|2007-2010 The Julian Art Gallery All Rights Reserved. All artwork shown here is Protected Under Copyright Law.
The artist as a young girl, exploring her artistic future, was temporarily
sidetracked with delusions of being a dancer. It did not take long to
discover that her talents were in a different artistic arena, and that she
was better suited to fine arts both due to ability and the desire to remain
A native of San Diego, Denise has been interested in both art and
animals since childhood. Becoming a fine artist whose main subjects
are animals was a natural course to follow. Her focus for the past
several years has been cows because "Cows make me smile". In 2006
Denise received a commission for the California Milk Advisory Board to
paint their famous Happy Cows of the Real California Milk campaign.
This led to becoming The Official Happy Cow Artist, as seen on their
website along with the six paintings that resulted from photographs
Denise took at the filming of two of their television commercials in
Denise takes her own photographs as reference for her paintings, and
draws from the field experience while referencing the photo at the
easel. The creative process begins with framing the subject through
the camera lens, then it is translated through the artist's eyes in a
"painterly realism" style that satisfies a desire for a realistic, accurate
portrayal, with expressive brush strokes, resulting in contemporary
paintings of cows that have great presence in all decor from country to
Being an artist, I get asked a lot of questions:
"Did you always want to be an artist?", "Why Cows?", "Were you raised
on a farm?"
"How long did it take you to paint that?",
and my personal favorite, "Where do you find cows in San Diego?"
Well, my family on my mother's side is from Iowa, she was born there,
that means that farmer blood is coursing through my veins! The Artist
part comes from my Father's side, my Grandmother was an artist, my
Father has quite an artistic ability as well, so put the two sides together
and voila! You get ......Me. The Official "Happy Cow Artist!".
So pretty much, I did always want to be an artist. I love taking
photographs, which is an art in itself, and those photographs are
reference for my original oil paintings. Composition is my favorite part,
although being with the subjects themselves and taking photos that will
become oil paintings is pretty great too, trumped by the actual icing on
the cake of working with my favorite buttery oil paints, mixing pure
pigments into real life colors and intuitively brushing that color onto a
fresh white canvas, until it emerges as the soul of the individual I am
I am inspired by things I like to look at, so I take pictures of them.
I like cows, cows are cute, they make me smile when I am around them.
I love the calm, curious attitude. I can relate to it, I myself am calm and
curious. And guess what else, you can't have cowboys without cows, so
I started where one should start, with cows. In California, one of the
top two dairy states, I don't have any problem finding them to take
reference photos even within San Diego County.
I can't think of anything else I'd rather be doing.