By Bonnie Gangelhoff
Although he lives in Colorado, David Santillanes derives much of his inspiration from the early California Impressionists. Like William Wendt and Edgar Payne, Santillanes says his visual mission is to capture fleeting light on the western landscape. Recently he won one of the top awards at the Estes Park Plein Air show in Colorado for his evocative depiction of a canyon at dawn. In September one of his small works portraying Canyon de Chelly in Arizona was on view at the annual Arts for the Parks show in Jackson, WY. Santillanes commenced his artistic career working exclusively in pencil; six years ago he began painting after graduating from college.
His favorite subject matter is mountain lakes, and he is fond of hiking into isolated locations and setting up his easel to render the watery scenes. “I want people to feel like they are able to walk right into one of my paintings,” he says. “I also like to bring these scenes to people who don’t get into these areas.” Santillanes is represented by Innovations Gallery, Fort Collins, CO.
Featured in “Artists to Watch” December 2003