D. LaRue Mahlke
Born: February 24, 1957
Resides in Georgetown, Texas
D. LaRue Mahlke draws inspiration from the rugged landscape and vast sky of the American West and the subtle beauty and diversity of her native Texas. She can often be found painting along the back roads and byways near her home or exploring new territory from the Texas Hill Country to far West Texas, or from the Panhandle south to the Texas coast. She loves traveling and has enjoyed painting in such majestic places as southern Utah, northern Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, and Maine, but most often, Denise finds her greatest inspiration in the quiet, simple, everyday scenes found in her own backyard.
Painting outdoors has become a part of life, for Denise. Close observation of nature’s nuances of light, color, value, and texture has had the most impact on her work, over the years. Studying the works of the Masters such as William Merritt Chase, John Singer Sargent, Emil Carlsen, Isaac Levitan, William Langson Lathrop, and many others has also contributed greatly to her growth. Committed to learning, she cites John F. Carlson's book, Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting as one of her strongest influences and uses her well-worn copy often in her own teaching. Denise has studied under the tutelage of a number of the country's best artists and considers their instruction and guidance an important part of her education in the principles of art.
Denise has been teaching art privately for ten years and now teaches workshops at the Fredericksburg Artists’ School and other locations throughout the state and across the country. Teaching has helped to hone her skills and clarify her vision for her art and she enjoys sharing her abilities with those eager to learn. To Denise, it is an honor and a privilege to start others on their artistic journeys and to offer guidance and encouragement along the way. "I am grateful for the positive influence of the accomplished artists I have studied with through the years and to my students. They have helped raise the bar for my standard of excellence in teaching and in painting."
Recent honors and awards include having her work accepted into Salon International 2008, First Place in Pastels at the Phippen Museum 34th Annual Western Art Show, First Place in Pastels at the 2006 Scottsdale Artists’ School Best and Brightest show, the RMPAP Award of Excellence in 2006 and Award of Merit in 2004, the Best Small Pastel Award and the Milford Zornes Best Work on Paper Award in 2003 and 2004 at the Maynard Dixon Country Invitational Fine Art Show and Sale. In 2007, Denise was awarded Honorable Mention in the Pastel Journal's annual competition, as well as making Finalist in The Artist's Magazine for two of her landscapes. She is an Invited Artist to the prestigious Maynard Dixon Country Show (from 2003 - present) and is pleased to have participated in the Gilcrease Museum's American Art in Miniature show in 2007. Denise is a featured artist in the July 2008 issue of American Artist magazine in an article written by Editor-in-Chief, M. Stephen Doherty, and as an Artist to Watch in Southwest Art’s June 2008 issue.
“To paint from the heart is the best way I know how to fulfill my role as artist and to give honor and praise to God through the work of my hands. My desire is that my work will reflect His glory to others. My hope is to touch people with my art, to communicate truth and beauty while making a connection emotionally, even spiritually. I count it a blessing if my work can give the viewer a sense of peace, joy, or encouragement."