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House Finch by Andrew Denman <Back to Thumbnails "Spring Totem #1"
8 x 8"
Acrylic on Cradled Board
House Finch

How to buy
I began this small series of paintings over a year ago, and am very pleased to have finally brought them to completion. While they were set aside in the studio, I painted for a solo art exhibition focusing on animal totems. That show approached the idea of totems far more literally than these three pieces, and it’s interesting to me that the “Spring Totem” paintings only came together after that exercise in a similar theme. Perhaps there was something in that idea that needed to crystalize before I could finish them. Of course, painting animals in an iconographic context is not new for me; it has been a thread running through my work for more than a decade. These pieces, however deal with the concept in a very particular way.

I was inspired by Johannes Itten’s book on color theory, The Art of Color, in which he postulates that each color has a corresponding shape that best expresses its characteristics. Red, which is associated with earth and soil, takes the square, the square having four even sides and therefore being the most stable of shapes. Yellow gets the triangle, which is associated with thought, wisdom, lightness of being, and spiritual transcendence. Blue, of course, suggests the ocean, sky, cyclicality and the forces of nature, and therefore is appropriate only for the circle. In the “Spring Totem” paintings, I have allowed these shapes and colors to fill the backgrounds of otherwise very simple paintings of birds, each chosen for its color to represent that shape and all that comes with it. Though they are small, these pieces are redolent with meaning, rendering these birds into elemental representations of earth, air, and water, or perhaps fecundity, enlightenment, and rebirth. This is the first in the series and features the common but lovely House Finch.

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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