Donald Mackay Houstoun was born in Stevenson, Ontario in 1916. He never stayed in one place for long, throughout his life he lived in Toronto, Elora, Georgetown, Markham, Stouffville and Brampton, Ontario. He studied at The Western Technical School, in Toronto under L.A.C. Panton.
Throughout his career Houstoun explored painting, illustration, design, and mural painting. He worked in oil, lucite, acrylics, collage, pencil, mixed mediums and watercolor. It is no surprise that Houstoun's subjects varied as well, from landscapes, to still life and abstracts. He almost always used vibrant and bright colors. He often painted using a palette knife.
Beginning in 1937 Houstoun was Art Director and partner in the firm of Art and Design Studios Ltd., in Toronto.
Houston was a member of The Royal Canadian Academy, The Canadian National Society of Painters in Watercolour, Ontario Society of Artists, and The Canadian Group of Painters.
His work is part of the collections at The National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, Sarnia Art Gallery, London Regional Art Gallery, Mississauga Public Library, Princess Margaret Lodge, among others. His work is also part of many corporate collections.
Houstoun died in 2004.