Friday, February 4, 2011

Featured Artist

Derek Cadena
Two Little Fruits Art Studio
This is the first installment in a two-part series featuring the Two Little Fruits Art Studio.  Two Little Fruits is owned and operated by Derek Cadena & Brent Rodgers.  Derek Cadena was born in Kansas in 1973. After high school, Derek moved to Denver where he attended the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design.  For over a decade Derek has been creating stunning original fine art pieces. Also a commissioned artist and muralist, he has works displayed in private and commercial collections throughout the United States, as well as, abroad. Derek has been a member of the Art Students League of Denver, The Chicano Humanities and Arts Council (C.H.A.C.) Gallery, The Pork Chop Show, Detail Gallery, CoArt Gallery, and exhibits his work at other various locations throughout the metro area.
Walk the Line, 14.5x23," acrylic/mixed media on wood, 2LF Studio, 2010

The warm colors and organic shapes in your abstract paintings seem as though they may find inspiration in nature.  Have you found artistic inspiration in the plains of Kansas or the dramatic peaks of Colorado?
I absolutely love being outside. Growing up in rural Kansas I spent a lot of time tracking the creek and searching for E.T. in the corn, sunflower, and wheat fields. Kansas plains definitely inspired some of my abstract paintings with minimalist landscapes peppered with alien-like pods going to seed.
Now, I live in Colorado.  It's a bonanza of inspiration!  Leisure hiking on mossy green mountain paths, biking around Denver on a Schwinn cruiser, and paddling on quite lakes with Brent in our kayaks are the best ways of gathering inspiration.  We always have a camera with us, so we take a ton of photos that are all fair game in either of our art.
Untitled 1-2, 13x15," acrylic on panel, Derek Cadena, 2007
In your 2007 VIDA show you explored life’s journey through bunnies, flowers and skulls.  Do have a sense of what subject matter or themes will inspire your work in 2011?
I totally have art A.D.D... Right now, I like graphic illustrations of Colorado wildlife and zoo animals in urban environments or vignettes of animals on plywood.  Brent and I have been working together on several pieces in this new series.  I digitally illustrate critters that he photographs, then we both paint prints and transfer the images to wood. We have a lot of fun doing this.  As far as my oil paintings... I'm leaning towards capturing grainy old Poloroid-esque images of toys and other plastic or tin junk.  I have a few images I've collected from recent family holiday travels that I plan on painting, such as, two little Christmas reindeer figurines, which, have been displayed every Christmas since I've been alive.  I am drawn to nostalgic toys and objects from my childhood. My Great Grandmother had an old steamer trunk that was full of toys that spanned about fifty years. I'm currently painting an old tin robot that looks like something that would've been in that old trunk, it's coming along nicely!
Sleeping Nude, 12x24," oil on panel, Derek Cadena, 2005
Are there particular artists who inspire you in your figure paintings? 
 There's too many to name. Dead guys: Vincent Van Gogh and Francis Bacon. Living artists: Jenny Saville and Lucian Freud.  A couple of years ago I saw a huge painting of a reclining female nude by Saville at the Denver Art Museum. It had to be at least 15 FT tall, and I was absolutely in awe of the mood, texture and SIZE of her painting. I hope to have a bigger studio space someday so I can paint that big!  For now, I like dropping in on life model sessions at the Art Students League of Denver and painting small figures. One of my favorite paintings that I still have in my collection is of a sleeping nude I painted there in 2005.
Still Mighty, 8x10," oil on panel, Derek Cadena, 2010
Many thanks to Derek for sharing his wonderful paintings.  Be sure to stop by next week to see the work of Brent Rodger's, the other half of Two Little Fruits Art Studio.

What do you think of Derek's work? 
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