Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 in review

Hey everyone out there, thank you for reading Denver Art Matters and thank you for your comments and follows. When I started DAM in June, 2012, I was hesitant to promote it for fear I wasn’t doing everything perfectly bloggish.  Encouraged by your enthusiasm I have kept slogging along and learning daily. Your posts have given me invaluable and abundant knowledge for blogging I never would have gained without you. I love that everyday I have a chance to read your informative and beautiful blogs. Wishing you all the best for 2013.


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 3 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Haddon ‘Santa Claus’ Sundblom

Coca-Cola-Art_Christmas_Santa10                                                              by Thomas Nast

Top:  Loveable ‘Santa’ by Haddon Sundblom, for Coca-Cola.

Bottom: By Thomas Nast, 1862, for Harper’s Magazine.

Don’t know about you, but I clung to my Santa beliefs way too long. Even now, I believe Santa Claus is the man in the beautiful Christmas illustrations drinking a bottle of Coke. He was a mysterious man who shushed the dogs as he snuck into every child’s living room to fill the stockings.  The image we carry today of the jolly, generous, sweet faced, rolly-polly man named Santa Claus was a amalgamation of three artists imagination: Clement Moore, Thomas Nast and Haddon Sundblom.

In 1931, Coca-Cola, of Atlanta, Georgia commissioned Haddon Sundblom to create a Christmas ad campaign first published in the Saturday Evening Post.  The well-known illustrator conjured his character from Clement Moore’s description of a jolly ole Saint Nicholas from his Christmas poem, of 1822, “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and, from the 1862 Thomas Nast wood engraving of Santa Claus, commissioned during the Civil War by Harper’s magazine for it’s December cover. Nast can be referred to as the creator of what has become the American Saint Nicholas we know today.  Sundblom improved it.  He took each Santa image he knew and added the personality and cheery persona of one of his best friends, Lou Prentice, a fellow Chicago advertising colleague. Emphasizing the well-known round rosy cheeks and a white beard, Sundblom painted the quintessential image of good cheer and the happy glow of families at home at Christmas time.

Sundblom was a natural artist. Not only did he create our beloved Christmas icon but he also created the icons Aunt Jemima and the Quaker Oats Quaker. He was influenced by 20th century greats such as Howard Pyle, John Singer Sargent, Robert Henri, Anders Zorn, Joaquin Sorolla, who were known as practitioners of an art style familiar to the Impressionists called ‘alla prima’ or ‘the first stroke technique.’  It’s described as a technique where an artist consciously lays down the fewest strokes in the quickest time to ‘sufficiently describe moving targets.’  Legendary stories tell of Sundblom finishing a painting in one sitting.

The words below describe America’s favorite Christmas icon.

“His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.”


A Sundblom illustration/advertisement featuring Aunt Jemima.

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I love this post from Art Deco Gal and thought you might love it too. It’s a visual treat taking one far from the 2012 homogenized holiday ads we’re bombarded with day in and day out. Hope you enjoy this happy little retro treat from Art Deco Gal via Denver Art Matters to you. I love Art Deco Gal blog. You may decide to follow it too. Only a few more days ’til Santa comes to town. I’m trying to be good, et vous?

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Paul Klein visited Art Basel Miami last week

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Lucky for me I know Denver‘s Jerry De La Cruz (see Denver Art Matters Facebook page) and Chicago’s Paul Klein because from the looks of things, I missed the art event of 2012. Fortunately for you and me, they sent DAM some fabulous shots of what they saw.

While I was 2,000 miles away in cool Colorado, posts from my friends enjoying the enormous art gathering tugged at my heart. Alas, I had to be content with hard cold facts. I wasn’t there last week to partake in Art Basel nor South Beach’s eclectic night life, no Cubano sandwiches, no sunny beaches or long balmy nights consuming plates of tapas and glasses of sangria on an outdoor patio. But daily, thank you my friends, I was able to see what I missed room after room of prodigious art, art, art. Thanks to Paul Klein for sending so many photos and graciously allowing me to post on DAM. I have been following his blog since 2004. I recommend you check out his courses and ArtLetter:

From Paul Klein:


I went to Art Basel Miami Beach, the granddaddy of American art fairs to connect with experts who’ll be participating in future Klein Artist Works courses.  And I also went to Art Miami, Context, Miami Project, Pulse, Scope, NADA, Untitled, Aqua and others.

Art Basel, Miami was magnificent; substantive, somber, less hyperbolic and filled with solid and expensive art.

