Dan Oakleaf is a nationally known award- winning artist and painting teacher from Colorado. With a background in commercial print and design, Dan developed his fine art painting skills beginning with studies at the Art Students League of Denver, culminating with a mentorship under acclaimed artist and teacher Kevin Weckbach.
Mainly working in oil, watercolor and pencil, Dan’s varied styles and exploration of painting techniques make each work a new visual discovery.
Dan has lived in Colorado his whole life, where he explores the back country whenever he can. In 1996, a chance encounter with a mischievous Pine Marten rekindled a schoolboy obsession with drawing. Making sketches of this curious little creature gave him a way to hold on to this fleeting moment. After a few years of honing his drawing skills mostly in his spare time, the decision was made to take the next step learning to paint.
After a short workshop with wildlife painter Terry Issac and another with nature artist Robert Bateman did little more than inspire. Dan realized he needed more intense study. A friend suggested the Art Students League of Denver. He began his studies with Boulder artist Molly Davis, two years with Molly and he was starting to see real improvement. At this time the same friend who suggested the league, introduced Dan to Denver artist Kevin Weckbach. They immediately hit it off, and Dan started the intense one- year comprehensive painting course Kevin offered. Through Kevin’s generous teaching style and interaction with other talented students, many of whom were professional artists, the skills all started coming together.
At the league Dan has also had instruction from Quang Ho, John Lencicki and Tony Ortega. Now Dan is painting full time, and still paints with Kevin a couple times a month. After exploring all manner of subject in the beginning of his painting studies, Dan is starting to again focus on the natural world he loves. Sometimes painting in the field, sometimes in his studio, and even painting in the back-room zoology department at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Although Dan believes the most important parts of a painting are the visual properties and technical aspects of a work, nature still provides the inspiration.
Represented at Arts at Denver: http://www.artsatdenver.com/artists/Oakleaf/Oakleaf_bio.htm
Six awards at the Glenwood Springs Fall Arts Festival from 2008 to 2010
Summer 2008 Artist in Residence at the Aspen guard station in the San Juan national forest.
Painting selected for “Reflections of the Natural World” art exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, on display thru Spring 2011;
Colorado 14ers and Beyond, an Artist’s Alpine Journey, Solo Show; January of 2014