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Donald (Don) Stouder


Born in New Jersey and a California “native” since 1985, I have been a writer and photographer since my early teens. My adult career would take me in a different direction; I was a paramedic and then ER/ICU/Trauma/Hospice Chaplain for nearly 50 years, and I believe that my work as an artist reflects this journey along the borders of life and death. If you are like me, your creative eye is drawn to natural beauty, bright colors, dramatic contrasts, and visual texture and tension. My love of color celebrates living life to its fullest, with contrasts that recognize the dramatic twists and turns that most of us experience as we move through the world. My work has been selected for past juried shows in San Diego, New York, and Rancho Mirage.

My need to photograph scenic landscapes and other images, especially here in the Desert Southwest, affirms the beauty and courage I have seen in the lives of my patients and their families, and is a tribute to them as well as a way to say “thank you” for allowing me to be a part of their journey. As I proudly leave that career behind in 2024, I look forward to devoting more of my time to my fine art photography. I live with my husband Tim and our two cats Elizabeth and Taylor in Cathedral City, California.


Being a photographer and abstract artist is how I interact with the natural world. I have stood and seen and watched things so stunningly beautiful that they made me cry. Those feelings come from a deep connection not just to life, but to something bigger than all of us. It is that raw, magical moment of universal connection that i seek to capture in my art and in my activism.

My perfect world? I want to create art that becomes a sanctuary where the spiritual, whatever that means to you, interacts with our shared humanity.