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Painter John Encinias was born in 1949 in San Miguel County, New Mexico. Now based in Denver, Colorado, Encinias is a self-taught artist who started painting at the age of 15. Encinias was encouraged to show his work by professional artists he met while working at a paint supply store. A show at a small gallery in Cherry Creek, Colorado led to Encinias quitting his job to begin working as a full-time professional artist at the age of 25.
A John Encinias painting is characterized by a subdued and subtle quality, a natural quietness. Encinias, who describes his technique as “impressionistic realism,” prefers painting directly from his subjects, whether still life or landscapes. Encinias works to bring his subjects to life at the level of the senses, using paint to convey smell, touch, temperature –even sound. Encinias restricts his palette to warm and cool versions of the primary colors, softer colors which capture the nuances of color of nature, the hues which change with the seasons. When painting plein air, Encinias works quickly to capture the effect of light. Encinias has said the most difficult part in painting plein air is avoiding over-refinement before capturing the basic light and color of a given scene. Details, Encinias says, can be adjusted later in the studio; most of the time the artist spends on a painting is in the finishing touches, the last five percent of a work.
Encinias is a longtime member of the National Academy of Western Art and has been a regular participant at the Prix de West since 1985. His many exhibitions include one-man shows at the Frye Museum in Seattle, Washington and the Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery in Lindsburg, Kansas. His work has also been shown at the National Wildlife Art Museum in Jackson, Wyoming, the Museum of Albuquerque, the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa Oklahoma, and the American Embassy in Rome, Italy. Encinias’ paintings are also in numerous private and corporate collections, including the Frye Museum and the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos, New Mexico. His works have been featured in the magazines American Artist, Art of the West, and Southwest Art, as well as the book Masterworks of Impressionism.