Saturday, March 30, 2013

SAA member Sandy Scott has a wonderful series of articles on her blog about bird anatomy.  Visit her blog to see the entire series:

#403 In the field: At the tavern and sculptural thought . . .

The bird sculptor must know and understand bird anatomy, the skeleton, and how the joints articulate.
The skeleton of the chicken wing is more easily understood when compared to the human arm. 
Much can be learned from pondering an order of buffalo wings at the local tavern.
What you are eating is the meat surrounding the humerus, 
which is the innermost bone between the body and the elbow.
The second morsel which includes two bones, is the meat of the forearm between the elbow and wrist; 
which corresponds to the human ulna and radius.  

Drawing, copyright - Sandy Scott

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

SAA Members Accepted Into AMERICA'S PARKS I TOP 101
Carel Brest van Kempen
Annie Crouter
Kim Diment
David Gallup
Shawn Gould
Janet Heaton
Clint Jammer
Gary Johnson
Stephen Left
Sean Murtha
Anne Peyton
Morton E. Solberg
Mark Susinno
Ed Takacs
Fred W. Thomas
Francis Tremblay
Ezra Tucker
Joe Weatherly
Ronnie Williford

(in alphabetical order by name of award)

America’s Parks Curator’s Choice Award ($1,000)
Alexandra Tyng, "Marsh at Round Pond" (Acadia National Park, ME)
(Highest Total Point Accumulation from Jurors)

Arizona-Sonora Desert Juror’s Choice Award ($1,000)
Ronnie Williford, "Candy on the Ridge" (Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX)

PleinAir™ Magazine Juror’s Choice Award ($1,000)
Aaron Schuerr, "Cold Creek Junction" (Yellowstone National Park, WY)

Society of Animal Artists Wildlife Art Award ($1,000)
Ezra Tucker, "Magpie Summer" (Rocky Mountain National Park, CO)

Susan Kathleen Black Foundation Floral Art Award ($1,000)
Rhonda Nass, "A Child's Fantasy Forest" / Mayapple (Festge Park, Dane County, WI)

Wildlife Art Journal Juror’s Choice Award ($1,000)
Mark Susinno, "Lurking" (Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, FL)


(in alphabetical order by last name of artist)

 David Gallup: "The Space Between Worlds" (Leo Carrillo State Beach, CA)
 Mary Garrish: "Harmony" (Canaveral National Seashore, FL)
 Susan Elwart Hall:  "Blue and Yellow" (Don Edwards, Bay Front Park, CA)
 Bryan Haynes: "Above the Beyond" (Mark Twain National Park, MO)
 Mary Helsaple: "Lark Sparrow in Limberbush" (Estero Soldato, Sonora, Mexico)
 Jean Herman: "Sunset" (Bahia Honda State Park, FL)
 Arayna Howard: "Delicate Arch Sunset" (Arches National Park, UT)
 Evelyn McCorristin Peters: "Snow Blue and Green, Weir Farm" (Weir Farm National Historic Site, CT)
  Anne Peyton:  "Under A Watchful Eye" (Parago Park, AZ)

 Mort Solberg: "Old Faithful" (Yellowstone National Park, WY)

Greg McHuron (1945-2012)

Greg McHuron: "Movement?"  (Grand Teton National Park)

To access the Press Release containing the complete list of the Top 101 artworks in AMERICA'S PARKS, and Award Winners, click here.'S%20PARKS%20Press%20Release.pdf
For a virtual gallery, click here.

                            AMERICA'S PARKS is produced by David J. Wagner, L.L.C.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Work in Progress by Alison Nicholls 

The painting is titled Sun Spots (cheetahs), 29x29" acrylic on watercolor board.

I was inspired by watching and sketching 3 cheetahs in the Serengeti in the midday heat. Not only were they were overly optimistic about the size of prey they should hunt, but they were also completely unconcerned about concealing themselves. As a result they were not successful in their hunting attempts! 

My thumbnail sketches contained 3 cheetahs initially  but I wasn't finding it easy to come up with a good composition. Often this is just the way it goes, I keep on drawing until I find a composition that works. I wanted a circular design for this piece and couldn't get that to work with 3 cheetahs, so I removed 1 of them and tried again . I felt that the composition was much more successful with only 2 cheetahs - it had a flow to it.

My next step was to create a larger, more detailed drawing. It is only at this stage that I may refer to occasional photos to check the anatomy of the animals, although I do this as little as possible to avoid relying on them too heavily. As you can see, even in pencil I made some attempt to show the circular nature of the color washes I would use. The circles also imply the outline of a hot sun - very appropriate for that hot day in the Serengeti.

Finally...painting! The color study is one of my favorite stages of a painting. It gives me a chance to experiment, using paint in a very  loose manner. Often there are elements of the color study that I prefer to the finished painting. Often there is something more spontaneous about the study. Perhaps because there is no pressure. I am usually working on a scrap of paper. If it fails I just do it again. I keep my color studies, pinning them on my studio noticeboard. And one day, I hope I'll manage to consistently get the same spontaneity into my full-sized paintings. That will be a great day!

And here's the final version, Sun Spots, 29x29", acrylic on watercolor board. I was very happy with the bold color palette, and the circular composition which mirrored the loose outline of the midday sun and circular spots of the cheetahs. A far cry perhaps from images of those 3 cheetah brothers failing in their hunting attempts in the Serengeti. But, for me, this painting succeeds in showing my impression of the character and spirit of wild cheetahs, while leaving a little to the imagination of the viewer.

Alison Nicholls AFC SAA
Wildlife & Conservation Artist
Port Chester, NY 10573, USA

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sea of Cortez exhibition premiere dinner

THE SEA OF CORTEZ exhibition premiere dinner was held at the home of Glenn and Martha Thompson following an opening reception at The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. THE SEA OF CORTEZ was produced by David J. Wagner, L.L.C.  Selections from the exhibit can be seen on-line at this link:  

Photos courtesy of Neil Williams
Following its display in Tucson which runs through May, the exhibit will be displayed at The Wildlife Experience in Denver from June 22 - September 22, 2013. Artworks were generated by a Field Trip to San Carlos on The Sea of Cortez led by Dr. Richard Brusca. A field trip photo documentary was produced by Molly Moore for David J. Wagner, L.L.C. and is available for viewing on Youtube at this link: