Featured Event | Holiday Miniatures Show

Denver, CO
Abend Gallery, December 5-31

Stephanie Hartshorn, Dry Cycle, oil, 8 x 10.

Stephanie Hartshorn, Dry Cycle, oil, 8 x 10.

This story was featured in the December 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art December 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

The holiday season has arrived, and there’s no better time to give the gift of art. For Denver-area residents and visitors, Abend Gallery offers a perfect opportunity to peruse and purchase small, reasonably priced works for friends and family. The gallery’s annual Holiday Miniatures Show opens with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, December 5. Viewers can expect to see about 500 works by more than 100 gallery and guest artists from across the country, including Rob Rey, Diane Ainsworth, Nancy Boren, John Roush, Jason Sacran, and William Scott Jennings. The works range in style and subject matter from Matthew Saba’s loose, painterly still lifes to Jeremy Manyik’s tighter, more realistic portraits.

Participating artist Stephanie Hartshorn offers viewers a moody slice of Denver’s city life in her miniature DRY CYCLE. Hartshorn says a laundromat that she often drives past inspired the street scene. “Every time I passed it, I would think, ‘That’s a painting,’” she recalls. “It’s nothing fancy, just a simple side glance along my drive. And therein lay its charm. I’m sure it’s been there for decades, with laundry powder on the floors, quarters stuck in the coin slots, and abandoned pieces of clothing. It’s a very Hopperesque scene. I’m sure I could paint it daily and never be disappointed. There’s always someone new on the bench.”

Elsa Sroka, Rosie, oil, 10 x 10.

Elsa Sroka, Rosie, oil, 10 x 10.

For participating artist Elsa Sroka, ordinary subject matter becomes significantly more intriguing when placed in an unusual context. Recently Sroka has found inspiration imagining cows in unconventional settings, a conscious departure from a more traditional take on classic western subject matter. In ROSIE, on view in the show, she creates an intimate portrait of a bovine’s head rather than portraying the cow grazing peacefully in an idyllic farm pasture, for example. “This piece, like all my cow portraits, is inspired by my love for modernism in art and wanting to portray the cow in an unconventional way,” she says. “It is important for me to infuse the cows with personality so the viewer can connect with them.”

Another artist featured in the show, David Grossmann, also has a modern take on representational painting. Grossmann is known for walking the line between realism and abstraction in his landscape works. YELLOW TREE WITH ORANGE HILLSIDE is an example of his trademark style. The painting, Grossmann says, is inspired by a solitary aspen tree with golden leaves that he spotted one fall day while painting in the foothills of Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains. “I painted quickly, spurred on by the cold air and by the light drizzle that steadily increased and turned into an afternoon shower,” Grossmann recalls. “The scene seemed to embody the feeling of autumn, and this painting was my attempt to capture that fleeting beauty of changing seasons. Falling leaves are a reminder to me of the beautiful brevity of life.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff

contact information

Featured in the December 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art December 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

Subscribe to Southwest Art magazine
Learn how to paint & how to draw with downloads, books, videos & more from North Light Shop
Sign up for your Southwest Art email newsletter & download a FREE ebook