Denise Presnell: The Sweet Spot Between Chaos and Control


Viewing our exhibits is free because of the generosity of Horicon Bank.

November 18, 2021 – January 22, 2022 all-day

Exhibition will be on display from November 18, 2021 –  January 22, 2022

“I am a painter/mixed media/pastel artist living and working in western Wisconsin. My work is driven by an intuitive desire to explore a personal archeology. Shapes and marks unite to display a map of my creative process. The tools and mediums I use to explore this imagery are also intuitively chosen for their unique effect on the composition. The range of mediums I use is vast and includes oil, pastel, acrylic, cold wax, charcoal, graphite, oil pigment sticks, color pencil and iridescent powders on paper, canvas and panel. My artist tools include traditional brushes, shape makers, palette knives, squeegees and odds and ends of packing materials, cups – you name it. If an object looks like it will create a unique effect or texture while transferring paint onto a surface – I’ll try it.

I speculate that my current work is a form of visual game playing. There is a juxtaposition of random and decisive choices throughout my painting process so that both the conscious and subconscious have an opportunity to interact on the surface of the picture plane. My work involves as much tearing down as it does the building up of visual elements. I won’t allow any section of the surface to be so precious that I wouldn’t risk removing it or covering it over with paint in order to unify the whole. And as in any good game, risk is necessary for the reward. My process involves working on 2 – 3 pieces at a time.

Currently, I shift between working with acrylic on canvas and oil, cold wax and mixed media on paper or panel. With each medium, I concentrate on one piece and begin the additional work or two with the extra paint left on my palette. This results in a miniseries based on the palette, but not necessarily on the composition. Composition is unique to each piece as it is developed intuitively during the process of each piece. I find that shifting from acrylic to the cold wax medium informs the textures and tool methods used between the two mediums. I’ve discovered ways to make the acrylic work like cold wax and vice versa. The layering process is very similar between the two mediums as well. I try to leave at least some areas of all my works with a glimpse of each step of the work process – a sort of visual mapping of my decision making.” – Denise Presnell

For more information about the artist click HERE!



Galleries are free to view:
Monday: 10 – 5 pm
Tuesday: 10 – 5 pm
Wednesday: 10 – 5 pm
Thursday: 10 – 5 pm
Friday: 10 – 5 pm
Open Saturdays 10 – 3 pm
Closed on Sundays.