Thursday, September 3, 2015

Susan Fox with Dr. S. Amgalanbaatar (left) and Dr. Barry Rosenbaum (right) and Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Nature Reserve researchers and staff members Moogii, Baagii, Chuka and Anand


Susan created the WildArt Mongolia Expeditions four years ago as a way to use art to support conservation in Mongolia. She recently returned from her tenth trip to the Land of Blue Skies.

Susan is a Fellow of the Explorers Club (FN14) and had the privilege of carrying a Flag during this years Expedition. Flag 179 has a long and honorable expedition history going back to 1959. It has been carried to, among other places: Mt. Everest, the South Pacific, the North Pole, Ecuador,  the Amazon, Thailand, the Caucasus Mountains , Rwanda, St. Pierre and Yemen. And now Mongolia. You can find out more about the Flags here:

Susan Fox at Khomyn Tal with takhi in the background, Zavkhan Aimag

Her 2013 Expedition, the first, traveled to the remote western Gobi to explore Takhiin Tal, the first location where takhi/Przewalskis horse was reintroduced to Mongolia, and also to an area a days drive to the the north, Darvi and Sharga Soums (counties), which has a population of critically endangered saiga antelope The 2014 Expedition went northeast into the Han Hentii Mountains to visit the site of an important new crane research effort being carried out by researchers from Mongolia, Russia and China and then south onto the legendary grassland steppes to see Mongolian gazelles. You can find out more about those Expeditions on Susans website at

Saiga antelope at Dorgon Nuur, Khar Us Nuur National Park, Hovd Aimag

 In the coming weeks shell be blogging all aspects of the 2015 WildArt Mongolia Expedition, which went to Bayan-Olgii, Hovd and Zavkhan aimags (states or provinces) in the far west to explore:
-Khar Us Nuur National Park, which includes Jargalant Hairkhan Uul, a freestanding mountain extension of the Altai Mountains, which is the home of an estimated population of 37 snow leopards, and three lakes: Khar Us Nuur, Khar Nuur and Dorgon Nuur.
-Khomyn Tal, one of the three locations in Mongolia, along with Takhiin Tal and Hustai National Park, where takhi/Przewalskis horse has been reintroduced.
-and the Altai Mountains, where she began the Expedition with three days of observing and recording argali mountain sheep capture efforts in the Hokh Serkhiin Nuruu Strictly Protected Area. Her hosts were Dr. Barry Rosenbaum, a research associate with the Denver Zoo, and Dr. S. Amgalanbaatar of the Argali Wildlife Research Center, Mongolias leading argali researcher and also the Director of Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Nature Reserve. (see photo at top).

Campsite near sacred spring in a valley on Jargalant Hairkhan Uul, Khar Us Nuur National Park, Hovd Aimag
 While at Khar Us Nuur National Park, she was also was able to game drive for saiga antelope and saw dozens of them in less than two days, possibly 10%+ of the population of the area, which encompasses the central plain of the park and extending southeast towards the Gobi.

Khomyn Tal takhi sketches; graphite, Pentalic Nature Sketch sketchbook

Besides takhi and argali, during her total of seven weeks in Mongolia Susan also saw and photographed Siberian ibex, Mongolian gazelles, Siberian marmots, pika, lammergeier (IUCN Near Threatened), Dalmation pelicans (IUCN Vulnerable),  demoiselle cranes, whooper swans, Daurian partridge and black kites.

She did over two dozen watercolors and many sketches and drawings during the Expedition.

