Show Preview | Arts at Denver: Temptations

Denver, CO
February 7-28

Lani Vlaanderen, Storm Mountain Sunrise, oil, 9 x 12.

Lani Vlaanderen, Storm Mountain Sunrise, oil, 9 x 12.

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

Paintings that come from the heart and reflect an artist’s passions, style, and interests make up Arts at Denver’s Valentine show, Temptations. It features work from close to three dozen gallery artists, including Beverly Endsley, Chris Sedgwick, Lani Vlaanderen, Teresa Vito, Carol Jenkins, E. Melinda Morrison, Michael DeVore, and Jeremiah J. White. Opening with an artists’ reception from 5 to 8 p.m. on February 7 and running through the end of the month, this annual show includes more than 200 paintings. “We always host it a week or so ahead of Valentine’s Day,” explains gallery owner and director Paula Colette Conley. “Art makes a great gift for Valentine’s Day.”

For collectors who adore color, Margaretta Caesar, Erin Hanson, and Jami Tobey have some tantalizing offerings. “I love color,” Hanson says. “It’s my passion.” And the vivid, brilliant color of her painting HOP VALLEY illustrates her expressive use of it. “The majority of my paintings reflect scenes from the late spring through the fall when the landscape is most colorful,” she says. “I look for dramatic landscapes and seek out dramatic lighting and then capture the emotions I feel through color.” Landscapes from Hanson’s home state of California and throughout the Southwest inspire the artist but are only the jumping-off point. “Most viewers don’t recognize the places I’m painting when they look at my work,” Hanson adds. “I look for hidden spots, tucked away from roads and tourist areas. I find a focal point in the landscape and center on it. And I adore painting trees.”

Margaretta Caesar, Sitting on Top of the World, oil, 24 x 36.

Margaretta Caesar, Sitting on Top of the World, oil, 24 x 36.

Vibrantly colorful trees are also a focal point for Caesar, who finds inspiration right outside the door of her Colorado home. SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD, for example, features a grouping of red and golden trees with Colorado’s rolling hills in the background. “I grew up in the western Pennsylvania woods where I 
developed a love for trees,” she says. “Cottonwoods are among my favorites. They have such majesty and stature.”

Old gnarly oak trees captivate Tobey, who takes hundreds of photos of them near her home in Southern California’s wine country. “Trees symbolize hope to me,” she explains. “Their roots dig deep into the earth. They renew themselves every year. When I paint them, I incorporate hearts and symbols in the roots, trunks, and branches. I like to use hopeful and healing colors, like orange.”

Conley is thrilled that Hanson, Caesar, and Tobey are part of Arts at Denver’s first show of the year and says, “with Margaretta, Jami, and Erin there is a wonderful feeling of immediacy in the textures of their work, a happy excitement in their use of color, and an obvious love for translating what they see into a perfect reflection of their imagination.” —Emily Van Cleve

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Featured in the February 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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