Dave A. Santillanes


A self-taught artist, Dave Santillanes began painting shortly after graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in Graphic Design. But he points to his first plein air 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 get to really 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.” Dave’s passion for painting has led to a number of recent awards including First Place in the Signature Division of the 2019 OPA Fall Showcase, 3rd Place Overall at the 8th Annual Plein Air Salon Finals, First Place in the Landscape Category at the 12th annual International ARC Salon, and the Landscape Award of Excellence at the 25th National Oil Painters of America Show. He’s also won numerous awards

Recent Awards
2020 — Grand Prize Winner – 9th Annual Plein Air Salon Competition
2020 — Artists Choice Award – Quest for the West Show
2020 — First Place – Signature Division – Oil Painters of America – Fall Online Showcase
2019 — 3rd Place Overall – 8th Annual Plein Air Salon – Finalist Awards
2018 — First Place – Oil Painters of America National Show – Wet Paint Competition
2018 — Honorable Mention – 7th Annual Plein Air Salon – Finalist Awards
2017 — William Schultz Memorial Award – American Impressionist Society – 18th National Show
2016 — First Place – Landscape Category – 12th Annual International ARC Salon
2016 — Best of Show – Oil Painters of America 2016 Salon Show
2016 — Landscape Award of Excellence – Oil Painters of America 25th National Show, Dallas, Texas
2015 — Award of Excellence – Oil Painters of America – Western Regional Show, Steamboat Springs, CO
2015 — Honor Hawaii Award and People’s Choice Award – Maui Plein Air Invitational
2014 — Award of Distinction – American Impressionist Society National Show, Denver, CO

2021 — Featured on the cover – Plein Air Magazine – January 2021
2020 — Featured Artist – Vicki Stavig – Art of the West Magazine – May 2020
2014 — “Getting Out of Your Own Way”, M. Stephen Doherty – Plein Air Magazine – May 2014
2013 — “Art of the National Parks” – Fresco Fine Art Publications – Jean Stern, Susan Hallsten McGarry, Terry Lawson Dunn
2011 — “Poetry of Place” – Southwest Art Magazine – December 2011
2003 — “Artists to Watch” – Southwest Art Magazine – December 2003

Feature Articles
Southwest Art Magazine

Illume Gallery of Fine Art
Mountain Trails Gallery – Santa Fe
Oh Be Joyful Gallery
Turquoise Door Gallery
Wild Horse Gallery

Art Associations
Oil Painters of America
Plein Air Painters of America

Artwork to be Showcased