Artist Statement / Bio
Early in life, Denise’s family left Fircrest, WA in 1955 to merge with another family in California. Her stepfather acquired a few medals from the Olympics in Gymnastics, and therefore was very familiar with fitness. They created a swim school – one pool for teaching, one for kids, and one for adults – along with a gym and sauna. Jack LaLanne (American fitness and nutrition guru) was a friend of his, and Jack rented a big building a half mile away and put together giant amounts of exercise machines for people to use. The flat roof was fixed for joggers, and you could see them from a distance. (Picture of a view of swim school included). Every young artist needs a great place for the study of the human body, and this provided just that.
Later, Denise worked as a model for artist Donald “Putt” Putnam (American figure, landscape and western genre artist) at his private art studio, and at the College of Art & Design in Los Angeles for three years. She also worked for a lady that owned an art gallery in Venice Beach. Denise not only did governess work, but also delivered a check to a local well known modern artist painter. She also met DeWain Valentine (American minimalist sculptor) there and cleaned his studio, where she viewed some of his inspirational modern art sculptures.
Denise also had a small business in Lomita, California called “Paw Prints”, inspired by her rescued dog, Sr. Cody. They designed pet friendly yards, and she also trapped feral cats so they could get fixed and receive their shots and flea meds. They also rescued plants – repotting them and finding them new homes – this is where she met the “Salix” that she keeps in the front and back yards. During dog walks in Lomita, Denise would find lost artwork from kids walking home from school. Not only does she have those framed on the wall, but she also asked the young person she did governess work for to draw a picture, and she has that one as well. Denise always finds the beauty in all art and encourages the love of art in the next generation!
In August 2018, Denise’s youngest sister found Sequim and invited her to move up north. She then found a spot to live near St. Luke’s Church, where she recently found out from Randy Radock of the Olympic Peninsula Art Association that they meet there in June. In May, Denise had a major hose break in the plumbing, so she couldn’t make it, but has now “joined the club” so to speak (safety in numbers!).