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Devil's Claw Triptych by Andrew Denman <Back to Thumbnails "Devil's Claw"
16 x 13"
Triptych: 3- 6 x 9" Panels, Overall: 18 x 9"
Mixed Media on Crescent Watercolor Board
Devil's Claw Seed Pod, Tuber, & Vines

How to Buy, General Information

When I first discussed this trip with the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, I listed Devilís Claw (Proboscidea althaeifolia) at the top of my plant ďwish list.Ē Imagine my surprise when I discovered a Devilís Claw seed pod washed up on the beach on my very first stroll along the shore. After only a moment of glancing about, I found the plants themselves and discovered that the steeply sloping dunes immediately above the beach were dotted with them.

Iíve been interested in Devilís Claw ever since my carnivorous plant phase. Though whether or not they are true carnivores seems unproven, apparently the succulent, furry leaves of these vine producing tuberous plants exude a sticky sap that ensnares tiny gnats, flies, and other insects. The most dramatic part of the plant, however, are the seed pods, which are wonderfully abstract and evocative woody carpels that look a bit like devil or ramsí horns. Iíd heard that the plants themselves are not showy, and thatís certainly the case. At the time of year I observed them, the vast majority of the vines themselves (which only really grow during brief wet seasons) were almost entirely desiccated, but I was delighted to find that the tubers, which were partly, or in some places almost entirely, exposed by wind erosion, had their own unique visual appeal. I observed younger tubers with a shocking orange color protruding from the sand like sinister, serpentine carrots. Older clumps looked like rubbery, yam-colored crabs, others weirdly anthropomorphic like the fabled Mandrakes of the Mediterranean. I took an absurd number of photos and began formulating a composition in my head, based mainly on the exciting contrast between these strange tubers, the dark, hard lines of the seed pods, and the subtle tracery of filmy vines and their squiggly grey shadows across the white sand.

That overarching composition is still in the planning stages at the time of this writing, but I completed these studies intending that they be hung together as a triptych, each vignette showing a distinct and distinctly interesting part of the Devilís Claw plant.

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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