Dennis Canty &
Meet the Artist
Dennis Canty grew up on both coasts of the United States, born in California but spending most of his childhood in Washington DC. His earliest memories are of days on Pacific beaches, on Chesapeake Bay, and out in the family sailboat. He headed west for college in the 1970’s and has stayed in the Pacific Northwest ever since, raising two daughters, enjoying his marriage to Lisa, and running a successful consulting business until he retired in 2016.
His painting practice really began once he retired. Although Dennis dabbled in drawing, watercolor painting, and ceramics during his working life, he never had the time or drive to concentrate on art. In the last three years, he has finally had the time to paint seriously. He has taken classes from Anne Hebebrand and Marsha Dahlquist in Todos Santos and works for four or five hours most days in his studios in Todos Santos and Washington State, where he and Lisa live in the summer.
Dennis mostly paints landscapes and seascapes in oils on canvas and boards. In the winter, these focus on the land and water of Baja California. In summer, the yellows and reds get put away and Dennis paints the blues and greens of the Olympic Peninsula and Puget Sound. His influences include the seascapes of Gerhard Richter and Joaquin Sorolla and the landscapes of Russell Chatham and Maynard Dixon.
Meet the Artist
I paint from life as well as from photographs in my studio. Using palette knives to apply the paint allows me to keep the colors clean, the lines more relaxed and interesting and create great textures.
By exploring different styles, from more realistic to more abstracted, and using various mediums I explore color relationships, using different colors of similar values in close proximity to create richness and depth. I usually paint in the “alla prima” style; each painting completed in one day while the paint is wet, mixing colors on the canvas.
Paintings get started and can move into unexpected and very interesting directions.
Each painting is an agreement between the day, the light, the medium, the subject and the music (usually Gospel) and myself.
I was born in Louisville, Kentucky and moved to Port Townsend in 1976. My education includes a BFA degree in ceramics and jewelry design and an MA in psychology.
I have worked as a sculptor with a variety of mediums, including concrete and bronze, as well as any found objects that are interesting and unusual.
In 2007 I signed up for a workshop taught by Diane Ainsworth. Since then I have been taking classes whenever I can and try to paint almost every day; there is so much to be learned! As a medium, oils are very diverse and offer me the best way to explore color and texture in the two dimensional format.
My home is in Quilcene, Washington, with my husband and a round cat.