Denise Souza Finney is a painter who lives in Ashland Oregon. Her studio is a converted one hundred year old barn surrounded by a lush garden.
She works in acrylic and paints the figure, flamenco dancers, and poppies. Her paintings are colorful, gestural, and semi abstract. “I love to play with the different qualities of acrylic paint. You can make it as thin as watercolor and as thick as a bas relief sculpture.” Through high school and college she studied jazz dance and ballet and had the sincere intention of pursuing a career as a dancer. However, “I was just as passionate about painting, and it was necessary to give my full attention to either one or the other.” Having once been a dancer, and now a practicing yogi, she is very aware of the beauty and expressiveness of movement through the body. “I strive to show movement in my paintings and the intention of action or stillness in my work. Those two behaviors invoke a lot of feeling and a basic premise of the human condition.”
My paintings of poppies are an interesting subject because of the challenge they present in trying to capture their movement and the delicate transparency of the poppies themselves. Since, I am an avid gardener I have a ready supply of models. The flamenco dancer is of particular interest to me because of the passion and tragedy that is rooted in that tradition of performance. My father is Portuguese, from the Azores islands, my Mother is Italian. Somewhere in between those two ancestral backgrounds, flamenco song and dance sits close to my spirit.