Tuesday, May 5, 2015

This is the first in an excellent series of blog posts by Sandy Scott about horse sculpture. Refer to her blog, linked in the right hand column, for the rest of the series.


#616 In the studio: Quadruped anatomy reference for the artist

Several days ago I received an email from a student who had taken one of my bird sculpture and anatomy workshops asking where to find quadruped anatomy reference for the artist.  I only teach workshops about bird sculpture but a large portion of my portfolio depicts a wide range of  quadruped species and over the years, 
I've collected many books about the subject which I use in conjunction with online data. 
Quadrupeds - animals with four legs - as well as humans all have the same general skeleton design. 
All mammals, including horses, dogs, cats, deer, humans, etc. evolved from the same prehistoric source and it's logical that their skeletons are fundamentally the same.  Keep in mind, mammals, like human, have two arms and two legs . . . their two front limbs are arms and their two back limbs are legs. 
 Humans have evolved in such a way as to not walk on all fours like quadrupeds.
The spine is the main support or armature for the body, the skull houses the brain, and the ribs form a protective cage around the heart and lungs.  Quadrupeds come in different sizes and shapes depending on how they evolved and were designed by nature according  to their surroundings and way of life.  Despite the diversity of design, the same main bones such as humerus, femur, etc. are in each creature.  The artist who understands this can easily interpolate known functional data about specific species such as a horse, dog, or cat to other species in the wild which are difficult to study from life.
It's easier to pick up your dog and note how the joints articulate than to attempt handling a wolf or grizzly! 
I have posted two previous blogs about this subject which gives much more information:
Blog #448,  Nature's one pattern  -  posted July 31, 2013   www.Blog #448
 Blog #450,  Comparative anatomy  -  posted August 7, 2013   www.Blog #450

Below, are eight anatomy books that are directed toward the artist. . . I continue to use them all.
I've included the publisher's name and to my knowledge, they are still available and in print.

Author: Gottfried Bammes                               Chartwell Books

Oxford University Press

Dover Publications

Dover Publications

Dover Publications

Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers

Dover Publications

Dover Publications

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Used copies of the highly acclaimed art history reference book, AMERICAN WILDLIFE ART, have become available at Amazon at the un-heard of price of $12 and change.  (New copies start at $95.00.)

“I knew it [American Wildlife Art] would be good but this is beyond my expectations! It is incredibly well researched and very informative. This volume will stand as the definitive work on the subject for years to come, perhaps forever … David Wagner is the
number one intellectual in wildlife art certainly in America, maybe in the world.”
Robert Bateman, Painter

“Wildlife art could not have a more eloquent or knowledgeable
spokesperson than David Wagner, and I’m sure that all artists
working with wildlife today feel the same gratitude that I do for his dedication of so much of his life and talent to our field.”
Kent Ullberg, Sculptor

“David Wagner’s prodigious research ability has produced what will undoubtedly prove to be the definitive work on the history of
American wildlife art. While others have written on particular facets of the subject, Wagner ties all the strands of the story together and presents it to the reader in a beautifully written illustrated synthesis.”
John F. Reiger
Author of American Sportsmen and the Origins of Conservation

“Although many works chronicle the development of natural history illustration and wildlife art, few provide such a concise, thorough, and scholarly examination of the topic. As one would expect, this work by independent scholar Wagner is handsomely illustrated with carefully selected examples of the evolution of American wildlife art in paintings, prints, and sculpture. Since the 19th century, wildlife art had been ubiquitous in the US, appearing as illustrations in books, magazines, calendars, and other forms of print media. These images and representations of wildlife have helped shape the American perception of the variety and abundance of the nation’s natural world. Often disdained by art critics and the national arbiters of fine art, wildlife art has always been popular with the American people. Although this volume is chronological in its organization, the author provides both additional contextual information and particularly salient information concerning the methods of reproduction of wildlife art and the significance of its mass distribution. Especially useful for students are the meticulous delineations of influences upon each artist, as appropriate, and the detailed notes that appear at the end of each section.”
P.D. Thomas, Wichita State University
Choice Magazine, September 2008



Saturday, April 4, 2015

African Art and Conservation Feature in a New Book by Alison Nicholls
Alison Nicholls’ book features art and conservation in Tanzania.

