As a boy Don Weller drew horses and cowboys when he wasn’t exploring with his horse. He rode along the Palouse River or over the rolling hills that surrounded his childhood home near Pullman, Washington. He roped calves in high school rodeos and sold some cartoons to Western Horseman magazine. His passions were horses and art. In college he continued to rope in the college and amateur rodeos in eastern Washington and Oregon, and Northern Idaho.
Graduating from Washington State University with a degree in Fine Art, he sold his horses and moved to Los Angeles where he spent decades doing graphic design and illustration. His work appeared on record covers, posters, in advertisements, and on hundreds of magazine pages. He did covers for Time Magazine, TV Guide, and illustrated stories in Sports Illustrated, Boys’ Life, Pro, Readers’ Digest and many others. He did posters for the Hollywood Bowl, The National Football League, The National Cutting Horse Association, The Rose Bowl, and the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. He illustrated three children’s books and published a coffee table book about cutting horses, Pride in the Dust, which he illustrated and photographed. He created five stamps for the United States Post Office.
Along with doing illustration and graphic design, he taught school, part-time, three years at UCLA, where he met his wife Cha Cha, and eleven years at the Art Center School in Pasadena.
Finally Don realized he had seen all the cement and palm trees he could stand. Cha Cha and Don moved to Utah, near the skiing at Park City. A book project for the National Cutting Horse Association introduced him to a neighbor who trained cutting horses. The west of his childhood came flooding back. It was still there, just as he’d left it. The cutting horse book project took him to Texas and Arizona, California and Montana. He was in arenas and on ranches. He began to wonder what it would be like to ride those cutting horses. It wasn’t long before he found out. And he’s been addicted ever since.
Now Cha Cha and Don Weller live in rural Oakley, Utah, with Buster the border collie, two cats, and five horses who are bred to cut. While his wife quilts, Don creates western paintings and rides and competes on the cutting horses. In the summers the menagerie grows to include cattle, for practice, and for training younger horses.
In the winters, the car carries skis on the roof rack.