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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.


Local Artist

Denise Otterson - Oils

"Conversations with Light"

"The real voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes,
but rather in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

Studio Discovery Tour artist Denise Otterson
Light on Golden Pond, 36" x 48"
The major influences on my painting have been Turner, Monet and Rothko -- that is, broadly, Impressionism and Abstraction. The major subject matter of my current work is the Northern California coast, where I have learned to be fascinated with the play of color and light on water.

Impressionism tries to convey the immediate experience of the painter, not what we are supposed to see, by convention, but what we actually see. Hence, vivid colors, flattened spaces, distorted shapes, and unfamiliar points of view. To the painters of the late nineteenth century, the canons of realistic painting had become tired and unexciting, and had to be overthrown.

Abstraction takes the Impressionist revolution even further, moving away from ordinary reality toward simple forms and pure perception. The paradox of this art is that the farther it moves from the comforting security of the "real," the more it may stimulate strong and lasting emotions. The large, vibrating, amorphous forms and colors of Rothko, Frankenthaler or Motherwell, take us into realms of primitive perception that mirror the deepest appetites of our souls.

2009 Galleries & Shows:

  • Fine Arts, Etc. Gallery, Sausalito
  • Elle-Lui, Santa Rosa, July-August, "Color and Light"
  • Intention Center, Gualala, June, "Dim Sum for the Soul"
  • The Sea Ranch Lodge, September, "Conversations with Light"
  • Thompson Hall, Sausalito, November, "Light on Water"

2010 Galleries & Shows:

  • Dolphin Gallery, Gualala
  • Mendocino County Arts Council, Ft. Bragg
  • John Hanes Gallery, Boonville
  • Blue Canoe Café, Anchor Bay, "Our Town"

Studio Discovery Tour artist Denise Otterson
Wine Dark Sea, 15" x 45"

Studio Discovery Tour artist Denise Otterson
Lightcatchers, 12" x 36"

Studio Discovery Tour artist Denise Otterson
August Light, 36" x 36"

Contact Information:

Denise Otterson
PO Box 1477
Gualala, CA 95445

Phone: 707-884-4900

© copyright 2010 - all rights to the images are retained by the artist