Sunday, March 15, 2015

Salt & Pepper by Darren maurer


This "Salt & Pepper Shaker" painting was in progress before I began working on the duck stamp painting. I had to put it on hold because the stamp design entry had a deadline. It seems like when I was a kid everyone's mom had a set of these salt and pepper shakers and now you rarely see them. I found this set at a local restaurant that has been in Sioux City forever. I have always liked painting glass and getting that slick reflective look with the paint. It was especially fun painting these shakers because they had the uneven knobs and valleys in the design of the glass.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Piano Keys - by Darren Maurer


Here is a completed commission painting for my client. Painting commission work is different than just painting something that I want to paint for fun. Most of my work consists of subjects that appeal to me on a personal level but with commissions the artist is working for a client. The client wanted a letter "O" painted on the front of one of the keys. Commission paintings are usually produced for a specific person or for a specific reason. As an artist you might not ever totally know what the significance of the painting means. I just try to make the best painting I can and meet all of the client's requests.

Friday, March 06, 2015

2016 Iowa Duck Stamp!

Iowa Artist Claims Sixth Title in Duck Stamp Competition
Iowa Ducks Unlimited announced the winner of the 2016 Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Competition from its annual State Convention Friday, February 12 in Des Moines.  The winning image of a Common Goldeneye duck was painted by artist Darren Maurer.
Maurer, a nationally known artist, works from his studio in Sioux City, Iowa. The 2016 win gives Maurer the honor of painting the winning image for the Iowa competition an unprecedented six times since 2001. Maurer’s previous winning paintings were a Snow Goose in 2001, Northern Shovelers in 2002, American Widgeon in 2007, Hooded Merganser in 2011, and Blue-winged Teal in 2012. He was also chosen as the Iowa Ducks Unlimited Artist of the year in 2007 and 2010. Iowa began issuing duck stamps in 1972 making it one of the oldest waterfowl stamp competitions in the country.
“I am extremely honored to have my work chosen to appear on Iowa’s conservation stamp again. It is always a great feeling to know that your work is appreciated enough by others to be chosen as the winning image from a large collection of amazing pieces of art from talented artists.  Iowa is one of the states that opens their competition to artists nationwide and there are always a number of very talented highly successful duck stamp artists submitting work which makes Iowa one of the more difficult states in which to compete.”
When asked why he thinks he has had so much success in Iowa competition Maurer modestly answered, “I’m not really sure. I just try to design a painting with an interesting composition. At that point, I begin painting the largest shapes within the duck adding smaller details to the painting a little at a time. The physical anatomy of the duck must be accurate. After that, it is out of the hands of the artist and up to the judges to decide. “
The Common Goldeneye is named for its intensely bright yellow iris. Males have black and white bodies with a dark black head showing a green iridescence when viewed in sunlight. They feed mainly on aquatic insects and crustaceans and can be found migrating through Iowa every year.

Maurer’s artwork will be sold as prints and stamps in 2016 by Iowa Ducks Unlimited to help conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. Ducks Unlimited is a grassroots volunteer based organization holding nearly 4,400 fundraising events each year at the local level. Since its inception in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has raised nearly $3.5 billion toward habitat conservation.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Glass Christmas Ornament - by Darren Maurer

5" x 7"
As I mentioned in the fortune cookie post....I like painting shiny objects. There isn't anything much more shiny than a glass Christmas ornament. I painted what I saw reflected in the ball and the result is a rose colored very warped rendition of my art studio resonating back in the glass. I prefer the round reflective globes but glass decorations come in about any shape you could imagine. The Germans began making ornaments for mass production in the mid-1800s. They were all made by hand. Glass blowers began molding glass into fruit or nut replicas. After those became popular, they began developing different shapes, such as hearts and stars, as well as saints, children or animals. Commission Painting SOLD.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fortune Cookie - by Darren Maurer

5" x 7"

I have always like painting slick shiny objects like plastic, glass, and other reflective surfaces. Getting this fortune cookie to look like it is inside the clear plastic wrapper was interesting. Start with a few strokes slightly darker than the background, add the shadows, and then hit it with some almost pure white strokes where you see the highlights and instantly it turns into a clear plastic wrapper.

I have had several calls and messages in the last few weeks inquiring if the paintings are for sale? All of the paintings are for sale unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

"The Favorite" (Bass-O-Reno) by Darren Maurer

8" x 10"
I have been working on this painting for the last two weeks. Old fishing lures have a certain memory triggering action for me. I always think back to a time when I caught a big bass with a lure just like this one or it reminds me of a particular fishing trip or a long time fishing buddy. I'm certain the appeal of antique lure paintings is because of this same reaction with the people that see the work. I have been painting portraits of old tackle for a long time now and it never gets old, in fact, when I began painting the very first object I ever tried to do a painting of was an old bass lure. This one is a commission painting for someone that is going to give it away as a Christmas gift this year. Glad I got it done!!!

Friday, December 05, 2014

Cracked Egg - by Darren Maurer

5" x 7"

For the past several months I have been getting together with a friend and painting about once a month.  The last time we met I didn't realize we were going to be painting until it was getting close to 7 o'clock. I had to come up with a subject fast. I grabbed an egg out of the refrigerator and decided I would crack it open and whatever it looked like is what I would paint. Usually every painting is a struggle at some point during the process. Every so often a painting will go really well without problems or issues. This was one of those that went very smoothly with only one very small problem area that was easily corrected. I painted about 90% of this at my friend's studio and finished in my studio after it had a chance to slightly dry. Painting a raw egg is a fun challenge and the yellow color of an egg yolk is amazing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Locomotive Wheel - by Darren Maurer

12" x 12"

This is a wheel on a locomotive. I saw this at a train yard in Sioux City and thought it would make a nice painting. The thin rusty patina that covers all the parts of the wheel is my favorite part of this piece. I also like the warm contrast of the sun lit areas compared to the cool shadows under the locomotive.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Fishing Lure - by Darren Maurer

5" x 7"
I like painting old fishing lures. They have a character to them. The paint is cracked and faded. Some have wear rings around them from years of being jostled around inside a tackle box. My favorite ones have teeth marks scratched into the ...paint. I have a collection of antique lures that I have amassed over the past twenty years and each one is unique. This is one of those lures. A red and white jointed bass plug. So cool!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Green Olives by Darren Maurer

3" x 6"
I have had a busy week in my sign shop working as late as 10:30 pm one night which obviously doesn't leave as much time to paint. Tonight I made sure I spent some time in the studio. I found this little scrap of canvas panel which measures 3"x 6" and decided to use it for a painting. It is a fall off piece left over from cutting a larger panel sometime. I had some great comments and emails about the olive I painted last week. Why not paint two olives this time? There just isn't a better shade of green than that of a green olive. Painting SOLD. 
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