My Art is Inspired by Africa and this, my 1st book, features a combination of art and conservation, as I share my experiences spending time in Tanzania with the African People & Wildlife Fund (APW). APW works on the Maasai Steppe, helping local communities build their skills, so they can manage their natural resources for the mutual benefit of people and wildlife. They are perhaps best known for their highly successful Living Wall bomas, a reinforced, sustainable, living, boma design, which protects livestock from predators, protect predators from people (retaliatory attacks on predators have dropped because livestock are safer) and prevents habitat destruction (because the new boma design requires virtually no maintenance.
Living Walls is a studio painting based on APW’s successful Living Walls boma program.


I stayed at APW 3 times, for 2 weeks on each occasion, in 2011, 2012 and 2014. Initially the plan was for 2 visits, and my time was to be spent sketching and teaching drawing classes, but it turned into so much more, as I came to know the APW staff and members of the community, who invited me to sketch their daily lives and welcomed me back on each visit. I taught classes at the APW Children’s Environmental Summer Camp, and at 3 local elementary schools. My most recent visit (notice I don’t say ‘my last visit’) included a Village Exhibit featuring laminated copies of my field sketches and work created by the children. My sketches were given away in an environmental-themed quiz for members of the local school’s Wildlife Club. I also helped in the design and creation of a school mural and stenciling of classroom walls with images of wildlife, livestock, alphabet and numbers. During all my visits I was fortunate to be able to sketch in and around the village of Loibor Siret, at the market, in Maasai homesteads, at the village stream and at local celebrations. Prior to my time with APW, my art had focused purely on African wildlife, so sketching people was completely new for me. But now I’m hooked! I send laminated copies of my sketches back to the people who feature in them, and my art is now hanging in the Noloholo Environmental Center (APW’s headquarters) and the Loibor Siret school library. The futures of people and wildlife on the Maasai Steppe, and across Africa, are inextricably linked, and now they are linked in my Art Inspired by Africa!
Examples of watercolor field sketches by Alison Nicholls.

Art Inspired by Africa: An Artist Visits The African People & Wildlife Fund.
Author: Alison Nicholls
Foreword by Laly Lichtenfeld PhD., APW Executive Director
Features field sketches, journal excerpts and studio paintings by Alison Nicholls, a foreword by
Dr Laly Lichtenfeld, Executive Director of APW, contributions by APW staff, information about APW field programs, and photos of Alison’s drawing classes, the Loibor Siret village exhibit and school mural.
46-pages, printed on full-color premium lustre paper, in a softcover 8×10″ landscape format.
Signed copies are available for US$35 until April 30, 2015. After this date the book will be on sale on Amazon.com for a higher price. A donation is made to APW from every sale. Please visit
www.Afrpw.org to see more about APW and their work on the Maasai Steppe of Tanzania.

Please email Alison@nichollswildlifeart.com or visit her website
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com for further details.
A field sketch (left) and studio painting by Alison Nicholls, featuring the colorful shukas of the Maasai.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Masterworks from the International Guild of Realism Features Animal Art

Linda Besse,  The Art Student, 14.5X20-Oil

 MASTERWORKS FROM THE INTERNATIONAL GUILD OF REALISM is a new initiative intended to recognize achievement in realism and result in a traveling museum exhibition.  The exhibition consists of 70 artworks by 65 artists selected by a jury-of-peers shaped by input from the project's tour director.  Artcyclopedia.com/ defines Contemporary Realism as a movement which emerged in America, in the late 1960's and early 1970's concerned with "the straightforward realistic approach to representation which continues to be widely practiced in this post-abstract era . . . (and) is different from Photorealism, which is somewhat exaggerated and ironic and conceptual in its nature."  The International Guild of Realism represents some 350 artists from some 35 countries around the world who form a disparate group, and, though literate in conventions of Modern Art, choose to work in traditional forms.   

