability to visualize and graphically depict complex ideas, results in highly informative and imaginative illustration and compositions.
Golf-Course Illustration: Artful Blend of Tradition and Technology
For over ten years, Keller also has been extending his artful talent to the golf-course design work of Dana Fry and Jason Straka. Keller is responsible for Fry/Straka’s high-end graphic illustrations, including plan views, perspectives and 3D-animated video. Additionally, he has pioneered a ‘slider’ interactive before-and-after computer-graphic simulation program. He excels in these efforts to a degree that is noticed and appreciated by many.
“Don’s extraordinary work is enjoyed by many of our clients throughout the world,” says Straka. “His illustration helps separate the graphic quality of our work and the effectiveness with which we communicate our designs to our clients.”
Honors and Awards
At the annual Association of Medical Illustration Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1978, Keller received the prestigious best-of-show Charlotte Holt Award. That same year he won the first-place award for a three-dimensional anatomical modeling competition.
While the technical skill and artistry involved in Keller’s work are challenging and rare, Keller feels fortunate to have found the perfect niche for his talent.
“If all people would enjoy their work as much as I do,” Keller says, “we would have fewer problems in the world than we do today.”
Beyond the Art
While Keller loves to play golf, more than a few of his golfing friends have suggested he take up bocce ball instead. Aside from golf, he enjoys singing in a barbershop chorus, as well as everything to do with radio-controlled airplanes – “building, flying and even crashing them,” Keller says.