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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  Arts And Entertainment "The Hideaway" Captures A Moment In Time

Joanna Williams
The Hideaway Captures A Moment In Time
"The Hideaway" by Denise Antaya oil on panel, 24x24

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 no worries."

"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 artists.

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.

Last Updated: Saturday, 03 March 2018 16:15:09 PM EST

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