Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Art of Conservation - Opening Weekend

This past rainy weekend, I attended the opening of the Artists for Conservation (AFC) group's inaugural exhibition hosted by the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum. Many of the exhibiting artists, representing 7 countries, were in attendance.

The Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, Oradell, NJ.

At the entrance to the Blauvelt.

On Friday, AFC sponsored a bus trip to the Bronx Zoo. I missed the trip because I was on the road to the show. I heard from several fellow artists that the zoo's snow leopards were particularly active which made me regret missing the trip, but there was no way I could have altered my travel plans. That evening, the artists were treated to a dessert buffet along with a private viewing of the show. This was followed by several interesting slide presentations given by members who participated in the AFC's flag expedition program.

Me standing by my piece Rare Beauty - Snow Leopard.

Saturday morning, was another optional bus trip to the Museum of Natural History in NYC for a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum's dioramas. Saturday evening, the museum hosted a dinner at the museum and we dined amidst the fabulous artwork. Awards were presented including several Awards of Excellence and Robert Bateman was present to receive his special honor, the Simon Combe's Award for Conservation.

Sunday afternoon, the show opened to the public and there was a large turnout with several sales. The show was a big success. Everyone was impressed with the thoughtful layout of the artwork, the quality of the art, and the accompanying hardbound catalog was beautifully done.

Following are some random images from the show...

On the "Art of Conservation" wall, from left to right - Dag Peterson's The Wilderness is Calling; Robert Bateman's Pelican Diving; David Kitler's Harpy Eagle - Portraits. In the foreground is Dale Weiler's marble sculpture Nowhere To Go.

Robert Bateman's work on loan for the exhibit, Rockface Descent - Leopard.

From left to right around the room: Oscar Famili's Curiosity and the Cat and Persian Onager's Winter Feast; Laura Mark-Finberg's Intensity (Young Tiger); Brian Jarvi's The Rising and my piece Rare Beauty - Snow Leopard. In the foreground left to right: Tucker Bailey's bronze Clouded Leopard and Karryl's MMM...Tasty.

The "Small Works" wall. Top row from left to right: Sue Adair's Hector; Melanie Fain's On the Brink; and Carel Brest van Kempen's Nosy Mangabe Panther Chameleon. Bottom row from left to right: Patricia Pepin's Walking Elephant; Diane Versteeg's Tobacco Hornworm Moth I; Kelly Dodge's Zippity Doo Dah; Deborah Crossman's Hyacinth Macaw; and Linda Rossin's Maritime Migrator.

Some minis on this wall. From left to right: Rachelle Siegrist's Beautiful Beast of Borneo and Mmmm...Love Your Perfume! ; Wes Siegrist's The Cycle of Life; and Linda Rossin's Silhouettes Along the Shore.

From left to right: Kelly Dodge's On Solid Rock We Stand and Lorna Hamilton's On the Edge. In the foreground is Jeff Whiting's bronze George River Peregrine.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"The Art of Conservation - An International Exhibit of Nature in Art"

Tomorrow I am off to Oradell, NJ to participate in the celebratory opening events of "The Art of Conservation - An International Exhibit of Nature in Art" – a new annual international juried exhibit featuring the art of leading nature and wildlife artists from around the globe. The exhibition was created to celebrate artistic excellence in the depiction of nature, raise awareness of conservation issues, and directly support organizations dedicated to addressing them. The exhibition is being produced by the Artists for Conservation Foundation (AFC) – the world's leading artist collective dedicated to the environment. The show is being hosted by the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum– one of the world's premiere museums for nature and wildlife art – situated half an hour from New York City in Oradell, NJ. A share of the revenues resulting from the sale of artwork in the show will benefit the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) – one of the world's largest and most respected conservation organizations, based at the Bronx Zoo.

The exhibition features 112 original artworks selected by an independent jury and includes 96 paintings and 16 sculptures. Many of the exhibiting artists, including myself, will be present to meet collectors and media during a special invitation-only opening reception at the Blauvelt Museum on Sunday, September 28th between 2pm and 5pm. The exhibition will run at the Blauvelt Museum through December 21, 2008. Following this, approximately half of the artworks will be assembled for a tour through 2009.

My pastel painting, "Rare Beauty - Snow Leopard" was selected for the exhibition and is available for sale.

Rare Beauty - Snow Leopard, pastel on Amate bark paper, 23x15

Sunday, September 21, 2008

2nd Annual "Small Works - Big Impressions"

I am delighted that 2 of my owl paintings have been selected for the Society of Animal Artists "Small Works - Big Impressions" exhibition and sale at The Wildlife Experience in Parker, Colorado. This is an opportunity to purchase small, affordable works by the best artists currently working in the field of animal art. The exhibition opens November 15, 2008 and closes January 4, 2009.

Barred Owl, acrylic on panel, 4 x5

Great Horned Owl, acrylic on panel, 7 x 5

Friday, September 19, 2008

Latest work on Mufasa the lion

Here's the latest on Mufasa as of today. Since the last post, you can see that after I finished his eyes, I have been sort of working in a semicircular motion around the piece. This is to avoid smudging anything that's already been done. One has to be very careful working with pastel. I've been trying to keep this piece a tad looser than my normal work. I'm keeping the detail focused around the eyes, the nose, and mouth. Hope you are liking it so far! It's been a fun piece to work on. The real fun part is coming up...that tongue!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Start of new work - Mufasa the lion

Here's the start of a new work - a lion portrait in soft pastel. I'm painting it on a sand-colored Ampersand Pastelbord. It measures 12 x 17 1/2. I'm using a combination of Unison and Sennelier pastels along with Faber-Castell pastel pencils for the more detailed areas. This lion is named Mufasa; he is a Barbary lion. Mufasa lives at Animals of Montana. I have painted Mufasa before in this painting that I did a few years ago. I took so many wonderful reference photos of him...he is a most photogenic fellow with the awesomest mane. He is probably the most beautiful cat I've ever seen and for that reason alone I am inspired to paint him. I've been wanting to use the reference photo that you see clipped to the side of the painting for some time now. I think it's a great photo of him licking his chops. I attempted to paint this same piece in oil once several years ago, but it was a failed attempt. So, here's hoping that this one turns out to my liking!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Birds in Art 2008 - Opening Weekend

I had another wonderful time at this past weekend's Birds in Art opening festivities . The artwork was incredible. I got to meet and revisit so many wonderful artists including some that I've admired for many years. My two personal big artist influences were in attendance; Robert Bateman and Carl Brenders. It was a real treat to talk with them and see their work in person. My home state of Maryland had a strong showing of artists - a total of 8 were representing our fine state. The great Jim Morgan was honored with the coveted Master Artist award. I don't know him personally, but he seems like a humble, quiet man that just wants his work to speak for itself. I can certainly relate to that. His paintings were amazing in person. A true master.

Birds in Art will be on view at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum until November 9, 2008. Please check it out if you are near the Wausau, WI area or when the exhibition goes on its national tour. For more great photos from the show, check out fellow Maryland artist Terry Miller's blog.

Me and my painting at the private artists viewing.

My image and statement in the Birds in Art catalog.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Birds in Art

I'm off to Wausau, Wisconsin this evening to participate in this weekend's opening festivities for Birds in Art at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. I am very honored to once again be included in this highly regarded show that presents the very best artistic interpretations of birds. My watercolor painting "Break in the Ice - Hooded Mergansers" was selected for the exhibition. The show opens to the public Saturday September 6 and runs through November 9, 2008.
Break in the Ice - Hooded Mergansers, watercolor, 8x16