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What a Wonderful World

October 12th, 2015

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to paint live in Downtown Summerlin for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Las Vegas Chapter.

Don Painting WaWW

I was painting on a sculpture created by Las Vegas artist Dorit Schwartz. I am one of ten artists painting casts of this sculpture for the 2015-16 installment of Celebration of Life. Our intention is to bring awareness to and donations towards the outstanding work St. Jude is doing in the fight against childhood cancer.

Here is a photo of the sculptor with this painter…

Dorit n Don-700px

St. Jude Artists Dorit Schwartz and Don Michael, Jr.

…and, below is a photo of fellow artist, Joseph Watson, striking a pose as he takes a pause from painting on his sculpture. I love what he has going on with his and can’t wait to see his finished piece!

Joseph Watson

St. Jude Artist Joseph Watson

This is the fifth large sculpture I have painted for St. Jude. The other four still reside in various locations around Las Vegas and continue to do their job of bringing awareness for St. Jude. Here is a montage of those previous four…

Previous Sculptures

Clockwise from top: Heartstrings, Brass Rings, Miracle, Hope

For this year’s installment I used the song What a Wonderful World, made famous by Louis Armstrong, and written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss, as my inspiration. Using the lyrics, here’s how it played out…

I see trees of green…

Trees of Green

…red roses, too,
I see them bloom, for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world…

Red Roses too

I see skies of blue, and clouds of white…

Skies of Blue

The bright blessed day…

Bright Blessed Day

…the dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world…

Dark Sacred Night

The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky,
Are also on the faces of people going by…


I see friends shaking hands, sayin’, “How do you do?”
They’re really sayin’, “I love you.”


I hear babies cryin’. I watch them grow.
They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know…


And I think to myself
What a wonderful world...

Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world.


The trumpet that you see in the bottom of the piece is my ‘tip of the hat’ to Mr. Armstrong.

As always, there are some other elements, some personal, that I do not explain. I love leaving things up to the viewer to determine.

Below is my Artist Statement for What a Wonderful World:

Life is in bloom. Days come and go. People, though different, are the same in their love for one another. Children grow and learn. “Yes, I think to myself, What a Wonderful World”.

 Let’s keep our children growing and learning as we support St. Jude in their mission to eradicate childhood cancer.

 My inspiration for this piece comes from the song “What a Wonderful World” recorded by Louis Armstrong and written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss.

Happy Creating!


Copyright © Don Michael, Jr.