"This painting was inspired by a snowy owl that was seen near Denver. Photographer friends captured my interest in these owls with their images. As I studied the owl I was moved by their solitary nature and beautiful, silent flight. I am not afraid of owls, because to me they represent wisdom and a good omen. They are solitary like the artist often is."
- Denali Brooke
Prints are produced on demand on stretched canvas, acrylic plexi, or giclee fine art paper in a variety of sizes here in the United States.
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“The motivation to make art has never left me. When all other vocations became impossible to sustain, I kept drawing and painting.”
Whether through realism, impressionism or abstraction, Denali Brooke’s subject matter is represented with energetic mark-making, bold strokes, and broken color. “I had an interest earlier in my life to work in wildlife preservation, but that trajectory changed when I was injured in a car accident. Today I touch into my appreciation of the natural world by representing mostly nature through my art.”
In 1986, a catastrophic car accident, including the loss of a friend, changed Denali’s life entirely, but her art remained a constant. “My art was a through-line when everything else — job, finances, health, and living situation — kept changing.”
Although she finished a degree in graphic design a year following the accident, her employment opportunities over the next 35 years were thwarted and paused by nearly 20 corrective surgeries. Her most recent health changes involve her vestibular system. She carefully times her easel sessions to account for her mobility limitations and loss of balance. However, Denali’s reliance on good drawing skills and her style of quickly and gesturally rendering her subjects is key to her success. Her most recent work involves the use of various tools of printmakers, ceramicists and sculptors. “I enjoy the feel of carving out texture and shapes in mixed media as if I am sculpting, although within the limits of two dimensions.” Her work continues to evolve, becoming more abstract over time, and conveys the essence of her subjects in simple shapes and limited palettes.
Denali spent most of her life in the Southwest, but now lives in Northwest Oregon near Portland. As her health allows, she paints en plein air to spend more time in nature where artists experience the joy of unpredictable weather patterns and visitations by wildlife. “Being out in the elements where the light and landscape is constantly changing is one of my most favorite activities. Whether rainy, cold, windy, or too hot, plein air painting builds character and helps one see in ways that makes one grow as an artist.”
Although she is not currently teaching classes, she continues to find a way to connect with other artists through her facilitation of online work sessions and critiques. She has been recognized internationally for her pastel paintings, winning awards at the International Association of Pastel Society Exhibitions in 2019 and 2022.
“Although debilitating, the silver lining to living with physical changes and chronic pain is that it connects me with others in a way that feels much more meaningful to me. I now know that we all have some form of pain - no one is immune. How we find meaning in our lives, despite this fact, is what matters most.”
ArtLifting champions artists impacted by disabilities and housing insecurity by connecting their art with socially-conscious customers . Learn more here.