If there is one word to describe artist, storyteller, musician, husband and father Don Nedobeck, it would be expressionist. To listen to his name is to hear the sounds of basic keys on a clarinet, Ne-do-beck, and with practice it becomes more fluid. Talking with Nedobeck is like sitting in your most comfortable old worn out chair with a fat, furry feline nestled upon your chest. Besides his greatest talent of putting people at ease, he’s a man capable of anything. You see, ever since Nedobeck was a boy, he was encouraged by his parents, a Russian father, also a fine artist, and a Polish mother whose landscaped garden surpassed Boerner’s Botanical’s gardens, to use two very important gifts: his imagination and his creativity. It was his creativity that allowed him to draw life from a whimsical point of view during his “occupational development” period as Good Humor man, stock boy, grain inspector and meter reader for the gas company.
Don Heads for Dixieland
Before Nedobeck pursued his dream as a Dixieland musician, he married Mary Elizabeth and together they had three children: Melissa, Patrick and Mary Beth. Over the next several years, Nedobeck supported his family traveling around the country playing Dixieland jazz with “Old Sugar Blues,” Clyde McCoy. During a two week engagament at The Biltmore Hotel in West Palm Beach, Nedobeck found himself faced with a new challenge and another reason to use his imagination. The hotel went out of business and he was out of a job. Being a painter all of his life, Nedobeck turned to his love and painting acrylics and met Tanya Brooks, a gallery owner and an international distributor. She represented him in his first one-man show, and soon after Nedobeck was traveling on the road, only this time selling his art work.
Art On His Terms
“You have to do it this way — your way is wrong!” This is what teachers at the Milwaukee College told him, according to Patrick, his son and biggest fan, who works closely with Nedobeck. “Dad draws from the soul,” he continues, “and that’s where true art comes from.” It is through his true art that he has made a living for over 30 years. In addition to his painting, Nedobeck has authored numerous books from his personal observations under “New Wrinkle Press,” his publishing company. To date, there are over 800,000 Nedobeck books in print, including “No Known English Translation” and “Nedobeck’s Alphabet Book”. New Wrinkle Press also produces Nedobeck’s note cards, calendars and prints. His signed prints have been collected by nearly 30,000 people world wide, and have universal appeal — they conjure up laughter and smiles at first glance.
When Nedobeck’s not using his hands to create art or music, he has his hands in the soil — his real form of meditation. Perhaps that’s where Don Nedobeck’s imagination is planted, tilled, shaped and continues to grow, producing art for the child in all of us.
Article by Carmen Alicia Marguia: