Don Hatfield, who lives in Napa, California, first became involved in art while a graduate student in divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, in the late 1960′s and early 70′s.
Charles Cross, the portrait painter, had a studio nearby, and Hatfield would often go to him for critiques of his work. Eventually, over many games of chess and bottles of wine, a strong friendship developed between the two men. “He was like a surrogate father,” Hatfield says of Cross. Hatfield spent considerable time in the studio, watching Cross work, asking questions about art, but when Cross invited him into an art class, he resisted, saying “I didn’t even know the primary colors.”
Hatfield’s sole previous encounter with art happened in the eighth grade: a teacher held up a picture of a dog he’d drawn and announced to the class “This is NOT what I wanted.”