“My strength lies in painting from observation and creating a dynamic representation of what I see.  Energy is in everything.”  

When a person is called to be an artist, there is sacrifice; a longing; an indescribable desire seeking expression.  Sometimes taking on that call means eating less, owning less, and relaxing less.  As David Whyte says, “longing…frightens and emboldens, humiliates and beckons, makes us into pilgrim souls and sets us on some road…making us willing to give up our perfect house, our paid for home and our accumulated belongings.”

I recall the sacrifices I needed to make to get to the present.  I gave up relationship, a “paid for home,” and much of the things I had accumulated along the way.  I brought with me the fear of financial instability, and an intense passion to express what was at that time unexpressed.  I had already endured a great loss in my mobility, which continues to bring me to a sort of screeching halt (definitely a pause) in my creative process.

But despite obstacles, artists must create.   And that is what draws us all to the artist.  It is in all of us to express our existence; the meaning of our living; the place we inhabit in the world.  Art is the manifestation of the longing that bears down on all of us; an expression of that which drives us and almost haunts us until it is said.

Whether through music, poetry, dance, or painting, the energy of that “divine discontent,” according to David Whyte, is “like an uncaring invitation, like a comet’s passing tail, glimpsed only for a moment…”. And in my discontent as an artist, I don’t give up at whatever the cost. This is what drives me to create.


20 minute portraits in charcoal

Denali is a faculty member at the New Mexico Art League where she teaches figure painting in pastel and other mediums.  She is a Member of the Pastel Society of

Denali is a faculty member at the New Mexico Art League where she teaches figure painting in pastel and other mediums.  She is a Member of the Pastel Society of America, the Rio Grande Art Association, and has established Signature standing with the Pastel Society of New Mexico (2015).  She serves on the Masterworks of New Mexico Steering Committee since 2011, and was active in two years of the Paint The Ballet Project.  


2015 International Association of Pastel Societies Show

2016 – 2010  Masterworks of New Mexico

2015 – 2012 National Pastel Painting Exhibition

2014 Faculty Show – New Mexico Art League

2014 “Oases” – New Mexico Cancer Center (invitational)

2014  Spirit of the Horse – New Mexico Art League (invitational)

2014 Faculty Show – New Mexico Art League

2013 New Mexico Art League Student Show

2012 Portrait Society of America, Facing the Muse o


2015 National Pastel Painting Exhibition – Sponsorship Award “Boulder Bottoms” 41 x 13″


2015 New Mexico Small Works – People’s Choice Award “Deep Blue Hills” 6 x 8″


2013 National Pastel Paintings Exhibition – Sponsorship Award “Dancer’s Dreams”

Dancer's Dreams

2013 New Mexico Art League Student Show – 3rd place “Tangelos & Copper with Lemon”

2012 Masterworks of New Mexico – First Place, “Humboldt Oak,” Miniatures in color pencil


2010 Masterworks of New Mexico – Award of Excellence, “Her Essence”


1987 Bachelor of Fine Arts – University of Arizona

1997 Master of Social Work – Arizona State University

Studied with:

Dawn Emerson
Albert Handell
Vasili Katakis
Deborah Christensen Secor
Bruce McGrew

© copyright 2012 All rights reserved
Denali Brooke denalibrooke@gmail.com