Aspen trees, Maikhan Nature Reserve, Hovd Aimag; 8x8 watercolor on Saunders Waterford cold press paper

Ovoo in valley near campsite on Jargalant Hairkhan Uul, Khar Us Nuur National Park, Hovd Aimag; 8x8 watercolor on Saunders Waterford cold press paper

Susan is currently in the planning stages for the 2016 WildArt Mongolia Expedition. If you are interested in being considered for participation, please email her at

Moonrise over Jargalant Hairkhan Uul, from the shore of Khar Nuur, Khar Us Nuur National Park, Hovd Aimag)

Saturday, June 6, 2015

"Where do you get your inspiration?"

by Terry Miller

Artists can be asked that question ten times a day - twenty on a good day! The who, the why, the what, the where . . . for me personally, I find inspiration in all sorts of places and through all sorts of visual goodies and cues. Maybe surprising to some, since I am a rather monochromatic guy - working in shades of black, white and grey - I often find much to be inspired by in the more colorful works of artist friends and sometimes in wonderful discoveries of artists I had not previously been familiar with.
Leaving myself open to those sorts of discoveries wherever they may pop up, I first came across the work of late nineteenth century Norwegian, Frits Thaulow, through a posting of one of his paintings on someone's Facebook page back at the close of 2012. I was immediately struck by the beauty of the composition - well planned, well executed - and the masterful handling of all the elements of the painting. Now why, might you question, would a guy who works in graphite be so - pardon the pun - drawn to such a colorful work? Just because my work is in black and white does not mean that I cannot learn from observing the way a colorist makes use of value and shape and line and texture, all those key elements of a well designed and composed work of art.
As I spent time exploring a larger body of work of this marvelous new-to-me artist, I realized that the work posted on Facebook was certainly not a one-off, a single 'hit', but part of a vast sea of brilliantly executed, very lucid and evocative paintings that spoke volumes to me about Thaulow's ability to pull me into his compositions and make me want to stay forever. As an artist myself, that is the sort of end result I strive for in my work - not every single piece that comes off my drawing board, but maybe every fifth or sixth or seventh piece?
For a rather long period of time after I turned professional as an artist twenty five years ago, I never delved into water in my compositions; it was a texture I felt fearful of attempting in my drawings. I've talked to many other artists who also felt, and still do to some extent, that water is a difficult surface texture to portray in a two dimensional work of art. After looking at dozens and dozens of paintings in which Thaulow really focused on water as the major subject of those works, I was awed by the simplicity of his renderings, yet how liquid, transparent and filled with movement his waterways were.
For the sake of brevity and knowing that I could key into and throw a spotlight upon many aspects of Thaulow's choices of subject matter - his pure landscapes, brilliant in my estimation and the equal of any of the more well known tonalists of the time -  I'll concentrate here on the way he depicted and focused upon water in a staring roll.
The examples below are just a tiny slice of Thaulow's world of water; some depicting its calm, some depicting more of a rush, some focused on watery reflections both in daylight and at night - water in all its seasons. What has struck me the most is the simplicity of his brush work and how fluid the paint seemed to be when applied in broad strokes, not unlike Monet in his grand water lily canvases. In the first image, that marvelous, bright yellow and gold rippling water with splashes of green and mauve, the water shimmers and glows. A detail of part of the water shows bold, impressionistic brush work.

The second full painting followed by another detail, shows the way Thaulow mixed in all sorts of hues to depict the reflection and general swirling character of the water, and the third pairing - the winter scene with another detail following it - shows little scuff marks depicting subtle movement in the otherwise rather still water.

Five more examples of his vast output of water study follow, showing the diversity of his rendering of that single element of design and his mastery of it. Studying such artistry has certainly offered me ideas and insight and, even as an artist who focuses more on other aspects of nature and the animal realm, there is much here that speaks to me and that will inevitably cause me to approach future works on my drawing board in ways I may not have before I was inspired by the works of Frits Thaulow.

Terry Miller is a graphite artist residing in Maryland, USA. He is a signature member of the Society of Animal Artists and on their Board of Directors.

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 for a higher price. A donation is made to APW from every sale. Please visit to see more about APW and their work on the Maasai Steppe of Tanzania.

Please email or visit her website 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. 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;
or visit:

Member: American Alliance of Museums
                   International Council of Museums