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Bewick's Wren by Andrew Denman <Back to Thumbnails "Winter Weave"
6.5 x 6.5"
Graphite, Nero Pencil, & White Gold Leaf
on Watercolor Board, 2016
Bewick's Wren


The Bewickís Wren is not one of our more well- known local birds to the average layman, not because they arenít common, but because they are so easy to overlook. But for those birders among us who always have a pair of binoculars and a camera at the ready, these tiny and boisterous birds are something to be cherished. Their richly striped brown or chestnut coloration is not drab, but itís hardly showy; itís their attitude that wins the day. They flit and hop about urgently, their straight, narrow tails flicking up or down like pert signal flags, and itís hard not to imagine that they are having lively conversations with one another, both through this expressive body language and a wide range of chirps, trills, and warbles. They are frequent visitors to suburban gardens and spend much of their time foraging for insects amidst dense shrubbery. They often nest close to human habitations; in fact, a pair just recently took up residence in what was supposed to be an ďornamentalĒ bird house on my parentís front porch, a scant few feet from the front door.

This piece, though very small, is a potent combination of two important themes that have expressed themselves in my work in recent years, the placing of an animal subject against a non- objective, often patterned background (as in my Modern Camouflage series) and the presentation of the animal subject as an icon. The weave of inorganic pattern from which the bird emerges is meant to suggest, without any attempt to describe, the thick tangles of shrubbery in which it is often observed. The natural environment becomes a kicking off point for the exploration of something abstract, and the contrast between this non-objective background and a carefully and faithfully rendered subject allows us to consider that subject in a fresh context. The use of the precious metal leaf immediately elevates the importance of the tiny and fragile bird. Housed within the square compositional format, a fleeting sighting of an ordinary little wren takes on a new and deeper significance.

How to buy, general information
Welcome to the online home for artwork by Andrew Denman, a California Ėbased, internationally recognized, award-winning contemporary wildlife artist. Denman primarily paints wildlife and animal subjects in a unique, hallmark style combining hyper-realism with stylization and abstraction. His dynamic and original acrylic paintings can be found in museum collections on two continents and in numerous private collections in the USA and abroad. His clear voice, unique vision, and commitment to constant artistic experimentation have positioned him on the forefront of an artistic vanguard of the best contemporary wildlife and animal painters working today.
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