Show Preview | David Santillanes

Evergreen, CO
Evergreen Fine Art, September 6-28

David Santillanes, The View from Uncle Bud’s, oil, 9 x 12.

David Santillanes, The View from Uncle Bud’s, oil, 9 x 12.

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

Colorado artist David Santillanes’ work goes beyond average landscape painting to portray not only the natural beauty of the scene but also something deeper and less tangible: the atmosphere that envelops that scene. “My landscape work is known for its atmospheric qualities, specifically the ability to capture mood and mist,” Santillanes says. Indeed, his work is often described as having pensive, poetic, and even spiritual qualities—while at the same time calling attention to the distinct form, light, shadows, and other natural elements that make for a beautifully designed piece. “David’s paintings magnificently capture a true sense of distance, air, and light through the subtle use of paler and less intense color, as faraway objects fade into the background,” says Doug Kacena of Evergreen Fine Art.

This month the gallery presents 15 to 20 plein-air and studio works by Santillanes in a solo show aptly titled Capturing Atmosphere. The show opens with an artist’s reception and gallery talk from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 6, and runs through September 28. The works in the show represent the artist’s continuing exploration of atmosphere as well as some new avenues of exploration. “I’ve been working toward simpler and more abstract design while also painting scenes that, in a linear sense, are more complicated and require much more focus on the drawing aspect of painting,” he explains.

Yet Santillanes emphasizes that his goal has never been to create a literal representation of the scene he paints. Rather, he believes that a realistic rendering of the physical aspects of the landscape is a fundamental component in portraying the spiritual aspects of nature—which the plein-air artist and avid outdoorsman spends a good deal of time contemplating. “I’m constantly inspired and fulfilled by the landscape around me,” he says. “My work has always been about direct observation, taking time to notice beauty, and striving to convey the essence of a scene.”

Kacena believes the works in the show beautifully reflect the artist’s intimate knowledge of nature on both the physical and spiritual levels. “[Santillanes] is a master plein-air painter whose studio works gleam with brilliance,” he says. 
—Lindsay Mitchell

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

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