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Stephen with Rhode Island Red Hen by Andrew Denman <Back to Thumbnails "Cock and Hen"
27 x 17 ľ"
Acrylic on Board
Stephen with Rhode Island Red Hen


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One of the worst mistakes an animal painter can make is to come up with a concept for a painting before having an experience with the animal subject. Most of the time, I go out in nature or to a park or zoo to photograph animals without any preconceived notion of what I want the animal to do. I let the subject decide what it will give me, observe it carefully, commune with it sensitively, and somehow I know how best to portray it. When the idea comes first, you have to find an animal willing to cooperate, and thatís never a good scenario. In the case of "Cock and Hen" I was initially inspired by the totemic hen sculptures of Peter Woytuk. I became fascinated with his conflation of chicken and egg into an iconic symbol at once humorous and elegant and in many cases more than a little bit phallic. I began musing about ways to explore a similar idea in a representationally realistic context. "Cock and Hen" is the decidedly surreal result. My favorite bartender, Stephen, posed for the figure, and my neighbor down the block provided the chicken. Unfortunately, I had some very specific demands on this poor bird, and the result was several grueling hours tormenting the hen until I had some halfway decent references of her in something close to the right pose. At the end of the day, Iím simply grateful the painting finally took shape.

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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