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 White Breasted Nuthatches by Andrew Denman <Back to Thumbnails "String Theory #17: White-Breasted Nuthatches"
12 x 12" Acrylic on Cradled Board
White-Breasted Nuthatches

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The White-Breasted Nuthatch is a common backyard bird where I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Though frequently encountered, I never grow tired of their bold, fearless personalities, their dramatically patterned, streamlined plumage, and their habit of moving about like hungry little darts as they attack a suet feeder. Capturing the Nuthatches’ color palette, which ultimately informs the entire color composition of the painting, and their energetic movements, were my main preoccupation with this piece, the seventeenth entry in my “String Theory” series.

On a conceptual level, the contrast between illusionistic imagery and flat decorative treatments has been at the core of my work for nearly twenty years, owing largely to my study of modern art, so it should come as no surprise that an image of birds essentially flying into a Barnett Newman painting and perching on the stripes came into my head like a thunderbolt. Simply by virtue of their proximity to more descriptive elements like the birds, otherwise completely flat areas of color become alive and animate in three-dimensional space. Of course, the concept evolved well past this initial point of inspiration to become something entirely new and very much my own. These pieces, cheekily titled “String Theory,” suggest the dislocation of birds from their natural environments and their adaptiveness to the urban and suburban habitats we have made. These colorful stripes are not meant to “describe” anything as mundane as a fence posts, branches, or bird feeders; rather they become their own non-objective environments, beautiful, evocative, and otherworldly.

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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