Let’s face it: we don’t have a thousand artists in Denver. Or, if we do – we only have about twenty that are really any good.
I didn’t want to say this out loud – but as I struggled to find new artists for this issue, I hit many walls. And when I was at a point of exasperation, I found Oscar Woodruff.
If anything, Woodruff represents a breath of air; a sense that there really are more than twenty good, strong artists still living in and around Denver.
I found Woodruff through a near-god send at this point, a great place called: Joy Engine: Joy Engine is a wonderful place located in Boulder. Despite that, it’s a great resource that represents a great, vast aquarium of art. The artists that show there, congregate there and are a part of their family encourage me that we have some talent on the Front Range that is quietly creeping up the ladder of interest.
Oscar Woodruff is from Southern Wyoming and Northern Colorado. He finished his education at Rocky Mountain School of Art and Design and he has remained on the Front Range ever since.
From Woodruff’s website: “The act of illustration is a very passionate endeavor for Oscar. He confronts each image as a problem that must be solved, and his work is dictated by a meticulous process. Prior to the execution of an illustration, all concepts are carefully conceived through numerous thumbnails, studies & preliminary drawing. Ideally, only when a strategic course of action is achieved and an excellent concept emerges does he begin the work. Often while working, Oscar will allow an element of chaos and the sub-conscious to enter the fray. Through this practice he intends to achieve authenticity within the work. Despite his tendency to work instinctually, he believes that concise communication within the framework of the image is only made possible by disciplined planning, and an attention to detail.
“Oscar is interested in the possibilities that present themselves when elements are taken out of their normally perceived context. Cliches are used as starting points only and the viewer's recognition of such is something he avoids. Otherwise he attempts to preserve an identifiable integrity about the worlds, characters and concepts he creates.”
I believe that Woodruff has only begun and look for some exciting exhibitions to be coming his way. But, like the rest of his peers in this urban contemporary movement, Denver may not be able to sustain our artists. For that they, like many who have preceeded them, may have to move elsewhere. Then again, for somebody with the talent of Woodruff – the internet is an exciting tool; able to extend one’s reach even further out and into the world.
Keep in-touch with Woodruff’s upcoming exhibitions and bodies of work, here: www.oscarwoodruff.com.