Camille Engel,  U.S., A Song Worth Volumes 2010 11x14

The mission of the International Guild of Realism is to advance realism in fine art and to promote the careers of the representational artists it represents. Among the goals of The Guild are to recognize the best realists working today, and to share their work with the public.  Toward that end, The International Guild of Realism reached out to David J. Wagner, L.L.C., to produce a traveling exhibition of museum-quality works representative of the best work of its members today who work in a range of media including oil, acrylic, egg tempera, graphite and colored pencil. 

Paula Henchell, Canada,  Mountain Bluebird 2014 18x18

Jurors responsible for selecting works for MASTERWORKS FROM THE INTERNATIONAL GUILD OF REALISM included: Donald Clapper, painter and Founding Charter Member, International Guild of Realism; Vala Ola, painter and sculptor from Iceland (now U.S), and Charter Member, International Guild of Realism and  Art Renewal Center Living Master; and William Rowett, Scottsdale Realism Collector.  David J. Wagner, Ph.D., served as Curatorial Advisor to the jury.  MASTERWORKS FROM THE INTERNATIONAL GUILD OF REALISM is comprised of 70 paintings by 65 artists whose work embodies high standards of excellence and ranges from ultra-contemporary to timeless traditional realism.  

Joan Johnson, After We Play, 16 x 20, oil on panel



Alban Lee U.S. The Toy Box 2011 15x 12
Alberto Jorge U.S. "C" is for cat 2013 12x12
Alberto Jorge U.S. Allegory of the Arts 2012 17.5x29
Andresen Nancy U.S. Barnum 2014 12x16
Anthony Janice U.S. Threshold 2015 35x34
Barthelemy Christian U.K. French Alps, Mont Blanc Massif Autumn 1999 26x32
Beasley Glenn U.S. First Light 2014 16x20
Besse Linda U.S. The Art Student 2013 15x29.5
Blackburn R. Geoffrey U.S. Twilight on the Colorado 2012 14x24
Bowen Ginger U.S. Hawk 2012 30x19
Bowers David Michael U.S. The Observer 2010 29x18
Bowers David Michael U.S. Made in America 2011 24x44
Brooks Hebe U.S. Patriotic Melody 2013 30x20
Cantrell Sheila U.S. Red Pears at Play 2010 16x20
Carroll Pamela U.S. Jean-Baptiste Greuze Post Card 2008 12x9
Cassity Daniel Mark U.S. Keys to the Kingdom 2012 16x20
Chandler Marsha U.S. Pear Mosaic 2012 22x30
Clapper Donald U.S. Ernest, Which Stamp is Real? 2003 12x16
Clements (Barber) Barbara U.S. Serene Afternoon on Cape Ann 2012 30x40x1.2
Copley Ed U.S. One Stitch at a Time 2015 28x38
Copley Ed U.S. Breath Taking 2014 26x20
Diefenbach Lyn Australia Reflections on a Journey 2014 24x36
Dolan John Philbin U.S. Nolan 2013 17x13
Dunphy Evelyn U.S. Exuberance 2013 22x24
Engel Camille U.S. A Song Worth Volumes 2010 11x14
Gonzalez George A. U.S. Brain Games 2014 16x20
Gorman Allan U.S. Ruby & Sapphire 2014 36x24
Grimes Deanna U.S. Duck Social 2012 15x20
Henchell Paula Canada Mountain Bluebird 2014 18x18
Henderson K. U.S. PB&J #2 2014 24x36
