30 August 2007

Painting of Today - Debby Kaspari

I have an upcoming post in the works featuring the work of Debby Kaspari, for now here is a great painting of Scissor-tailed Flyctachers. Check out this post , and read about the great story behind this work.
Or her whole excellent blog 'Drawing the Motmot'

29 August 2007

Painting of the Day - Jon Fjeldså

Anyone recognize this beautiful image? If you own a copy of the great book 'Birds of the High Andes' by Fjeldså and Krabbe, you might have recognized this watercolor by the Norwegian artist, ornithologist, biogeographer extraordinaire Jon Fjeldså (it is in the inside liner of the book). If you haven't spent any time with this book, you should check it out at the library and take a look. The entire volume is illustrated beautifully by Fjeldså with intricate plates in watercolor and the text is supplemented by his loose, somewhat stylistic ink drawings. Some of Fjeldså's other work can be seen in his Oxford University Press monograph on Grebes of the world and on the occassional cover of the Auk like this one below from 2004.

26 August 2007

Art Auction at Coeur d'Alene

I came across an interesting natural history art auction which took place a few weeks ago at a house called Coeur d'Alene. Take a look at the catalog. A few paintings which caught my eye are this amazing Great horned Owl piece by Guy Coheleach (pronounced Co-lee-ack), and this impressive Moose by Carl Rungius. In upcoming posts, I plan to update you on a few auctions of notable paintings that I have spotted and followed, including a past Fuertes auction which I have not yet written on.

24 August 2007

Featured Artist - Carel Brest van Kempen

Flipping through my blog lists a few nights ago, I visited Carel Brest van Kempen's blog Rigor Vitae . Check out his extremely imaginative, exquisitely detailed work on his blog as well as on his webpage . The painting which struck a chord with me on this visit to his blog is this fanastic image of a Ferruginous Hawk. The detail in the rock face, lichens, twigs, grasses as well as in the bird itself is stunning. This piece in particular reminds me very much of the work of Raymond Harris Ching . I can only imagine the hours and hours of work it must take to render even the smallest patch of vegetation or scratch of earth. For a bit of insight into the artist, there is an interesting video touching on his goals as conservation minded artist linked from a recent post on Rigor Vitae.

10 August 2007

When the painting tells a story

While breezing through the stacks on a trip up to the library today I randomly spotted Johnsgard's monograph on the Quetzals and Trogons
of the world and had to pull it down to quickly leaf through the plates. The artwork used in this book is quite ecclectic running from contemporary to classical. Several of the plates are beautiful, historically signifigant pieces from John Gould's 1858–1875 Monograph of the Trogonidae. The rest are a mix of a handful of contemporary artists, including Dan Lane, John P. O'Neill and Dana Gardner. One plate in particular caught my eye specifically regarding a goal I have been cultivating for my own work of late. Here is Dan Lane's painting of a Bar-tailed Trogon family group. This is an excellent composition communicating a simple story about the lives of these birds at the nest, the male on sentinel, the female visiting the nest to feed a green caterpillar and of course the chick greeting its parent at the nest mouth. This kind of story telling is both visually interesting and intellectually stimulating.

09 August 2007

Dan Lane's new Cnipodectes in the Auk

I spotted the new issue of the Auk this morning with a beautiful painting by Dan Lane on the cover. This is an example of perhaps one of the most exciting types of frontispiece images to behold... an image of a newly described species. Take a look at BioOne if you have access, or try to get it through a library online collection from the same link another time to read the species description.
For the intrepid, here are some hints for finding this new species in Peru.
Here is another great piece by Dan, a plate from the forthcoming Birds of Peru. Dan also has a website highlighting some of his work in watercolor as well as black and white ink drawings you may have seen in the rotating bird art on Birding on the net .

02 August 2007

Fuertes sold on eBay live auction

A few days ago a beautiful Bald Eagle painting sold on an eBay live auction. Originally estimated to sell for $3-$5,000, the final sale was for $6,750. I have not had a chance to research a place where this piece may have been published. Anyone out there recognize this piece? Take a look.