Celebrating architecture and design
This story was featured in the September 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art September 2013 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
Stephanie Hartshorn recalls spending hours as young girl at her grandparents’ home perusing their various objects from around the world. Hartshorn would often hold items like steel drums, silver music boxes, and wood printing blocks in her hands and run her finger over the patinas. But mainly she would imagine the provenance of the item—a story or narrative about the object’s history.
That same fondness for objects and their histories carries over into her oil paintings today. When the Denver-area artist sees something she wants to paint, she may be initially attracted to its patterns, colors, structure, and form. But ultimately her work is about the stories she conjures up in her fertile imagination. “I am always looking at things and sensing their history,” Hartshorn says. “It’s almost as if I am appreciating it for all its years of service. I’m quietly celebrating its life.”
Although Hartshorn has a degree in architecture from the University of Colorado and practiced for 12 years, she always had a strong inclination toward creating artwork focused on her own visions. She enrolled in painting and drawing classes at the Denver Art Museum in 2006 and then at the Art Students League of Denver, where she studied with Kevin Weckbach and Mark Daily. Today she is a full-time artist.
As a former architect, Hartshorn says she is often drawn to intriguing designs. Neon motel signs, grain elevators, and vintage Schwinn bicycles capture her creative eye. “I consider my paint as a sculptor might her clay. Each brush stroke takes on a form of its own and, in the end, creates textures that explore and express an object or scene,” Hartshorn says. “Having practiced architecture, I continue to engage structure as an art form, capturing the rhythms and complex beauty in the lines and curves of both our man-made and natural worlds.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff
Featured in the September 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art September 2013 print issue or digital download
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