Hinojosa Albino U.S. Relics 2015 21.5x21.25
Johnson Joan Essex U.S. After We Play 2012 16x20
Jones Jane U.S. Crimson Evening 2012 21x21
Jones Steven U.S. Books & Strings I 2008 36x48
Kim Grace U.S. Dragon Fruit 2013 10x18
Kloosterboer Lorena Belgium Tempus ad Requiem III 2014 12x15 3/4
Kornachuk Anne-Marie Canada Leaving Eden: Vertigo 2010 48x48
Lalik Sharon Guyton U.S. Ketchup and Pepper 2010 20x20
Lende Jette van der Norway Freedom of Speech 2008 27.6x41.3
Lindamood Patsy U.S. Just Giraffe 2014 18x24
McWethy Tatiana U.S. Caravaggio 2011 30x32
Miller Terry U.S. February Sun 2011 11.25x10.5
Nelson Priscilla U.S. Chasing Shadows 2014 48x36
Nixon Daphne Wynne U.S. Hard-Boiled Lemon & Egg Squeezer 16x20
Nyayapathi Sivananda U.S. Damon Carter 2013 24x20
Ola Vala U.S. Moonstruck 2012 20x16
Pech Arleta U.S. Collected Toys 2014 21x29
Penning Cees U.S. Cupcakes 2015 24x36
Peyton Anne U.S. Prey Watch 2014 18x10
Poole Colin U.S. Daydream 16.75x12.5
Prezioso Michael Robert U.S. Homage to Ingre 2014 11.25x18.25
Pruys Cher U.S. The Bubble 2014 7x12
Royston Scott U.S. Propitiation 2013 20x12
Rusin Len U.S. Misty Morning Climber 2012 20x24
Saunois Laurence France Ordinary Wildlife 2014 11.80x17.72
Scaglia Ken U.S. Saratoga 300 2011 36x24
Schwartz Gerald U.S. Dusk 2013 36x30
Sistrunk Beth U.S. Athena in Spring 2014 20x20
Skudal Atle Norway Sewing Machine 2008 21x26
Srebnik Craig U.S. Her Morning Bath 2015 24x18
Starostka Ardith U.S. Persephone 2012 30x20
Starostka Ardith U.S. Pearl Necklace 2011 18x24
Stommes Jan U.S. Trompe l'Oeil Series: Art of Raptors 2014 24x36
Swift Peter U.S. Sewing a Strawberry 1982 16x20
Thompson S. Mark U.S. Morning Glory 2012 20x46
Thompson S. Mark U.S. Delft Vase with Rembrandt Tulips 2010 19 3/4x23 1/2
Tiessen Josh Canada Pond's Edge 2013 14x30x2
Tietjen Laurie U.S. Cleo Sleeping on Bed 2012 23x16
Weiss Elizabeth U.S. Reawakening 2015 15x16
Wright William U.S. Altar of Sacrifice, Zion NP 2013 18x24
Yee Karen U.S. Nikki 2014 24x18
Yenkevich William Michael U.S. Still Life - Essence of Beauty 2013 16x12
Nancy Andresen, Barnum 12x16, Oil on Canvas

Produced by David J. Wagner, L.L.C.

May 19, 2015 - July 26, 2015
The R.W. Norton Art Gallery
Shreveport, LA

September 1 - October 31, 2015
Appleton Museum of Art
Ocala, FL

February 6 - June 11, 2016
Albany Museum of Art
Albany, GA

For further information contact:

David J. Wagner, L.L.C.
(414) 221-6878; davidjwagnerllc@yahoo.com
or visit: davidjwagnerllc.com

Member: American Alliance of Museums
                   International Council of Museums


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lindsay Wildlife Museum
Will present

 Wild Life
as we see it

30 Watercolor & Oil Paintings of Life in the Natural World we live in  &  with 

Linda Darsow Sutton 

April 18th – May 31st 2015

Reception April 26th 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Walnut Creek, CA (San Francisco Bay Area)

