With a fascination for science and both a father and a grandfather who worked as civil engineers, artist Stephanie Hartshorn had an almost mandatory detour through an engineering major, followed by a fulfilling decade in architecture before taking her first painting class. The first time Indian red mixed with Phthalo blue, it felt like a road home.
Largely self-taught, Stephanie has had the good fortune to study over the years with a select list of established painters who have inspired and encouraged her course. As her work continues to evolve, she emphasizes abstracting details to create a kinetic realism.
“I consider my paint as a sculptor might her clay. Each brush stroke takes on a form of its own and, in the end, creates textures that explore and express an object or scene.” Her panels rarely sit static in the easel; she turns them sideways or upside down throughout the process – sometimes even laying them flat on the floor – exploring ways to layer and move paint. “What I’m tapping into is a dynamic experience of weaving an image together, of building it.”
A fifth-generation Coloradan, her subjects fall into diverse camps. First, the West where she grew up around an iconic landscape of barns, fields, and crisscrossing power lines. Second, the West that grew up around Route 66. Living just a stone’s throw from Denver’s storied Colfax Avenue, Stephanie finds continual challenge in capturing and contextualizing the signs and sights from the bygone motor-hotel era.
Stephanie has shown her work in the American Impressionist Society’s Annual National Juried Exhibition in 2018. She was a featured artist at the 2018 Door County Plein Air Festival in Door County, Wisconsin. She received an “Award of Excellence” from Plein Air Magazine at the Laguna Plein Air Painting Invitational in 2017 in Laguna Beach, California; and she participated in the Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale at the National Western Stock Show in January of 2020. This is Stephanie’s sixth year at Cowgirl Up!
Representing Stephanie’s work are: Abend Gallery in Denver, Colorado and Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.