"I create pastel paintings using strong light and shadow contrasts, color and detail to create beauty, a bit of nostalgia and a sense of peace. The effect that light has on nature and everyday objects is captivating and inspires me." The sunset’s golden hour electrifies the landscape. It shines through windows giving a luster and interesting silhouettes to objects indoors. It’s this spark of brightness shining against the darkness that excites the soul. Regardless of the subject, each painting is about this dramatic radiance evoking an emotional response using my own style I call ‘Blended Reality’. The elements of light, detail and feeling all come together in a realistic way to create serenity, appeal and sentimentality, through remembrances of favorite places, everyday items and antiques. This is done without any tools other than fingers and pastel sticks. Look for the detailed strokes and the dramatic glow to see if it brings to mind a place, feeling or memory. My goal is to invoke beauty and feeling when viewing my work. Life is too short to do otherwise." Losses Lead To A Dream! "Life has a way of dictating our lives despite our desires," says artist Denice Peters. Denice is an Iowa native and grew up on a farm near LeMars, IA, which gave her a deep nostalgic connection to the outdoors and rural life. After marrying her high school sweetheart, Denice spent the next several years raising her two children and taking care of her family, all of which didn’t leave much room for art. In the midst of the recession in 2010, Denice suffered a number of losses. In that year, Denice lost her mother, broke her foot at work and lost her job, and then also lost her father. Not being able to find a job, she realized that she still had a great desire to become an artist. It was a leap of faith, but she decided to take the plunge and follow her dream. After months of hardship and self-reflection, Denice started living her dream as a full time artist. Denice took it upon herself to hone her talent and develop her unique style. In pastel, Denice creates images in what she calls “Blended Reality." Drawn to dramatic light and color, Denice creates soft paintings of the land with just enough details. The Dutch Masters and the Hudson Valley Landscape artists are a major inspiration for her work. Denice has been doing pastel exclusively for over 25 years, and she works out of her studio in Denison where she also teaches workshops and classes. She now exhibits regionally and nationally in solo and group shows and galleries. Her work has been in public and private collections in Las Vegas, Kansas, Colorado, Oregon, Minneapolis and Cape Cod. Denice has received several awards for her work, including Best of Show and an Honorable Mention in The Artist's Magazine Annual International Competition in 2014. Denice is a Signature Member of the Mid America Pastel Society and a member of the Pastel Society of America, Pastel Society of the West Coast also Iowa Pastel Society.