Those Lion Eyes  24" x 40"  transparent watercolor

 The human eye is not designed to see everything at once, but to savor specific jewels of information.  The surrounding content taunts us to seek more, sometimes sacrificing the details to be engulfed in an entire atmosphere of a place, grand or small. All life matters, even when it’s not convenient, its purpose for the whole Earth must be respected. Presented at “The Lindsay” will be a smattering of our planet great and small including of a variety of Life. In the transparent watercolors of animals just enough accurate information is included to invite viewers to engage their imagination beyond the two dimensional surface. Maybe even be inspired to explore unique different qualities of species, different menus, hunting styles, the spring costumes change for many and some grow out of their baby clothes. 
Summer's Hunting Sky  40" x 22"
There are no animals hidden in the little landscapes painted in oil but they are full of life nonetheless. Water is life, wild or tamed, it all strives to go to the ocean and can take many forms to get there. Nurturing all along the way, wildlife adjusting and evolving around it’s behavior. Painting nature’s beauty is an expression of wonder and gratitude, rewarded by understanding, and sometimes shared secrets. Painting outside you are not alone just because you don’t always see who’s out there. Be intrigued to play outside, be quiet in it for a minuet (yes, turn off the cell phone), and see things, listen if that’s what suits you, or, even get involved in preserving something. This show is not about people but for them; take the children out of town often. Go see, experience, and remember beverage containers are lots easier to carry out of camp empty than in, so please keep your human influence to yourself. 

The Lindsay Wildlife Museum has been “Connecting people with wildlife to inspire responsibility and respect for the world we share” in the San Francisco Bay Area for 50 years. Their wildlife hospital is the oldest and one of the largest rehabilitation centers in the United States where they rescue the rescue-able and release the releasable. The un-releasable, if they are amiable, become our favorite wildlife ambassadors (and models), I am always proud to join them in their cause.

Mendo Grove Individual 12" x 9" oil on panel  (as seen at The Laumeister Fine Art Competition)

Working primarily in transparent watercolor Linda Sutton cavorts her medium with subjects of the natural world, exhibiting paintings with conservation groups in prestigious museums and winning top honors in plein air competitions (listed on the website). With intent to inspire awareness, respect and appreciation for the planet we live on.

For information:
(925) 935-1978
about Linda:

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

By Leo E. Osborne
Leo E. Osborne
Society of Animal Artists Master Signature Member
It was my honor to be not only at the opening evening of ENVIRONMENTAL  IMPACT at the famous and in my own words, ”American Treasure” of Brookgreen Gardens, but to be given the opportunity to lecture about the show the following day.
First I must pluck my heart strings for how I feel towards this amazing sculpture garden and the art contained within.  I was first introduced to this spectacular place in the early 80’s when I would go to Charleston for the South Eastern Wildlife Exhibition.  Since those days I have shown work at galleries in  that city and that brings me back from time to time.  Often these trips include a drive to see Brookgreen! I have had the privilege of two works being included in their permanent sculpture collection.
I must say that the square footage of the exhibition hall which is spread into two adjoining rooms with a lovely roofed terrace in between is not a big space.  However…..the Director of Brookgreen Gardens, Ms. Robin Salmon through her keen dimensionally trained eye for sculpture managed to place every work into this show that is part of the exhibition, curated by David J. Wagner.
Michael (Mick) Meilahn, Pickett, WI
(Corn Genetic Engineered)
2012, Blown Glass and Cast Bronze, 9x9x9'
How did that feel?  Let me first explain how it impacted me.  First I was dazzled by seeing the large hanging works of glass artist, Michael Meilahn, these 3 foot blown glass ears of corn, hanging from knotted stretch ropes holding back bronze castings of husk shapes at various intervals along the 12 feet of hanging sculptural forms.  Then too are the magnificently crafted works titled THE TRAVELERS done by artist Sayaka Ganz of Japan.  These large hanging wolf / canine like forms are created by using discarded bits and pieces of white plastic utensils, lawn chairs and virtually anything that her friends help her find in the trash heaps of this planet!  I kept coming back to these to investigate their construction and to feel the power that they unleash.  I had the opportunity to see this show at previous venues and at some it was not possible to hang these large pieces from museum gallery ceilings. However at wondrous Brookgreen they created new temporary beams to handle these works and they did take up the center of each display room.  They each blew me away!  I was elated to have the opportunity to witness first hand these impressive hanging sculptures of Michael and Sayaka. 
Sayaka Kajita Ganz, Yokohama, Japan (now USA) 
2013, Reclaimed Plastic & Metal, 57x24x26"; 2 @ 45x16x18"
And, again, how did this relatively small space make me feel about the show.  How was I impacted by ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT?

