About the Artist


DENISE HENLEY

I was born in British Guiana, South America under British rule. My country would later become independent and be renamed Guyana. It is the only English speaking country in all of South America. From a very young age, I knew that I wanted to be an artist and devoted every spare moment to the pure enjoyment of drawing and creating art. Naturally, my art caught the attention of many adults who would provide numerous opportunities for me to indulge in my obsession. I would later graduate from Southeastern Louisiana University in the United States with a B.A in Visual Arts but pursuing an art career would take back seat to stints of other occupations: Teaching, Banking, Managing a Ski Lodge, Property Management and the occasional Book-Keeping and Retail. It was the year of 1998 that I would finally make the decision to pursue an art career and I have been painting professionally ever since.
I am fortunate to have won several awards, been invited to teach, do demonstrations and give private lessons. My art hang in homes throughout the United States and abroad.

I live in the “picture perfect” Rocky Mountains of Colorado with my husband and two daughters – an artist dream world – inspiration is everywhere, one needs only to see. While I am not a landscape artist, I use the beauty of nature to stimulate my creativity, allowing me to see the human form in all its natural glory, something more than just anatomy.

I work mainly in three mediums: oil, pastel and acrylic. There are two forms of art, Realism and Abstraction with realism having the broader spectrum. Impressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, Pointillism, Expressionism etc. are all forms of Realism, they represent or are based on some form of reality – Abstraction on the other hand, does not and is not intended to represent any recognizable form of reality. My style is realism - the exact "ism" is yet to be decided. Lately, I've been striving for a more-painterly look by letting go of my grip on the accuracy of representation, honoring instead, the integrity of the paint and the brush stroke. To this end, I will often reach for a painting knife (palette knife) instead of a paintbrush. It is my intention to paint as simply as possible, rendering only that which is essential to my message and omitting unnecessary marks that only serve to complicate and make for a banal work of art.

For me, the human figure is the most beautiful and perhaps the most difficult of subject matters but one I am most intrigued by.

“Too much reality in a picture is always a disappointment to the imaginative soul. We love suggestion and not hard facts.”
(John F. Carlson)

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