Early Risers


Printed vinyl with a cushioned back. Made in the USA.
4’6″ x 3″


“What happened to the butterfly? Moments ago a tiger swallowtail was seen flitting through this sampler of spring wildflowers, like a blossom on the wing. But never mind, many earth-bound beauties remain to be admired: trillium, trout-lily, pink lady’s-slipper, jack-in-the-pulpit, shooting star, Dutchman’s-breeches, bloodroot, yellow violet and spring beauty. Oh yes—and Fowler’s toad. Fowler’s toad? That’s no wildflower! Hey, that must be what happened to the butterfly.” -Charley Harper

Charley Harper had an alternative way of looking at nature. His serigraphs were large expanses of rich color, which gave the viewer a very different perspective on the animal kingdom. A conservationist, as well as an artist, Harper revealed the unique aspects of his wildlife subjects through highly stylized geometric reduction which he coined “minimal realism.” There was a rare and delightful playfulness in Harper’s artwork. There was also a graphic genius. Harper said, “When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don’t see feathers, fur, scapulars, or tail coverts—none of that. I see exciting shapes, color combinations, patterns, textures, fascinating behavior, and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures. I regard the picture as an ecosystem in which all the elements are interrelated, interdependent, perfectly balanced, without trimming or unutilized parts; and herein lies the lure of painting: in a world of chaos, the picture is one small rectangle in which the artist can create an ordered universe. Wildlife art has been dominated by realism, but I have chosen to do it differently because I think flat, hard-edged, and simple.” Charley Harper’s unique minimalist approach is unmistakable.