Born in Santa Barbara, California, Don currently makes his home in West Linn, Oregon with his wife Kelly and two boys, Donnie and Colin. Don started drawing at an early age when he would get in trouble doodling on his desks and books in grade school. He went on to receive a degree in art from Oklahoma State University in 1986.
His inspiration and love of birds comes from his mother, Jeri McMahon. Jeri is a world-renowned bird watcher who has traveled extensively throughout the world.
With this passion for birds and an obsession for drawing, Don decided to put the two together. But, it wasn't until he was skiing on Mt. Hood with his family that Don noticed a little Black Capped Chickadee flitting around on his skis.
“It was perched perfectly on the tips of my skis with a view of the mountain behind. It was a classic post card picture. I couldn't get my camera out quick enough and of course it flew off. That's when the idea hit me of birds on things. And, when a friend told me about some Blackbirds sitting on his golf clubs, the ideas started flowing.”