Del Pettigrew - Interview
Sculptor Del Pettigrew credits one of his fondest memories for the idea behind Real Good Buddy. “I remember hunting with my uncle,” he recalls. “And he would always have the dog with him. They were a pair and never without each other. It was neat to watch.”
Pettigrew says the 15-inch tall, 50 pound sculpture took him about four weeks to create. “I really wanted to capture the spirit and love of animals. If you have a dog, you know they really are real good buddies,” he says.
Real Good Buddy is typical of Pettigrew’s work and many of his other pieces depict wildlife, including buffalo, wolves, rabbits, deer, and eagles to name a few. When talking about the details of his sculpture, such as creating the fur on this sculpture, Pettigrew says he tries to use impressionistic surfaces when creating textures. “I hope to capture the essence and their personality but I also try to keep the anatomy correct,” he says.
Pettigrew, distantly related to the late South Dakota Senator Richard Franklin Pettigrew, is also an award-winning painter. His work can be found in collections as far away as Kuwait, and is represented by galleries in Cheyenne in Wyoming; Aspen, Beaver Creek, Denver, San Luis, and Loveland in Colorado; in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Harbor Springs, Michigan.
Born in Lincoln, Neb., Pettigrew attended the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where he studied journalism and political science. Although his first sculpture, a bas-relief of mallards in a marsh setting, was done at the early age of 12, many years passed before he began sculpting in earnest. Pettigrew, who has been a professional sculptor and painter for the last 21 years, has studied with numerous nationally known wildlife artists such as: Walter Matia, Chapel, and Floyd Tennyson Dewitt. He also credits his wife, acclaimed sculptor Martha Pettigrew, for her insightful critiques. They live in Aspen, where they also run their studio, Wind River Gallery.
Pettigrew submitted Real Good Buddy to Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center SculptureWalk simply because “I think it will make people feel good and hopefully bring a smile to their faces,” he says.