When studying at the Pratt Institute, David Witbeck would often leave his morning painting classes to spend time at the Fulton Fish Market. He enjoyed taking photographs of fishing boats over the cobbled streets. In 1980, Witbeck transferred to the Rhode Island School of Design where he graduated from. Afterwards, he was a freelance photographer for twenty-five years.
In 1991, Witbeck and his wife met the painter Leo Brooks, who was working on Mohegan Island. Witbeck was deeply inspired by his childlike drawings, bold colors and complete disregard for objective reality. Suddenly the need to paint overwhelmed Witbeck and he enrolled in a continuing education painting class at RISD.
The greatest joy Witbeck experiences as a painter is freedom from reality. While subject matter is important, as an artist, he enjoys the ability to manipulate the image. Witbeck strives to engage the viewer in an amusing way with his whimsical paintings.