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Don Balke Art

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Don Balke has produced many pieces of art. The notable among them include Animals of the 50 States, Wildlife of the 50 States, Trees of the 50 States, Songbirds of the 50 States, and Birds and Flowers of Canada. He’s best known for his watercolor scenic oil paintings and wildlife art, and has won many awards for his work as an illustrator and art director. Balke travels to Australia, Africa, the Caribbean, Ireland, and across the 50 United States for research and inspiration. Balke served in the United States Army and after the service, he married Schernick Barbara and they moved to Chicago. His wife does much of the photography on research trips and does extensive research on the animals and their habitats in preparation for the paintings. He’s an American artist, who grew up in northern Wisconsin on a small farm. His upbringing instilled in him a love of wildlife and nature. Balke was the youngest of 10 children, and he grew in a family that was completely dependent on the land; they used crosscut saws for logging; tapped trees to make maple syrup; and horses for their farm work. They also raised crops as a source of income and for themselves. While in Chicago he enrolled in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (formerly, the Academy of Fine Arts) where he specialized in still-life paintings. His art is in many collections and art stores around the world. Many nature and animal lovers have the framed Don Balke art hanging on their walls.
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