David SantillanesI began painting after graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in Graphic Design. But it wasn’t until my first outdoor painting excursions that I really began to develop as a painter where direct observation allowed for a more precise rendering of color, light and atmosphere. And although studying the physical aspects of nature is important, it isn’t the only reason I paint outdoors - the sensory experience of being there is equally important. There’s no better way to get to really know a place than to sit for a couple of hours and contemplate it while painting. This intense observation brings a spiritual intimacy with the scene that can’t be achieved in mere passing and allows me to “speak” with complete sincerity in each painting.
My passion for painting has led to a number of recent awards including The Gold Metal at the 2016 Oil Painters of America Salon Show, First Place in the Landscape Category at the 12th annual International ARC Salon, the William Schultz Memorial Award in Oils at the 18th National American Impressionist Society Show and the Landscape Award of Excellence at the 25th National Oil Painters of America Show. He has also won numerous awards for his plein air work and has been featured in both Plein Air and Southwest Art Magazine.