D. H. McQuitty started drawing and painting at the age of four, and by the time he was nine he was selling paintings to local residents of the rural community where he grew up in Central Missouri. After attending Coal elementary school, which consisted of eight grades in one room, he attended Clinton, Missouri, Junior and Senior High School. Again, he excelled in art, constantly drawing and sketching.

McQuitty supported himself through college as a lead singer in a regional band. He received his degree in commercial art. Throughout his college years McQuitty's work was very much realistic and objective. Still, he began to develop a unique style of line work that gave his pieces distinctive rhythms and emotions.

During his senior year of college McQuitty discovered Jackson Pollock and was profoundly, emotionally affected by his paintings. It was at this time that he started to recognize signs of what was later diagnosed as severe clinical depression. In his own words he says, "art was literally killing me, I became obsessed with projects and worked for hours until I reached the best that I could do, and it never seemed good enough to me. Although my grades were very good and reviews positive, I decided to give up art at age 21. I weighed 125 pounds and was emotionally falling apart.” At that point he entered graduate school and received a Masters in Business Administration.

After 35 years of entrepreneurial development, and turning out what he calls the infamous "cocktail napkin" series, he felt the urge to return to painting. When he took a few new pieces to be framed, gallery owner Peter McCoy immediately recognized McQuitty's work as cutting edge and insisted on hanging pieces in his Central Park Gallery. McCoy says, "McQuitty's colorful and figurative work is laced with deep emotion, and insight. His paintings aren't static, but stories that you can look at for hours with great pleasure. McQuitty is a very poignant painter. " McQuitty is a voracious reader whose interests extend to chemistry, physics, biology, psychology, history, politics, Eastern philosophy, biographies and more.