With both a father and a grandfather who worked as highway engineers, artist Stephanie Hartshorn had an almost mandatory detour through an engineering major, followed by a fulfilling decade in architecture before taking her first painting class. The first time Indian red mixed with Phthalo blue, it felt like a road home.
Largely self-taught, Stephanie has had the good fortune to study over the years with two of her heros in Denver. As her work continues to evolve, she emphasizes abstracting details to create a kinetic realism.
“I consider my paint as a sculptor might her clay. Each brush stroke takes on a form of its own and, in the end, creates textures that explore and express an object or scene.” Her panels rarely sit static in the easel; she turns them sideways or upside down throughout the process — sometimes even laying them flat on the floor—exploring ways to layer and move paint. “What I’m tapping into is a dynamic experience of weaving an image together, of building it.”
A fifth-generation Coloradan, her subjects fall into diverse camps. First, the West that she grew up around: an iconic landscape of barns, fields and crisscrossing power lines. Second, the West that grew up around Route 66. Living just a stone’s throw from Denver’s storied Colfax Avenue, Stephanie finds continual challenge in capturing and contextualizing the signs and sights from the bygone motor-hotel era.
Most recently, she has shown in the18th American Impressionist Society National Juried Exhibition in 2017; a featured artist at Door County Plein Air Festival 2017; received “Award of Excellence” from Plein Air Magazine at Laguna Plein Air Invitational 2017, Laguna, California; Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale at the National Western Stock Show 2018.
Representation: Abend Gallery-Denver, CO, Sorrel Sky Galleries-both Santa Fe, NM & Durango, CO, Gallery Mar-Park City, UT