David Santillanes


"As my painting style continues to evolve my goal with each piece is not a literal rendering of the scene.  Instead it is to capture and convey its essence. "In terms of composition, I look for simplicity.  I’ve found that there are many opportunities to simplify a scene without compromising its sense of ‘place’.  Therefore I’ll seek out the big abstract shapes in the landscape and  use them for the underlying design concept.  And because I’ve departed from a literal interpretation, I’m free to rearrange elements to fit this concept.  In this way I am able to describe the scene in my own 'words.' "Finally, capturing the essence of a landscape involves a realistic rendering of color, light and atmosphere.  This requires direct observation and is why most of my paintings begin in the field with a plein air study.   But studying the physical aspects of nature isn’t the only reason I paint outdoors; for me, the sensory experience of being there is equally important. There’s no better way to get to know a place on earth than to sit for a couple of hours and contemplate it while painting. This intense observation brings a spiritual intimacy with the scene that can’t be achieved in mere passing and allows me to 'speak' with complete sincerity in each painting."


  • 2011 – “Poetry of Place” – Southwest Art Magazine – December 2011
  • 2010 – Bronze Medal Award – Oil Painters of America 19th National Show, Scottsdale, AZ
  • 2011 – Best of Show – Crested Butte Plein Air Invitational
  • 2011 – Best Painting – Main Street Paintout – 7th Annual Sedona Plein Air Festival


Change in the Canyon
The Medicine Bows
Last Light in the Canyon
Nook Sack Creek
Morning Delivery SOLD
The Brook SOLD
Early Snow SOLD
Walls of Time SOLD
Reflections on the Colorado SOLD
Grandpa's Shed SOLD
Glass Lake Study SOLD
Walls of Time Study SOLD
Cedar Ridge SOLD