Discover Denise Antaya, award-winning landscape artist
With a keen eye and attention to detail, Denise Antaya has the ability to capture
a moment in time, and to even transport one back to a quieter, simpler time. "My
work is an idealized way I want the world to be: quiet, peaceful, unhurried. It
reminds me of vacations and childhood times where days stretched on forever with
"The Hideaway" features a pond at the bottom of a waterfall discovered outside of
Huntsville, Ontario. The name was selected because it reminded Denise of exploring
secret places as a child, a magical hideaway where children can discover tadpoles
and retreat on hot summer days.
Wild, untamed wilderness and water are two of her favourite subjects. She is sad
to see these beautiful areas being developed, and unfortunately more and more of
this scenery is disappearing. "As a child you could go outside and play in fields
down the road. Now I see trees being pulled out and beautiful fields replaced by
houses." As a way to rebel against the fast-paced world we live in, she is trying
to capture and preserve the beauty of our natural landscapes.
Her oil painting "The Hideaway" received the Art Muse finalist award and was also
selected as a finalist in the 13th International Art Renewal Center (ARC) Salon
Competition, the largest and most prestigious competition in the western world for
realist artists. This summer "The Hideaway" will be on display at the Oil Painters
of America 27th Annual National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils in Colorado.
Her paintings have been well received. To date she has won 10 awards, and for the
second year in a row two of Denise's paintings are finalists in the ARC Salon. She
was thrilled with Art Muse judge Colin Page's comments on "The Hideaway": "Landscapes
are challenging to paint, and even more difficult when this level of detail is involved.
The artist does a great job of using a warm palette to unify a complicated and busy
scene. These warm colors give the image a glowing effect. I'm also enjoying the
variety of edges and looseness of touch, even at this level of rendering the brush
seems to play on the canvas."
This painting took approximately one month to paint with Denise diligently working
on it every day until she got it just right. She used a photo as reference for the
area but created the light from her imagination. "It was a spring day and quite
gloomy. I wanted to give the feeling of a cool spot by the pond that was a refuge
against the brutal heat of a summer day."
Painting in the great outdoors
Denise enjoys spending time in nature and is stopped by the simple beauty surrounding
her. "It is wonderful to paint along a stream listening to the water rushing by
and to feel the breeze."
By combining her passion for nature and painting, she is able to take a scene –
something that seems everyday or ordinary – and then apply her knowledge of light
and shadows with honed painting techniques to bring the landscape to life.
"Landscape, with its ever-changing subtleties and endless moods has always been
the subject that inspires me the most. Every hour, every day, and every season brings
its own personality and challenges to the landscape artist. If I can draw the viewer
in, make them feel the warmth of the sunshine, the coolness of the shadows, the
dancing light across the fields or the heaviness of the air with the impending storm,
then I have succeeded."
Painting is a passion
What started as a childhood hobby has turned into a lifelong passion.
As a child, Denise enjoyed watching artists at the park and told her mom "I can
do this." Her mom encouraged her to try and bought her the necessary art supplies
to experiment. She has been painting ever since. In fact, she had her first serious
art show at the age of 14 in her home town of Amherstburg, Ontario where she had
her own booth and sold her paintings.
Early on she realized how difficult it would be to make a living as an artist, so
she became a graphic designer and had a successful career in advertising. But Denise
always kept painting.
After her husband passed away she was miserable, lost and felt that all of the dreams
they had together were gone. There was one dream that still remained – her own personal
dream of attending art school. Denise did her research and found an art school in
Toronto. She decided to go for it. She sold her house and moved to Toronto; it was
a scary move, after all she had never even drove on a major highway in Toronto before.
But she was ready to pursue her passion and move a step closer to her dream. She
bought a condo and attended school at the Academy of Realist Art. Here she learned
to paint like the masters.
The school taught figurative work and still life, the same methods practiced by
the Old Masters, but it did not focus on landscapes. After three years Denise felt
she acquired the drawing and painting skills she required to further her education
in workshops, allowing her to concentrate on what she loves: landscapes. Denise
sold her place in Toronto and moved closer to home, to Port Stanley. She attended
landscape workshops by well-respected artists, but most importantly, she got out
into nature and painted.
Making an emotional connection
Her work resonates and connects with people. Denise has been humbled by comments
from those that have seen her work. One of her Instagram followers thanked her for
reminding him of summertime as a child. The work he was admiring was "Spring Thaw",
a farm painting with a barn that took him back to his childhood.
"When you look at a finished painting, even months later, it brings you right back
to that day when you were trying to put it on canvas. It's marvellous! I hope my
paintings evoke memories of childhood vacations long forgotten, and of simpler times
with family and friends, times of happiness, peace and tranquility."
About Denise Antaya
Denise Antaya is an award-winning landscape artist. What started as a hobby quickly
turned into a life-long passion. By combining her love of nature and painting, Denise
is able to take an everyday scene and apply her knowledge of light and shadows with
honed painting techniques to bring the landscape to life. She has the ability to
capture a moment, and to even transport one back to a quieter, simpler time.
Denise's work has been featured in over 40 exhibitions across Canada and the United
States. Her paintings have earned 10 awards, and for the second year in a row two
of Denise's paintings are finalists in the International Art Renewal Center (ARC)
Salon Competition, the most prestigious competition in the western world for realist
In 2017 she earned the Art Renewal Center's Associate Living Master designation.
This prestigious title shows Denise has demonstrated a level of experience in master
painting techniques and knowledge. Denise is also a member of the Salmagundi Club
in New York, one of the oldest art organizations in the United States. Her painting
"Catching the Light" will be in the Salmagundi Club's 2018 Centennial Exhibition
and Sale from March 12-23, 2018.
Denise paints out of her home studio in scenic Kingsville, Ontario. She is represented
by Westland Gallery in London, Ontario. Connect with Denise on social media and
get a behind the scene view of her work on Facebook and Instagram. View her full
gallery at DeniseAntaya.com.