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Attic artist

World War II is a favorite subject when this employee puts brush to canvas

A man wearing a ball cap stands next to paintings of a World War Two bomber and an airman.
Don Doheny, an Easton, MD, distribution operations manager, stands near some of his artwork.

My name is Don Doheny and I’m a distribution operations manager at the Eastern Shore Processing and Distribution Center in Easton, MD.

I started my career with USPS in 1996. I worked as a supervisor in Post Offices throughout Pennsylvania, Maine and Delaware while balancing a yearning to be an artist.

I began by taking art classes at a community college. It took me some time but eventually I earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine art.

When I’m not commuting  and working, I squeeze in time for my latest oil painting. It relaxes me and I go into a whole different world in my attic studio at home in Bridgeville, DE.

I have been particularly interested in World War II since I was 5 years old. I pay tribute through my paintings to the men and women who served. My “Sounds of Silence” painting depicts “sweating out the mission” — a term for ground crews waiting to see how many aircraft would make it back.

Another one of my works is a master study of an original work by artist Jack Leynnwood from the 1960s. I have always loved doing master studies to learn how a work was done and to learn from the artist who did it.  

I also specialize in portraitures. I’m a fan of USPS stamp artist Michael J. Deas. I enjoyed watching a recent story about him on “CBS Sunday Morning.” I’m inspired by his work, particularly the recent Ruth Bader Ginsburg stamp.

The ideas for my paintings often start as a doodle. I then research and find models and reference photos to work off to create the finer details in paint. I typically work on a large stretched canvas that measures over 3 feet by 5 feet, but if it’s a flat surface, I’ll paint it. 

My wife, children and granddaughter are all supportive of my work. I often paint with my cat on my lap and my dog at my side. They serve as an inspiration for the pet portraits I also paint.

I display my latest works on my two Instagram accounts: djdohenyfineart and yourpetportriats.

“Off the Clock,” a column on Postal Service employees and their after-hours pursuits, appears regularly in Link.