Denver area artist Dene Harlow has been painting for more than 5 decades. Beginning as a young boy, first with water colors, then oils, and finally acrylics, his medium of choice today. Although Dene has painted in many different styles, for the past 15 years his focus has been mountain landscapes. "I try to bring a photographic realism to my paintings. I want the viewer to feel like they are there, actually part of the scene." While primarily self taught, Dene has been influenced by other artists, including Bob Ross, Salvador Dali and others. His work is currently in both private and commercial collections, as well as his home studio.
"I try to bring a photographic realism to my paintings. I want the viewer to feel like they are there, actually part of the scene."
Dene was born in Glenwood Springs on May 20th, 1949 and raised in Rifle, Colorado. He has always loved the Colorado mountains. His first lessons were in watercolor, taught by a local art teacher. The first watercolors were of scenery, mostly around the Rifle area. During the next several decades, Dene dabbled in abstract styles, surrealism, as well as exploring other mediums, including macrame. Several of his macrame pieces can be found today at Avogadro's Number, a restaurant in Ft. Collins, some 40 years after they were first installed. This creative period eventually transformed into a more realistic approach, which is demonstrated in his current work, painting the Rocky Mountains one peak at a time.
After graduating high school in 1967, Dene spent a year exploring his options before serving in the Navy for several years. After the Navy, he decided on a new and different direction in life, moving to Philadelphia, where he was exposed to and inspired by a variety
artists in the Philadelphia area. However, around 1974 he made a decision to return to the Rockies, settling in Fort Collins. From the late 70's through the mid 90's, surrealism was his preferred style. However, starting in 2000, Dene began creating photographically realistic paintings, depicting mountain scenes, including Denali (aka Mt. McKinley), as well as the mountains all around us right here in Colorado.
"Reflecting Giants, Mt. McKinley and Company" (24 X 48") was painted after a trip to Alaska. "I like to paint my travels. I always view things from a painter's perspective, so when I photograph a scene in nature, my thoughts are actually what will this scene look like on canvas". The same is true for "Day At Peggy's Cove" (20 X 60"), created after a trip to Nova Scotia. "Grand Mesa" (15 X 45") is based on a scene I remember seeing as a child.
Inspiration is all around us
"Self Portrait" 16"x20", acrylic