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11 x 11"
Graphite & Nero Pencil on Watercolor Board, 2014
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“Vitellus” further advances a theme I frequently explore in my work, the presentation of animal subjects, not in a natural history context, but in a spiritual one. Anyone who has observed Long-Tailed Tits in the wild knows that they scarcely stand still for an instant, and I’ve portrayed this bird in a typically energetic posture, as though it is ready to hop to another branch or fly away at any moment. The placement of the bird in a circular shape, however, bridles this energy. Symmetrical elements always bring a sense of quiet balance to a work of art, and that is the intention here, to calm the nervous flutter of nature, to distill the experience into a timeless image. The title, “Vitellus” is another word for yolk, and the circle symbolizes this shape. But the word also sounds a bit like “vital” (though it is not etymologically related in any way) and that is why I have used it here. The magic of life is often lost in its messiness and drudgery, but it is magical, miraculous even, that a bird begins its life as a single cell that we take for granted with every breakfast. The drawing encapsulates the bird and its life cycle into a single, vital image, an icon and an offering to the miracle of nature. It is also worth noting that the branch that bisects the circle and anchors it to the negative space of the border brings dimly to mind Morris Graves’ “Instruments for a New Navigation,” an exhibition of abstract sculptures I saw many years ago and which affected me greatly. These small, largely disk-like sculptures combine a sense of the ancient and totemic with something almost scientific and nautical, as though they are the sextants of a lost tribe of extinct artists. Somewhere in my subconscious, I am certain these little altar-piece-like sculptures are expressing their influence in my more spiritually potent work, “Vitellus” being a case in point.
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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