Derek Brennan

Derek Brennan

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Derek Brennan, a Cleveland based artist, received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree from Bowling Green State University where he served as President of the Two-Dimensional Art Association. During his time at BGSU, he received multiple awards including two Ringholz Art Supply Awards along with first place awards in painting. Post-graduation, Derek worked for a Cleveland clothing company as a graphic designer creating t-shirt designs before transitioning to a full-time art career. He has presented his work at the Toledo Museum of Art, Bay Arts, the International Society of Caricature Artist’s annual convention, and Manifest Gallery where he was featured in both their 9th Annual International Drawing publication as well as their Rites of Passage exhibition. This year, Derek was commissioned to create his second mural for the city of Fostoria, Ohio and recently he held a solo exhibition at Loftworks Gallery in Cleveland. He is currently exhibiting work at Morpho Gallery’s 6th Annual International Encaustics Exhibition in Chicago, Illinois and Tripoint Medical Center Gallery near Cleveland.

My work is a dance between the representational and the abstract, describing my subject in one stroke and then abstracting it in the next. This delicate balance constantly brings the viewer in and out of the reality. Using wildlife as a vessel for my work, I am exploring how an encaustic painting is created in terms of layers, composition, color and mark making. Rather than focusing solely on what my paintings represent, I am allowing the viewer to appreciate and discover the depth and energy that the encaustic process provides. I've found it's easy to overthink “why” I create or “what” to create, so I've shifted my focus to "how" I create. With encaustic, I'm able to combine various mediums in one composition, creating elements of complexity and discovery in each piece.The beeswax subdues the colors of the oil paint and creates harmony throughout the entire series while giving the paintings a nostalgic quality that makes each one like a memory. The weathered panels and use of vintage magazine clippings further illustrate this affection for the past. Using collage, drawing, painting and sculpture I am searching for new ways to challenge traditional wildlife art and create fresh interpretations of these animals. Due to the nature of encaustic, there are many little “accidents” that occur during the process which is something I now welcome and use to my advantage

Featured Work

Breaking through

Breaking through
Encaustic on panel, 32”x64”

Guardian

Guardian
Encaustic on panel, 40”x48”

Manny the frenchie

Manny the frenchie
Encaustic on panel, 12”x12”

It’s a process

It’s a process
Mural created for Camp Construction in Castalia Ohio

Guardian of the seasons

Guardian of the seasons
Mural for the city of Fostoria Ohio depicting the constantly changing seasons of Ohio.

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