My name is Christopher Donham (that’s me pictured to the right). I am the owner and sole artist for Engon Art Works.

Artist Statement

My paintings are based on three competing ideas: capturing a scene, growing as an artist, and telling a story. Each scene represents a new challenge in capturing the essence of a setting: drawing the viewer to the people, places, or areas that are key to the message that I want to convey. Each painting is a learning experience for me as an artist: exploring new painting techniques, materials, and tools. Each artwork offers the viewer elements of a story. Viewers may think of themselves as part of the scene, or imagining what might have happened before or what is to come. What is the story that you see?


I began my career as an engineer. In 1995, I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a PhD in Electrical Engineering. My thesis involved the design of an analog neural network using full-custom VLSI. I used the neural network to model aspects of the auditory cortex for speech recognition.

After Penn, I spent the next 12 years working for graphics companies in Silicon Valley. Along the way, I built midrange graphics cards for SGI, worked at an amazing startup company called Gigapixel, and spent 5 years designing products for nVidia. Some of the patents I’ve been a part of include: 6,646,648, 6,980,209, 7,245,302, 7,355,603, 7,417,637, 7,565,490, 7,589,741, 7,697,009, 7,692,654, 7,705,846, 7,808,512, 7,876,332, 7,911,470, 7,996,622, 8,004,522, 8,040,357, 8,098,257, 8,325,203, 8,547,395, and 8,860,722.

In 2007, I left nVidia to pursue a career in teaching. My teaching credential work was done at San Francisco State University, with my student teaching taking place at Lowell High School. In the Spring of 2009, I received my teaching certification in Advanced Mathematics. After teaching in high school for several years, I moved on to community college where I teach or have taught geometry, statistics, calculus, college algebra, and trigonometry.

When I quit engineering, I also decided to pursue a lingering passion: art. I took classes at the Academy of Art in San Francisco where I got the chance to study with Henry Yan. I later moved to Baltimore where I’ve been studying various forms of drawing and painting including landscapes, figures, and still life with both charcoal and oils.

Company Name

The name “Engon” comes from the names computer scientists use to describe shapes. 4 sides is a square. 5 sides is a pentagon. 9 sides is a nonagon. Eventually, we run out of prefixes and call a figure with many sides (or an unknown number of sides) an “n-gon” which I’ve spelled out as E-N-G-O-N. I believe that art inspires many experiences and interpretations; the name of my art business reflects the multi-faceted nature of art.