Dickinson Artists on Display Spotlight – Denice Peters: Interpretation of Light and Color

Dickinson Artists on Display Spotlight – Denice Peters: Interpretation of Light and Color

Posted on 07/15/2020 at 11:39 AM by The Newsroom

When you look at Denison-based artist Denice Peters’ pastel works, you can’t help but be drawn into the use of dramatic light and color found in her realistic style she calls “Blended Reality.”

Oftentimes, viewers mistake her Iowa-based landscapes and still life paintings as photographs, they are so true-to-life.

All of her paintings are done freehand, with a quick sketch of shapes, then layers are added, working from top to bottom and back to front, and dark to light. Her style brings to mind artists such as Anders Zorn, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Caravaggio and the Baroque and Chiaroscuro (contrasts of light and dark) styles of art.

“I gravitated towards this by accident or instinct, later to be told my work is reminiscent of such styles, to which I was honored and humbled,” Peters said. “Light and shadows and strong contrasts, are a big part of my work, with a bit of nostalgia thrown in. Beauty can be found all around us in everyday landscapes and the everyday objects we take for granted.”

As a full-time artist, Peters was raised on a farm in northwest Iowa near Le Mars, and over the years, she has honed her unique talent and realistic style. Her rural upbringing shines through in her landscapes that includes scenes from the Loess Hills, country roads, paths and highways, and various still life subjects that remind us of years past.

For the past 25 years, she has been focusing on pastels exclusively, as well as teaching workshops and classes to budding students.

“Pastel is my only medium because it provides that “hands on” feeling,” she said. “It’s very tactile. Getting right into the painting with my hands, makes it become part of me in many ways. There’s nothing else standing between me and the art. When you look at my work, see if it reminds you of a certain place, memory or person. I hope my work brings viewers beauty, joy, and a sense of peace.”

Peters has achieved the coveted Signature Member designation from the Mid America Pastel Society, and is a member of the Pastel Society of America, the Iowa Pastel Society and Iowa Artists. Among her many awards, she was awarded “Best in Show” and selected as a finalist in “the Artist Magazine’s” Annual International Competition in 2014.

Explore Her Work

Peters exhibits her work regionally and nationally in group and solo shows and galleries, and her work is collected by private and corporate collectors. To see more of her realistic works, you can visit her website, or find her paintings locally at Artisan Gallery 218 in West Des Moines.


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