Don Hazen was born in Tennessee in 1933. He enlisted in the army at 17 and served in Japan and Korea during the Korean War. After he was discharged from the army, he enrolled at East Tennessee University to study engineering. Confused and unhappy when he realized that he really did not want to spend his life building bridges, he left school and hitchhiked to Denver.
It was in Denver that Hazen met Dan Chapin, and it was Chapin who encouraged him to think seriously about art as his life work and gave him his first professional training. After a year, Hazen moved to Orlando, Florida, where he began studying at the Orlando Institute of Art under the direction of Ralph Bagley. After completing a two year course at the Institute, Hazen then studied for one year with portraitist Robert Anderson at his Altamonte Springs studio near Orlando.
In 1962, Hazen decided he needed to work on his own and so he traveled through Belgium, France, Spain, Italy and Greece. He settled in Aguas de Busot, a village near Alicante, Spain, and opened a studio on the coast of the Mediterranean. Between 1964 and 1975, Hazen and his family divided their time between Spain and the United States. Since 1976, the Hazens have made their home in Aguas de Busot permanent. In more recent years, though, Hazen has traveled a great deal, especially to France, where he is inspired by French landscapes and Van Gogh in particular.
Lately, Hazen's work has become more and more abstract, and he continues to apply his paint thickly and boldly with his palette knife. His colors are his strength and this combined with his strong composition and drawing abilities combine for powerful images.
From 1965 to the present, Hazen has exhibited in many one-man and group shows. Don Hazen's work also hangs in many private collections throughout Europe, the United States and South America. His work is on display in such permanent collections as the Museum of Science and Art in Daytona Beach, Florida, and the Museo Casa de la Cultura in Guadalajara, Mexico.