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Picture Perfect in Miami

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I’m a huge fan of Don Sahli’s art

Vail Fine Art Gallery


 FOR  35%  OFF




“Autumn Kiss  –  ( NOW SOLD)
Oil on Panel
36″ x 36″
“Apples on Plate and Platter”
Oil on Panel
24″ x 30″
“Autumn Winds – Lost Lake Meadows”
Oil on Panel
30″ x 36″
“Citrus and Pattern on Tapestry”
Oil on Panel
24″ x 30″
“Forest Interior – Aspen Afternoon”
Oil on Panel
20″ x 16″
“Monastic Prayer – Russian Memory”
Oil on Panel
20″ x 24″
“Piney Lake – Autumn Memory”
Oil on Panel
24″ x 30″
Sentinels at Owl Creek”
Oil on Panel
30″ x 24″
“Winter Interlude”
Oil on Panel
48″ x 36″
White Poetry”
Oil on Panel
30″ x 40″
“Portal of Colorado Color”
Oil on Panel
30″ x 40″
“Silver Light and Shadows”
Oil on Panel
30″ x 24″

 141 E. Meadow Drive, Solaris Suite 204

Vail, CO 81657

Telephone: 970.476.2900


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Happy 108th Birthday, Clyfford

73  The pairing of Denver & Clyfford

Last Friday night, amidst the Parade of Lights’s tacky, colorful floats, kids lagging behind focused party-animal parents, fire engines, cars and roped off sidewalks and streets, The Clyfford Still Museum hosted a birthday party for what would have been their namesake’s 108th birthday.


The opening of the museum in 2011, will forever be remembered as one of John Hickenlooper‘s major deals.  When most Denverites, art lovers to boot, had barely heard of Clyfford Still, Hickenlooper was on the East Coast negotiating an agreement to bring the artist’s entire body of work to the Mile High City. Our Hick (was he governor or mayor then?) conceived before anyone else that Still’s work would create an art destination for Denver. Actually there was no other way but to bring the whole kit n’ kaboodle because the artist’s will firmly stated his work could not be separated, and could only be shown alone and in a dedicated museum. I think we all thought that was rather arrogant at the time, but it has ultimately proven to be a significant art coup for Denver. As we’ve become comfortable with the museum and Still’s work, it is understandably, the only way it could have been.  And Hickenlooper was spot-on.  Still’s art and state-of-the-art museum has put Denver on the world art map. We are sincerely thankful to the largely, unfamiliar, mysterious 20th century American artist and his heirs, for this incomparable gift. Clyfford Still will forever be Denver’s.

Clyfford Still was a multi-faceted, cantankerous man. He was among the group of Abstract Expressionist artists in the 1950s , you’ve heard of: Jackson Pollack, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko. But his temperament and talent entreated him to sever ties with the art world and the renown Betty Parsons Gallery in New York City and, thus, leave the world of commercial promotion and galleries behind him.  He then moved to Maryland where he worked for the next twenty years. Meticulously he rolled his finished, dried canvases then stored each one in his barn. He died in 1980.

IMG_1865Clyfford Still

His birthday party was an opportunity for fans to take another look around at this all inclusive art gem. The museum itself, is a work of art. Designed by Allied Works. The structure is a continuous form that is opened up by natural light. From every doorway and angled gallery, one of Still’s exquisitely large, colorful abstract creations is in full view. The building, walls and all, is made of textured concrete. Each gallery highlights Still’s larger than life art with changing scale, proportion, and varying light intensity. There is a serene beauty to the layout and one can never get enough of the artist’s changing styles and moods – from representational to severe abstract. I plan to learn more about this artist. What I’ve read and heard so far…he was the real thing.


At the party, left to right: Candice Pulliam, Art Services,; Dean Sobel, Director of the Clyfford Still Museum,, Robin & Jack Lima, owners of the Native American Trading Company & Gallery, The Lima’s confirmed that people come from all over the world to see the museum and the work of Clyfford Still. Explaining that after visiting the DAM and the Still Museum, tourists wander into their gallery across the street.

The Clyfford Still Museum, 1250 Bannock Street, Denver, 80204. 720-354-4880.

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Coors Show 2013, features Jill Soukop – January 8 – 27

Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale

View All Artists

The Exhibit and Sale

The 2013 Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale will open with a Red Carpet Reception on Tuesday, January 8, 2013. Advance reservations (prior to December 15, 2012) are $175 per person; after December 15th, they are $200.00. For additional information or to receive an invitation, please call National Western, 303-299-5560 or e-mail. The exhibit will be open to the public each day of the National Western Stock Show, January 12-27, 2013. For directions to the show click here.

National Western Stock Show Complex
4655 Humboldt St | Denver, CO

Exhibit Hours:
Sunday – Thursday 9 A.M. – 8 P.M. (On the last Sunday the Stock Show closes at 6:00 P.M.).
Friday & Saturday – 9 A.M. – 9 P.M.

Featured Artist for 2013: Jill Soukup

Jill Soukup was born in Buffalo, New York. Shortly thereafter, her family moved to Colorado, where she still resides.  Jill’s affinity for horses as a young girl resulted in countless drawings and studies of them, which made for a strong drawing foundation. As a teen, she started a pet-portrait business, acquired jobs painting murals, and designed logos for local organizations. She graduated from Colorado State University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Fine Art. There, she received awards for illustration and design and worked as an illustrator and designer for the university. She initially pursued a career in graphic design while continuing to paint part time. After 11 years as a designer, she made the switch to full-time painting.Read More

People’s Choice Winner
2012 People's Choice Award: Scorpion Dust by Teresa Elliot
“Scorpion Dust”
By Teresa Elliot
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Featured Artist
Hold Steady, 2013 Featured Artist“Hold Steady”
By Jill Soukup
Click picture to enlarge
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“More Than A Feast For Crows”
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