Vail Valley: ‘The language of the brushstroke’ |

Vail Valley: ‘The language of the brushstroke’

Caramie Schnell
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyVail Valley art: Denise Howerton's paintings are being shown at the Avon library through the end of month

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado “-Thirteen years ago oil painter Denise Howerton, whose work is on display in the Vail Valley, put her art on hold to raise her adopted Chinese daughter. She recently picked up her paint brush again to create her textured paintings, which have a significant sculptural appeal. Her work is on display at Avon Public Libary’s community room during the month of May.

Of all the artists past and present, Howerton said she’d most like to meet famed Dutch post-impressionist Vincent Van Gogh.

“It would not be because he was tortured at all, but because of his passion for life. I would like to sit beside him in a field of flowers and experience his energy as he mixed his colors, applying them intensely to the canvas.”

The artist: “I knew I wanted to be an artist in high school. I had a very inspiring teacher that helped me decide. Art for me is the expression of my experiences with the quiet and beauty of life. I am interested in a Haiku meditative simplicity if you will. I think art is the channel that flows through me to the canvas, the language of the brushstroke. Being in the moment like music without words.”

The medium: “I chose oil as a medium because of the sculptural quality it produces, and the colors are richer and deeper than other mediums.”

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

The process: “My style would best be described as rhythmist minimalism. I work only from inspiration. Something might show up on the radar through an inspired experience days before or in the moment as I begin painting in the morning. I follow the lead of inspired thought and trust that. Everything else to me is an idea which I’m not interested in, or thinking something up to be original.”

The inspiration: “I am inspired by Haiku poetry, the sounds of nature and my daily experiences with love, joy and suffering. I dearly love a little black and white woodcut by Barbara Latham called ‘Fording the Stream.’ It portrays three people riding horses

at night up a stream. I relate to it because I rode horses at night as a child where I grew up by a horse ranch west of Denver.”

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or

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