Andrew Denman

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His Property

“'His Property' began on a drive near Tahoe, CA, where I observed a large Golden Eagle dismantling prey by the side of the highway,” begins artist Andrew Denman. “He held his great, outstretched wings defensively over his meal¯what it was exactly, I couldn’t tell¯and stared down at it with a propriety gaze that claimed, in no uncertain terms, that this was his property.

Over a year later, a friend who runs Native Bird Connections, a local raptor rescue center, introduced me to a Golden Eagle up close and personal. A wing fracture made it impossible for him to be re-released, but from where I stood, he’d lost none of his grandeur. Huge, impressive and intimidating, he was none-the-less nervous around a stranger but when he calmed down, he perched on his trainer’s arm with an elegance and poise that was unforgettable. At one point he looked piercingly down at the ground, accentuating his beautiful but severe profile; this pose, elegantly lit from behind to show his glorious mane of golden feathers, reminded me of the encounter I’d had with the Golden Eagle in the wild and my painting His Property was born. I painted him considerably larger than life-size to capture his domineering presence, and I “framed” him in a simple, dramatic, non-objective space to present him with the uncluttered, iconic clarity he deserved.”

It’s already been an active year for Denman and the fall holds back-to-back exhibitions and juried shows. He and artist Guy Combes just returned to the United States from a successful joint exhibition in Gloucestershire, England, “Old World – New World,” which ran from August 7-26. Andrew will be in Vancouver for the Artists for Conservation Show exhibiting and teaching a workshop and in Jackson Hole for the Western Visions 2012 Show & Sale. His work is also at the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum in New Jersey for the 52nd Annual Art and the Animal Exhibition of the Society of Animal Artists(premiered September 1). Denman is a visionary wildlife artist who belongs in your collection.
From €256.75

Ivory

Ivory came about as the result of a rather complex commission which required, among other things, detailed reference material of doves in flight. I was eventually able to track down a man who had a flock of white racing homing pigeons (close enough to doves) and spent an afternoon sitting in their flight path and snapping pictures as they circled his yard above the dovecote.

While I was able to capture some impressive poses, my pictures lacked the detail I needed, so I spent a good while studying the birds’ wings up close. These very docile creatures posed beautifully for me, and I was so taken by the micro view of their porcelain-like feathers that Ivory was born.

In this painting, I sought to capture the kind of delicacy I’d often admired in white marble statues, where chiseled solidity and ephemeral translucence combine in elegant balance. As I worked, the word “ivory” kept entering my head, and it eventually became not only the title of the painting, but incorporated into the image itself.
From €193.55

Keep Searching, Winkie

“Who doesn’t love monkeys?” asks artist Andrew Denman. “This little fellow captured my heart one day on a trip to the San Francisco Zoo. Anyone who has ever named a pet is guilty of anthropomorphization and in some wildlife paintings, such sentiment creeps subconsciously into the artist’s portrayal of the anatomy. My goal is to not let my feelings of identification with an animal subject distort the accuracy of my representation, but, I’m not at all above allowing emotion to shine through in the pose or expression I select or the title of the piece.



“In this case, the squirrel monkey’s expression was so plaintive that I began to imagine a whole mythology surrounding him. For reasons I’ll never understand, his name became Winkie and I pictured him in a little bellhop uniform, separated from his old organ grinder, wandering dark city streets awash in neon, casting his eyes to the heavens, searching for a place to belong. We find him here, perhaps lit by the first warm rays of the morning sun, eager for the hopefulness of a new day.”



"Keep Searching, Winkie" will be delivered as a beautiful Gallery Wrap canvas, suitable for display with or without framing.
From €138.25

Minerva

Traditionally a symbol of wisdom, enlightenment, death and transition, the owl was also a favorite form of the Roman Goddess Minerva. Although fierce in battle, Minerva was also known for her wisdom and restraint. She played an important role in handcraft, agriculture and is credited with a score of inventions. She also has the distinction of being born parthenogenically (without a mother) through Zeus’s forehead. The barn owl, with its alien face and unearthly beauty, seems too like it simply sprang into being, the lone and elegant brain-child of a midnight god.

“Barn owls are one of my favorite subjects,” related artist Denman. “Their unusual, heart-shaped faces, long, lanky legs and habit of nesting almost exclusively in man-made structures make them unique among owls. When in the presence of one of these majestic birds, it’s not hard to imagine why owls have such a rich history of symbolic import.”
From €256.75

Staccato

Andrew Denman’s contemporary vision of wildlife art bridges the gap between the spontaneity of the natural world with the graphic edge of modern art. In a “staccato rhythm” each sound or note is sharply detached or separated from the others. With "Staccato," Denman uses a careful balance of positive and negative space to visually present this musical pattern.

The seemingly improvisational placement of red-winged blackbirds first captures the eye. A large, graphic silhouette of the foreground bird appears next, a trademark Denman use of pattern and repetition. Jackson Pollack-like splatters add to movement and flow not often associated with a square format image.
From €470.05

Twist

The Society of Animal Artists Award of Excellence winner’s list reads like a who’s who of wildlife art: Robert Bateman, Carl Brenders, Simon Combes, Bob Kuhn, Daniel Smith and more. Andrew Denman not only received the Award of Excellence for the painting "Twist" in 2009, but for other works in 2003 and 2004 as well.

Andrew was chosen by the SAA in 2006 for the Don Eckelberry Memorial Scholarship. The resulting ten day trip to the Caribbean island of Trinidad and the Asa Wright Nature Center led to the creation of Twist. “While these Palm Tanagers were not remotely the most colorful birds I encountered in island’s lush tropical setting, they were among the most memorable,” recalls Denman. “Although a ubiquitous sight, they had developed a completely fearless attitude and were frequent visitors, not only hanging from the vines immediately outside the terrace of the main building, but in the main house as well. They proved themselves to be shameless scavengers, cheekily entering the dining room to pillage unclaimed crumbs. I even saw nests indoors, including one amazingly nestled behind a refrigerator.

“From a design point of view, my interest lay in the beautiful play of curvilinear shapes and lines and the boldly abstract negative shapes they create. The addition of the swirling typeface emphasizes this concept while underscoring the graceful movement of the Palm Tanagers.”

This award winning work of art superbly presents the elements of style that have become Denman’s calling card: hyper-realism, stylization and abstraction. The Fine Art Edition Giclée canvas is 18" x 22" in an edition of only 75 and presented gallery wrapped for the option of contemporary frameless display. If ever beauty and cutting-edge could be used in the same description of a single work of art, it is with Andrew Denman’s "Twist."
From €549.05