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Acorn Woodpecker by Andrew Denman <Back to Thumbnails "Exclamation"
20 x 10"
Acrylic on Cradled Board
Acorn Woodpecker

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Acorn Woodpeckers are a frequent sight in the San Francisco Bay Area where Iíve grown up and spent the majority of my life, but they never cease to surprise and entertain. With their rigid, oil-black bodies, white masks, and luminous red caps, they have always struck me as living exclamation marks, all the more so because of their tendency to announce their presence with a loud rapping at whatever nearby material might promise a meal of grubs or provide a convenient place for them to cache their winter stores of food. Iíve captured him here with his wonderfully erect, exaggerated, and tension-filled body posture just as he is about to strike wood. Thereís something fascinating about happening upon an old tree or telephone pole like this one peppered with holes, each stuffed neatly with an acorn. It is a marvelous example of natureís industry on display. Several years ago, these birds were in the Bay Area news for months; for whatever reason, large numbers of them had settled into a local retirement community where they were causing significant damage to houses, drilling exterior walls and eaves to keep their stores safe. The problem lead to something of a war between concerned homeowners and bird-lovers. I canít say I know exactly how the problem was resolved, but I do remember hearing the ridiculous suggestion that experts be brought in to trap the birds and release them outside of town, as if they wouldnít simply fly back! The truth is that if you live in the right climate and you have acorn-producing oak trees, you will have to contend with these very successful birds. My grandmother has mature oaks in her backyard and can attest to the fact that some years see the production of few acorns or none at all, while others yield buckets full, and all manner of wildlife respond accordingly. My hunch is that the explosion in the Acorn Woodpecker population that year was simply the result of a particularly good acorn harvest; itís a problem that will naturally correct itself.

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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