Santillanes, Dave

Santillanes, Dave

Scenes from the old West will come to life in paintings and sculptures that will fill the galleries of the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, with the opening of the 14th annual Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. In one gallery, the only gallery like it in the state of Indiana, visitors can see and be the first to bid on millions of dollars in artwork from some of the country’s biggest names in Western art.  Meet Quest for the West® artist Dave Santillanes.

Dave Santillanes
Born 1972 in Loveland, Colorado; lives in Fort Collins, Colorado

A native of Colorado, Dave Santillanes grew up at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Early family trips into the mountains fostered a deep love and appreciation for the wilderness and probably influenced his later preference for outdoor work, such as wildland firefighting, trail building and working on a ski mountain. After graduating from Colorado State University with a BFA in graphic design, Dave found work as a Digital Imaging Technician and also began to focus his artistic energy on oil painting. These early explorations into oil painting quickly merged with his love of the outdoors and, naturally, oil paint and a field easel became part of his outdoor gear. His explorations into painting and the wilderness continue.

A self-taught artist, Dave points to his first plein air painting excursions as the true beginning of his development as a painter – where direct observation allowed for a more precise rendering of color, light and atmosphere. And although studying the physical aspects of nature is important, it isn’t the only reason Dave paints outdoors. He says, “the sensory experience of being there is equally important. There’s no better way to really get to know a place 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.”

Notable Awards and Achievements
2016       12th International ARC Salon, First Place, Landscape Category
2016       25th National Oil Painters of America National, Landscape Award of Excellence
2011       7th Annual Sedona Plein Air Festival, Main Street Paintout, Best Painting
2011       Crested Butte Plein Air Invitational, Best of Show
2010       Oil Painters of America 19th National Show, Bronze Medal
2010       Grand Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon Celebration of Art, Judges’ Award
2010       Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters National Show, People’s Choice Award
2006       Estes Park Plein Air, Artists’ Choice Award
2003       Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters, Estes Park Plein Air 2003,  Award of Excellence
2003       National Parks Academy of the Arts, 17th Annual Arts for the Parks, Mini 50
2002       National Parks Academy of the Arts, 16th Annual Arts for the Parks, Top 200
2000       National Parks Academy of the Arts, 14th Annual Arts for the Parks, Grand Teton National Park Purchase    Award

Selected Publications
Plein Air Magazine
Southwest Art