D. LaRue Mahlke

denise mahlke, artist, pastel, drawing, painter, landscape, art

There is a quiet thoughtfulness to the work of D. LaRue Mahlke. Her paintings convey a sense of restfulness and peace that reflect the spiritual connection she feels for the landscape. 

"My desire is to express through my paintings and drawings, something of what I felt in my experience of being in nature, in that place, rejoicing in the moment. My hope is to give the viewer a deeper sense of connectivity to nature and its Creator."   

D. LaRue Mahlke has been drawing most of her life, beginning when she was just a toddler. Encouraged by her family, she took art lessons when she was quite young, then later studied with artists she admired and respected through workshops. "Most artists I have met and studied with are very warm and giving people. Through the years, I have been truly blessed to have learned from a number of outstanding artists, who have become my colleagues and friends."

She continues to gain national recognition for her pastel paintings, which have been featured in numerous publications, including Western Art & Architecture, Southwest Art, Plein Air, and Pastel Journal. She has been twice honored as winner of the First Place award in Landscape with the Art Renewal Center’s International Salon. In 2013, she was awarded the Gold Medal for works on paper and Best of Show award at the Phoenix Art Museum’s West Select show.

"I love the immediacy and freshness of pastels, as well as the vibrancy and feel of working with sticks of pure pigment." 

Denise is a Master Signature member of American Women Artists, a Signature member of the Pastel Society of America, and an Out-of-State-Artist member of the California Art Club.

She currently resides near Waco, Texas with her husband, Ray.


2016 Cowgirl Up! ~  Desert Caballeros Western Museum - Wickenburg, AZ

2016 105th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition ~ California Art Club, Autry Museum, Los Angeles, CA

2016 Grapevine Gallery February Women Artists Show, Oklahoma City, OK

2015-2016 “Dixon Camp Out” Fine Art Invitational, Mt. Carmel, UT

2015 Grapevine Gallery ~ Winter Show and Sale, Oklahoma City, OK

2015 Grapevine Gallery ~ 40th Annual Drunch Week Exhibition, Oklahoma City, OK

2015 Grapevine Gallery ~ March Guest Artist Show, Oklahoma City, OK

2014-2016 “Panhandle Plains Invitational” Art Show and Sale, Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, TX

2014-2016 “Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale” Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, WY

2013-2014 “The West Select” Western Art Invitational Sale and Exhibition, Phoenix Art Museum, AZ

2012-2015 “Artistic Horizons” Invitational Fine Art Show, Bozeman, MT

2003-2015 “Maynard Dixon Country” Invitational Fine Art Show and Sale, Mt. Carmel, UT

2012-2014 “Small Works, Great Wonders” National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, OK

2014 American Women Artists “Prevailing Winds” Master Signature and Signature Members Exhibit, Booth Western Art Museum, GA

2014 -2016 American Women Artists Annual Exhibitions, Master Signature member

2014 “Movement & Stillness” Three Woman Show, InSight Gallery, Fredericksburg, TX

2014 29th Annual Bosque Art Classic, Clifton, TX

2014 “Vermilion Cliffs & The Four Corners” Exhibit, Maxwell Alexander Gallery, Culver City, CA

2012 Coors National Western Art Exhibit and Sale ~ Silent Auction, Denver, CO 


Gold Medal - Works on Paper ~ The West Select, Phoenix Art Museum 2013

Best of Show - Kieckhefer Award ~ The West Select, Phoenix Art Museum 2013

First Place, Landscape Category ~ Art Renewal Center’s International ARC Salon 2011/2012

Finalist ~ Art Renewal Center’s International ARC Salon 2011/2012 and 2012/2013

Third Place, Landscape Category ~ Pastel Journal 14th Annual Pastel 100 Competition 2012

Finalist ~ Art Renewal Center’s International ARC Salon 2010/2011

First Place ~ 6” Squared Fine Art Exhibit, Randy Higbee Gallery2010

First Place, Honorable Mention, and Top 100 Finalist in Landscape ~ Art Renewal Center’s International ARC Salon 2009/2010

First in Pastels ~ Phippen Museum 34th Annual Western Art Show 2008

Milford Zornes Best Work on Paper Award ~ Maynard Dixon Country Invitational 2004 

Best Small Pastel Award ~ Maynard Dixon Country Invitational 2003 


Near to High Places - 18x24 inches, pastel - $4,600

Rock Rhythms - 18x24 inches, charcoal - Featured at Cowgirl Up! 11th Annual Invitational Exhibition - SOLD

Rolling Thunder - Ps 57:10 - 28.5x40 inches, pastel - featured at Cowgirl Up! 11th Annual Invitational Exhibition SOLD

Good Pasture - 16x20 inches, charcoal - $3,150

Testimony - 18x21 inches, pastel - $4,300

Summer Reverie - 24x30 inches, pastel - $6,500

The Hope of Spring - 18x24 inches, pastel SOLD