Description Another in my series of overwintering monarch butterflies; this one was in Santa Cruz, CA rather than Mexico. I tried to capture the sunlight glowing through those papery-thin wings on which it had flown unknown hundreds of miles. 5x7 on Stonehenge paper.
Denise Howard, Santa Clara, CA Member Since February 2011 Artist Statement Education M.S. Computer and Information Science (computer graphics), Ohio State University, 1991 B.A. Art (studio arts), Truman State University 1982 B.S. Math/Computer Science, Truman State University, 1982
Awards Dixon Ticonderoga Award for Exceptional Merit, CPSA International Exhibition, 2013 Utrecht Art Supplies Award, California Fine Art, Sacramento, CA, 2013 2nd Place, Fur, Feathers and Fins, Pacific Art League, 2013 Highly Commended, UKCPS Open International Exhibition, 2012 Award of Excellence, California Fine Art, Sacramento, CA, 2012 2D Best in Show, Coastal Arts League Annual Juried Show, Half Moon Bay, CA, 2011 3rd Place, All-Student Art Show, Truman State University, 1982
Juried Exhibits UK Colored Pencil Society Open International Exhbition, England, 2011, 2012, 2013 Colored Pencil Society of America International Exhibition, 2011, 2012, 2013 UArt Open, Sacramento, CA, 2010, 2011, 2012 In the Garden, Pacific Art League, Palo Alto, CA, 2011 All-Student Art Show, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO, 1982
Memberships Colored Pencil Society of America (President of northern California chapter) UK Colored Pencil Society Coastal Arts League (Half Moon Bay, CA) Silicon Valley Open Studios
I grew up on a farm in rural Missouri surrounded by animals and nature. That connection is still with me. As soon as I could hold a pencil I started drawing, and my world revolved around my art until I entered college and realized that I'd also need to be able to make a living. Fortunately I also enjoyed math/computer science, so I earned both degrees concurrently. I worked for several Silicon Valley companies, was one of the developers of iPhoto at Apple and earned movie credits on "Antz" and "Shrek" at PDI/Dreamworks. But software engineering is all-consuming, so there was no time, or no energy, or both, for my art for 25+ years.
Finally the urge to return to my art became too strong to ignore, so in 2010 I took those steps and in 2011 I became devoted full-time to it.
I am inspired by combinations of resilience and beauty in nature and in people, and strive to engage the viewer in a longer, closer look to see these in my subjects. I work primarily in graphite and colored pencil; they offer the degree of control I require to pull the viewer in closer for details. I also draw portraits by commission; the challenge of creating a true likeness is never boring.