Siouxland Stories: 25 years of paint, man’s bed sheet becomes work of art

Siouxland Stories

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — He designs posters and signs and even hunts for fossils, but he’s also an artist, and his latest work took him 25 years to complete.

“I was standing in here by myself, just smiling. I thought, ‘That looks so cool up on that wall.’ And I’m not an abstract artist and it’s obviously very abstract.”

Darren Maurer is an artist who moved to Siouxland from Nebraska. He began painting more than three decades ago.

“I moved to Sioux City in 1989 and at the time, I just did mainly pencil drawings and pen and ink work. Not a lot of painting. And I met a couple of people here in Sioux City that were artists, and they inspired me to get with it and try to learn how to paint, so I basically taught myself how to paint,” he said.

And it wasn’t too long after that Maurer bought himself an expensive piece of equipment.

“At one time, I mean, as an artist I wouldn’t say I was quite as successful as I have been in the latter part of my career, and so I did, I scraped together enough money one day to buy a really nice professional easel to use, and I brought it home and it was so, the wood was so nice on it I thought, ‘Man, I don’t want to get paint all over this’ and so I found an old white bed sheet and I threw it over the top of the easel,” Maurer said.

Using the sheet to wipe the brushes clean. Year after year, painting after painting, the bed sheet itself became a work of art.

“I started to look at it like ‘Boy, this could really be kind of cool someday maybe, you know, if I keep doing this,’ and I kept looking for, as time went on, I’d have to look harder and harder for a spot that didn’t have paint on it to wipe the brushes out. So that’s how it ended up getting paint basically on every square inch of it,” Maurer said.

Maurer posted it on Facebook, where it was shared throughout the community.

“I think the story seems like it connected more maybe than the piece itself,” said Maurer.

Because through this impromptu piece, Maurer’s 2,000+ paintings are all connected, every blotch and brush stroke, creating a portrait of his long and colorful career.

“So there’s a little bit of paint from each one of those paintings on this bedsheet. So that’s why it kind of hits special with me. Somebody asked about if it’s for sale already. And, I mean, I don’t think I can sell it. It’s just one of those things that, maybe it’s not for sale,” Maurer said.

So now that he’s run out of space and the painting’s on the wall.

“Should I do it again? I don’t know if I have 2,000 paintings left in me for another fully covered bed sheet, maybe I’ll use a twin bedsheet.”

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