Original Artwork by Andrew Denman


Andrew Denman
Original Artwork
Acrylic & White Gold Leaf on Cradled Board
6 × 6 in


Artwork Description

“There is something magical about hummingbirds. I was so taken by the luminous violet crown of this Costa’s Hummingbird, that I tried for many hours on several different occasions to take a usable photograph, knowing that it was a subject I simply had to paint. The hummingbird’s diminutive size, quick movements, and jewel-like colors can suggest a fragility that belies their tremendous strength. They are tough, adaptable, and fearless. It’s no wonder that historically hummingbirds have been a symbol not only of lightness of being, speed, and playfulness, but also of resiliency and independence. Curiously, the native American symbol for hummingbird, which becomes a perch for the actual bird in my painting, looks very much like an infinity symbol turned on its end. One wonders if the Native Americans knew that, when observed in slow motion, a hummingbird’s wingbeats actually create a figure eight. Surely, they would have been familiar with the bird’s ability to enter into a state of torpor in order to conserve energy. A hummingbird awakening from torpor looks very convincingly like a dead hummingbird coming back to life, so associating the bird with rebirth and the everlasting makes a great deal of sense. Whatever the explanation, I wanted to comment on the iconic significance of this gem-like bird, and the use of the symbol, particularly leafed in 18K white gold, seemed like an appropriate solution.”

– Andrew Denman