I felt taken in by it, absorbed thru & thru, drawn into and shaken up.  I would turn a corner and BLAM,  hit in the face by the face of BUDDING BOY by Julie Hefferman.  This 78x56 painting is a dreamy boy figure amidst a budding tree and he too appears to be budding with fruit as if coming forth from his own center.  It is beautifully haunting, but not as haunting as her work of that same size, PINK LANDSCAPE.
This work so called into place the book I had just been reading, THE WORLD WITHOUT US, by Alan Weisman.  He gives us concrete information about what we are forcing onto the planet and how we might find ourselves extinct, but the world of other life forms may then dwell in peace and harmony.
This painting is apocalyptic and summons our mind to look at survival as something real and not simply the illustrations of early comic books!  And then too, on a monumental scale of 100x90 inches, is the painting of Ron Kingswood, TAKKEN IN HET BOS (branches in the wood).  It hangs on a mid- room panel and its size overtakes you into a wondrous wintery background of snow and branches strewn about the surface like the spilling of I CHING sticks.  I wondered before it, and looked to find its own hidden story and messages of the future.

Julie Heffernan, Brooklyn, NY
Budding Boy
2010, Oil on Canvas, 78x56"
Courtesy of Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco and P.P.O.W., New York
I still found the sculpture by CHAPEL, the sea turtle bronze and stone work RISING TIDES profound.  This turtle is pondering at the side of a human built structure that is flooded, this again took me back to the words in THE WORLD WITHOUT US.
And speaking of sculptures I never tire of seeing the impressive piece REQUIUM by Kent Ullberg. This piece was instrumental in the conception of this show by Wagner along with the works of Bob Bateman and myself who did these pieces over 20 years ago during and right after the Valdez Oil Spill in Alaska. They each document the fact that humanity is STILL NOT LISTENING to the songs, the words, the cries of our planetary comrades in arms.
I have to admit that I am not always the best viewer or critic of photography.  However, the works of these photographers is to be strongly considered as a very real view of what we have done and are continuing to do to the planet and to human existence on it.  Martin Stupich, Richard Misrach, Peter Goin and Robert Dawson have selected works that inspire awe for the transgressions we have heaped upon our Mother Gaia.  Shameful is all I can say about that.  Thank you four for capturing this and sharing this viewpoint.
In part, it is my own fascination and love of bees that makes me love so much the paintings of Britt Freda, but Britt has painted these in such wonder and color splotches of paint, dripping like honey from cone and rock cairns that I just love the paint, the forms she uses to capture the eye and content of her thoughts.
And then there was this:  There is a video screen on the wall and it contains a loop of 10 minutes created by filmmaker, Drew Denny, interviewing her, Zaria Forman and Lisa Lebofsky as they journey to Greenland and the Maldives.  I must mention that their journey was spawned by Forman’s mother, fine art photographer Rena Bass Forman who conceived this journey, but did not live to see it through.  These lovely young women brought Rena’s ashes with them as an offering and a “saying goodbye on scales both global and personal”.
Lisa Lebofsky, Bronx, NY
Petzval Glacier
2011, Oil on Aluminum, 40x64"
The paintings that came from these three women are all stunning and breathtaking. The waters are rising, islands are ‘going away’ and the icebergs are fleeing into meltdown.  I was so intrigued by the painting PETZVAL GLACIER by Lisa Lebofsky.  It is done by applying oil paints onto a sanded aluminum plate.  It moves, it is there at one angle and disappears at another angle. How so like the subject, icebergs drifting away and melting.  The translucency of this painting kept my mind in wonder and yes, I too had to keep coming back to it again and again.
Though I could continue on to illuminate each artist and their works at the show as each work is so profound or simply beautiful in its own, I must try to keep this brief.  It is a show with punch, it is edgy and it is an exhibition that should travel the world. 
Leo E. Osborne