Sunday, February 28, 2010

PB & J Sandwich - by Darren Maurer

10" x 10"
This is the first painting for my new gallery, Bethel Street Gallery, located in Honolulu, Hawaii. I am going to complete five to six pieces of various sizes. The owner let me know he was a fan of my peanut butter and jelly sandwich paintings so I decided to make it my first subject. For those of you that also follow my friend, Neil Hollingsworth's painting blog, he has been discussing his use of painting small study paintings of partial subjects before tackling the entire subject in a single composition. For instance, he recently completed a close up painting of some glass coca-cola bottles inside the red cardboard carrier before finishing the larger painting showing the top portion of the entire eight-pack on a 16x20 canvas. This is a good way for artists to see how a particular subject matter might work before committing lots of time on a big painting. In a sense, it is practice. I don't paint a great deal of study paintings, but usually just dive in headfirst and find all the hidden potential problems as I am painting. This painting was completed in a sort of an opposite fashion from Neil's method. A few weeks ago I painted both halves of this PB & J on a 6x6 panel and now finished the same sandwich with a very cropped composition on a 10x10 panel. I should consider painting studies more often because this painting really went well and I was able to get in the "zone" and the painting came easy. Painting Sold.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Clown Sundae by Darren Maurer

16" x 20"
There is a restaurant here in Sioux City, Iowa that has been in business for 80 years now. The Green Gables restaurant opened in 1929 and is quite famous near and far for the excellent home cooked meals and ice cream dishes they serve up. When my daughters were little the Gables, which is how we refer to the restaurant in our home, was always a very popular choice for going out to eat. The main attraction for my girls is what came after the meal. The famous Green Gables Clown Sundae. A single scoop of vanilla ice cream piled into a glass ice cream dish, topped with an ice cream cone for a hat, whipped cream sprayed along the length of the hat and m&m's candies dotting the nose, eyes, and decorations on the hat. I would not want to calculate the number of these sundaes that have been built in last 80 years. It would easily reach into the hundreds of thousands. I wanted to paint a clown sundae and really like how this painting shows the simple design and yet has a dramatic feel to it. The glass ice cream bowl was extremely fun to paint also. This painting will be made into an edition of fine canvas giclee prints and will be available through the Green Gables gift shop. I'm not sure what I will do with the original painting yet.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Good News!!!!! 2011 Iowa Duck Stamp

Here is the news release for my fourth win in the Iowa Duck Stamp Contest. The merganser did it!!!!

Historic Win in Iowa Duck Stamp Competition

Sioux City resident and nationally recognized artist, Darren Maurer, made history by taking top honors in the Iowa Duck Stamp Contest held Friday, February 12 in Des Moines, Iowa. Maurer’s rendition of a single Hooded Merganser drake was chosen from entries sent in from across the country. The winning image will be used on Iowa’s duck stamp for the year 2011 and will also be used as the Iowa Ducks Unlimited sponsor print for the same year.
This unprecedented win earns Maurer the honor of becoming the only artist in the thirty-eight year history of the Iowa art contest to win the Iowa Duck Stamp four different times. Maurer was previously tied with artists Paul Bridgeford, Dietmar Krumrey, and the legendary Maynard Reece with three Iowa stamps each to their name. “Winning number four is definitely something I will remember for a long time. Having four duck stamps and two Artist of the Year titles goes way beyond what I ever thought possible since sending that first painting off in the mail ten years ago.” Maurer says.
Although impressive, this accomplishment is not Maurer’s first time to earn prestigious honors in the Ducks Unlimited art competition. Maurer’s first unmatched achievement occurred after winning both the 2001 and 2002 Duck Stamp contests. No other artist had won in back to back years before or since then. He set the bar high again by taking top honors in both the Duck Stamp competition and was named the Iowa Ducks Unlimited Artist of the Year in 2007. Maurer is the only artist to win both of those honors in the same year. He was also named Iowa Ducks Unlimited Artist of the Year for a second time in 2010.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ruddy Ducks - by Darren Maurer

24" x 30"
Another duck painting. My subscribers and followers of my blog might remember last year when I painted seven common goldeneyes drakes, entitled "The Magnificent Seven" for the Iowa Ducks Unlimited Print of the Year. That painting placed first in the contest and gave me my second Iowa DU Artist of the Year title. This painting of a pair of ruddy ducks is for the same competition this year. I went through several up and down periods while painting this piece. I would like it one day and hate it the next. I do like how the painting ended and I had to end it because it has to be in Des Moines, Iowa by 11am Saturday. I thought the judges would appreciate dry paint. Painting Available $950. (Email me for Purchase Details)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Red & Silver Hershey's Kisses - by Darren Maurer

6" x 6"
I like the negative space around the subjects in this piece. Less is more sometimes. I also like the more lit area of the background to the upper right of the silver kiss. This is painting 318 in my miniature painting series. It is also a commission painting and therefore it is sold.
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