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30 x 30"
Mixed Media (Oil over Acrylic) on Cradled Board
Devil's Claw Seed Pod
How to Buy, General Information
I began working on this series with the intention of doing a large painting of the entire Devilís claw plant, but after having done several studies to that effect, the idea simply never gelled into a larger composition. Then I remembered that I had some devilís claw seed pods in a box in my garage. Iíd ordered them on e-Bay years ago, so I dug them out of their dusty box searching for inspiration. As I examined their lovely, curvilinear forms up close, I was reminded of a sculpture I saw in a Jackson Hole gallery some six or eight years earlier, a monumental bronze of a Devilís Claw. What had struck me about it at the time was that on a very large scale, even reproduced with perfect botanical accuracy, the overall effect of the piece was decidedly abstract. I decided to see if a painting of the seed pod vastly larger than life-size would have the same effect. I spent a good long day obsessively photographing the seed pods from different angles and with different types of lighting, trying to treat them as objets d'art, rather than as botanical specimens. The results were nearly abstract enough.
The problem with creating the painting was ultimately a technical one. To achieve very subtle gradations of color and value, such as would be needed in the background and the cast shadows, one must either paint wet on wet or use multiple thin glazes. If one is intending to disguise brushstrokes, wet on wet can only be used opaquely, and I needed to apply the paint transparently, allowing my underlying textures to show through. Thin glazes on a large-scale painting donít work because the paint simply dries too quickly, so I was forced to make a radical change, switch to oil paints. ďStudy for Devilís Claw,Ē painted from one of my many carefully orchestrated photos, was simply a practice to see if glazing oils over my acrylic underpaintings would give me the results I needed. Fortunately, it was a successful experiment, and I soon turned my energies towards doing the large, 30 x 30Ē version you see here. Ultimately, this large Devilís Claw painting is nothing like the piece I originally envisioned; fortunately, it is a much better painting for it.
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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