Friday, August 26, 2011

Sioux City Art Center Exhibit

I was fortunate to have been asked to show some of my work at the Sioux City Art Center recently. They wanted to present an exhibit of all five of my original Iowa Duck Stamp paintings and the two Artist of the Year paintings completed for Iowa Ducks Unlimited. The paintings will be on display at the Art Center until September 18th. If you are close by I invite you to stop in and see the paintings. This is a rare opportunity to see all five original winners at the same time since all five usually are not together. In addition to the duck stamp pieces there are two other award winning paintings on display. They are larger paintings and helped me to be named the Iowa Ducks Unlimited Artist of the Year twice, once in 2007 and again in 2010. There are several other waterfowl paintings included in the show also.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hooded Merganser - by Darren Maurer

11"x 14"

Every year our local nature center, the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, has a fund raiser titled "Nature Calls". This year's event will take place on Saturday, September 24th beginning at 6:00pm. Local artists are invited to sell their work during an evening event which consists of light hor d'oeuvres, beer tasting, and a charity auction benefiting the nature center. I am donating this original oil painting for the live charity auction.

Donating original paintings for an auction is something I have rarely done since becoming known for my waterfowl paintings. Although I donate artwork several times a year for charitible causes, I usually limit my donations to one of my duck stamp prints along with a signed mint stamp. This will be only the second time I have donated an "original" piece for an auction. As an artist donating original work for an auction, I have noticed people tend to presume "print reproduction artwork" pricing even on original pieces of work due to the fact that 99.9% of art sold at an auction is in a limited edition print form. For example, I have been to countless Ducks Unlimited auctions where another artist has donated an original piece and I always hear people discussing the work and calling it a print. I have even seen auctioneers calling original work a print. The artist doesn't want to see their hard work sell for so-called limited edition print prices. People need to understand and be educated about the increased value of an original painting over that of a print reproduction. Originals are of course "one of a kind". Limited edition prints are usually so mass produced that the word "limited" is completely meaningless. Generally limited edition prints produced today will rarely if ever go up in value. Original paintings by established artists will do nothing but increase in value year after year. The more known an artist becomes the more the value of the original work increases.

I'm hoping this painting raises a nice amount of money for our nature center and goes to someone that will appreciate my work. I'm going to continue painting and promoting my artwork everyday so I know good things will happen in my art career. Maybe one day someone that hasn't been born yet will have this painting on their wall telling people, "My grandparents bought it at a charity auction in Sioux City, Iowa and I'm so glad they did."

Monday, August 15, 2011

Junior Mints - by Darren Maurer

5"x 7"
This is the famous Junior Mints candy along with the iconic box. I was hired for a commission job to paint Junior Mints and this is the finished result. I noticed something about Junior Mints that I had not seen before while working on this piece....they are concave on one side and convex on the other. I didn't say it was an interesting observation...just something I had not noticed before. I have another large painting to finish and I have some other miniature paintings planned and in the first stages of progress. I will be posting everything as they are finished. This is a Commission Painting and therefore is Sold.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Gamma Phi Beta Sorority-Iowa State University

30" x 36"

Last fall our oldest daughter followed in her mother's footsteps and became a member of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority at her University. As a special gift to the sorority, we offered to donate an original framed oil painting portrait of the house. Today the painting hangs in the newly redecorated living room and will welcome the women of Gamma Phi Beta back to their Gamma Phi home for years to come.

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