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12 x 12"
Graphite, Nero Pencil, & Colored Pencil on Watercolor Board, 2014
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It’s a strange wonder that I love chickens, or birds at all, considering that one of my first experiences with either, indeed one of my clearest early memories, was so traumatic. My father had just brought home newborn chicks to populate our backyard chicken coop when a scrub jay flew down and snatched one of the helpless baby birds from my hand and made off with it. That gruesome reality, inescapable even to a child of five, was only the first of several lessons a young Andrew Denman learned from birds. I discovered how quickly an adorable baby bird becomes a full grown- and less than cuddly- adult. I learned that nature does not tolerate a weakling when our flock pestered and eventually blinded the scrawniest of the lot, and I learned to appreciate that even terrible violence can be merciful when my poor father was eventually forced to behead the outcast. Oddly this experience was not the end, but only the beginning of my lifelong fascination with birds. To this day I still love chickens for their indomitable attitudes, cocky (pardon the pun) spirits, and ceaseless variation of feather, comb, scale, and spur. This fellow, a rather large and impressive Barnevelder Cock, presides over friend, gifted landscaper, backyard chicken fancier, and all around Renaissance woman, Monique Gudgeon’s flock at Sculpture by the Lakes in Dorset, England. While Mo’s impossibly fuzzy-looking Silkies first commanded my attention, this Barnevelder’s handsomely glossy feathers, confident stride, and keenly appraising, beady-eyed gaze soon won my attention from his more exotic relatives. I chose to portray him in black and white except for his cocks-comb, which shines like a beacon in luminous, strident red, a coloristic echo of his audacious personality.
Welcome to the online home for artwork by Andrew Denman, a California –based, 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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