Artist Interview with Denice Peters

Meet Denice Peters!

Denice Peters is an Iowa native and was born and raised in LeMars, IA.  Life pulled her in other directions for a time, but came to realize life is too short not to follow her dreams. So, she took the plunge to be a full time artist.  Mostly a self taught artist, she has taken the time to hone her own vision and technique.  Her vision is clear in her vivid realistic depictions of our rural scenes and landscape.  She exhibits nationally and her work has won many awards.

Denice says, “I’ve found that pastels give me that “hands on” aspect of painting that I love so much!  I love to “get right in there” and I become part of each painting in many ways. I love pastels so much that they are all I use now.  We overlook the things we see every day. God gave us many beautiful things. The beauty that surrounds us here in the Midwest is what I strive to capture before it disappears.”

She’s a member of the Pastel Society of America, Iowa Artist association and Iowa Pastel Society.  Her work can be seen at Clear Lake Art Center, Clear Lake, IA; Corning Center for Art, Corning, IA; and Xanadu Online Gallery, Scottsbluff, AZ.  She offers workshops and classes, and her website address is    
I have been an artist my whole life.  Drawing and painting has always been a huge part of me.  Life tries to pull you away from your dreams at times.  But I took the plunge to be a full time professional artist about 4 years ago.  It was a bad year for me, I lost both parents 7 months apart and in between them I lost my job.  I just came to realize that life is too short NOT to follow your dreams.  
I am currently working on rural landscapes in pastel.  For almost 20 Years, pastels are all I that I use.  I had a happy incident at an oil painting workshop back then.  The artist asked if anyone had another day, he'd show us pastels.  I said "Why not?"  Well, I was hooked!  I fell in love with the rich creamy vibrant colors of pastel.  I also gave me that tactile sensation of feeling the colors and strokes as I work.  No other medium but graphite or charcoal ever came close.  I work and blend with my hands and fingers.  Nothing separates me from my work, like a brush or something.  It's just me and my painting.  

When I start a painting, I work out the composition in my head and on a screen and sometimes paper.  I do everything by hand.  I freehand sketch my large shapes and composition on my surface.  On occasion, I will apply some dark pastel and then do an alcohol wash to block in the darkest areas and shapes.  Mostly though, I just start in painting!  I always start on the top of the painting working from dark to light and background to foreground.  

I find that I need to paint, so I try to do art related things every day.  If I can't for a few days, I feel down, so I'm either painting every day or working on the computer promoting my work.  I have been blessed with many opportunities so far.  And I have so many ideas yet to paint!