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Bewick's Wrens by Andrew Denman
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"A Touch of Pink"
11 x 14" Acrylic on Cradled Board

Bewick's Wren


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The Bewick’s Wren is a beautiful little bird which, while quite common, can be terribly difficult to observe. They tend to spend most of their time in dense thickets of shrubbery, so I am always excited to see one out in the open, especially when I have my camera within reach. I observed these birds on a visit to see my family in California. Staying in my old bedroom I was able to watch all sorts of comings and goings to the birdfeeder outside my window, capturing some solid reference photos and soaking up a serious dose of nostalgia at the same time.

As an artist, especially one who is devoted to following his inspiration wherever it may lead, one notices over time how one painting idea influences the next. I have long been fascinated by pattern and repetition, an interest that led me to pursue the “Modern Camouflage Series” and later my “Pattern” series. This little painting is a somewhat more subtle outgrowth of both exercises.

The background pattern, while certainly a non-organic, non-objective environment in which the animal subject- in this case the wren- exists is in no way intended to disguise it, as in the camouflage series. Unlike the pattern series, the bird itself does not “become” a pattern. Instead, the other two birds become silhouettes, simple volumes of shape that echo, but do not repeat, the more detailed central subject. There is a relationship, of course, between the background pattern and the stripey brown and white plumage of the bird, but the piece is more about rhythms of movement created by these patterns, the abstract arch on which the wrens perch, the fluctuating angles of tail and beak, and the oscillation between values. The result is a seamless melding of representationalism and abstraction, description and suggestion, objectivity and interpretation that captures a sense of nervous, fliting motion that is irrepressibly wren-like.

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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