1. ASHLEY JOON
Amid Denver’s array of colorful, powerful and often politically charged murals, self-taught painter Ashley Joon’s work is almost startlingly soft and sensual. Featuring tangles of showy blooms, her compositions seem charged with a lyrical energy that stems from Joon’s unique process. “I paint with a balance of instinctual movement and subtle observations,” she says. “I dance as I paint, using the rhythm of music to guide my brush while pulling imagery from my imagination, photography and live flowers.” Her feminine, abstract-impressionistic style has resonated with a variety of clients around town, including the Infinite Monkey Theorem, the Ramble Hotel and the Denver Art Museum, which recently commissioned Joon to create a mural celebrating the exhibition “Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature.” And when designers come calling for custom murals in residential spaces, Joon will be ready. “I could see floral murals looking fabulous in just about every room in the house,” she says.
2. ANNA CHARNEY
Years ago, when Denver native Anna Charney was in art school, something caught her eye: the tiny halftone dots which, when viewed from a distance, create the illusion of continuous lines and shapes. So Charney, a painter at heart, began incorporating magnified halftone patterns in her compositions. Though the majority of her “super-creative decision-making” for her current work—large-scale canvases, murals and installations featuring swirls of those enlarged dot patterns—is done on a computer, translating an image to a wall gives Charney the opportunity to reveal signs of the human hand. “I think the magic in painting is seeing the artist’s energy that was put into it,” she says. That magic is on display across the Mile High City: Look for Charney’s largest work on the Colorado Ballet’s Armstrong Center for Dance in the Art District on Santa Fe.
3. SANDRA FETTINGIS
When Sandra Fettingis examines an object, her eye instinctively seeks out the lines that create the form. “I find the line extremely elegant and harmonious,” the artist says. So when she begins the process of designing a new repetitive pattern—a signature element of her graphic, site-specific murals—it’s only natural that she takes visual cues from her backdrop’s unique lines: the shape of the wall, the surrounding architecture, even the sky. Minimal color palettes—typically comprising just three or four hues that pop against a high-contrast background—emphasize the elegance of Fettingis’ deceptively simple patterns while nodding to the structures they adorn, from an alley wall at Dairy Block to the interior of the Norwegian Bliss cruise ship. “It’s essential to me that a design fits seamlessly into a site,” Fettingis says, “so that the final work and its surroundings become complementary ‘friends,’ so to speak.”