“'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.