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Book Release: Mecklenburg Breeding Bird Atlas

Excerpt from article by Amber Veverka, The Charlotte Observer, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013

The golden-crowned kinglet leans over a sketched-twig perch, his bright eye peering out from the page at his creator, Leigh Anne Carter.

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Journal of the American Medical Association covers

JAMA coverThe Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has adorned its cover with works of medical art for 50 years. A JAMA redesign this summer put the table of contents on the front cover and moved the art inside. Apparently, readers appreciated the art but were not sure what was inside.

But for a theme issue on medical education, the editors made room for an image by JAMA senior medical illustrator and GNSI member Cassio Lynm. It pays homage to the poker playing dogs of early 20th-century artist Cassius Marcellus Coolidge. Cassio's whimsical depiction of a teaching hospital patient's room has elicited a request for posters from the JAMA readers. 

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South American Dinosaurs

Mauricio Alvarez AbelMauricio Alvarez Abel, our southernmost Chilean GNSI member is the guest blogger today. He is working closely with Chilean scientists to reconstruct recent dinosaur finds in southern Chile. These discoveries shed new light on the recurring connection between South America and the Antarctic. Mauricio also has had one of his images accepted into the "Focus on Nature" and has a strong desire to come to the New York opening, but it is a long way to travel...

 

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Painting the Desert in Tucson

Linda FeltnerI asked fifteen artists to join me on Tumamoc Hill, Tucson, AZ, for a day to paint at the U of A Desert Lab. The landscape is a working lab and the public is restricted to the paved road that extends to the top of the hill, where petroglyphs and artifacts from an Anasazi community can be found. The historic stone buildings provided facilities as well as wonderful subjects to draw. This living laboratory gave us an ungroomed Sonoran Desert landscape. I would like to offer more workshops in this fascinating place.

The Sky Island Paint-out was organized as an opportunity for artists to explore this new landscape to paint in Tucson. I started the day with a "Today's Focus" challenge that would encourage artists to think and sketch differently.

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Book Review: Shaping Humanity

Shaping Humanity book coverGray-bearded John Gurche has been in the paleo-reconstruction business for a long time. His paintings, drawings, and sculptures are featured in numerous books, magazines, and exhibitions in the National Museum of Natural History, the American Museum of Natural History, the Field Museum, National Geographic magazine, Natural History magazine, and The Guild Handbook of Natural Science Illustration (see Hodges 2003, 1989), just to name a few. He teaches and lectures about his work to public and scholarly audiences, including the GNSI.

John, who I consider to be the best in the business, has just published his first book: Shaping Humanity. Now, all of us can begin to understand the technical, scientific, aesthetic, and spiritual travels that take John from the fossil remains to his completed sculpture. Beautifully designed by James Johnson and lavishly illustrated in full color, Shaping Humanity is sure to become a classic in the field of paleo-reconstruction.

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Five Tips to Get You Started as a Science Artist

This is a summary of the post originally published in Symbiartic , a Scientific American blog, run by Kalliopi Monoyios and Glendon Mellow. Read the full article here.

How do I get started as a Science Illustrator? Kapi breaks it down into five steps:

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Plants, Birds & Pollinators: Art Serving Science

The Denver Botanic Gardens and the GNSI are pleased to announce a premier juried exhibition opportunity for GNSI members only, highlighting the subject matter of plants, birds, and pollinators. Original art  (including prints of digital works) in 2- or 3-dimensions.

GNSI Exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens

Members of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators are featured in this premier juried exhibition of works celebrating the vital role of pollinators. Using skill and informed observation, scientific illustrators bring a high level of expertise to their subject.

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2014 California Academy of Sciences Residency

2014 California Academy of Sciences Residency

One Truth, Many Lies: A New View of Art & Natural History Collections, a new Artist Residency Program at the California Academy of Sciences is seeking applications from West Coast visual artists for 2-3 day residencies in the spring/summer of 2014.

Deadline to apply: December 13, 2013

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Call for Presenters: 2014 Comics and Medicine Conference

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Department of Art as Applied to Medicine in collaboration with Graphic Medicine invites papers for the fifth Comics & Medicine conference, a gathering of healthcare professionals, artists, academic scholars, comics enthusiasts, students, and various stakeholder groups. The conference will take place on June 26-28. Stay tuned for information by subscribing to the site at the link on the top right of the homepage. Additional information on the conference is available on the conference home page.

The theme of this year’s conference, From Private Lives to Public Health, aims to highlight the relationship between comics, personal health narratives, and public health issues such as barriers to healthcare and the stigma of illness. We invite the submission of a wide variety of abstracts focusing on medicine and comics in any form (e.g. graphic novels, comic strips, manga, webcomics) including:

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Call for Exhibits: Creature Design Contest

Creature artist Terryl Whitlatch, well known for her work on Star Wars movies, presented a keynote and workshop at last year's GNSI meeting. She has her own production company now and she is holding a creature drawing contest that some of you might be interested in.

Creature Design Contest

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Call for Exhibits: Wings and Water

Wings & Water: A Juried Exhibition of 2D and 3D Art is a national exhibition exploring artists' perceptions and imagery that comes to mind with the words wings and water, be the imagery botanicals, birds, insects, fish, animals, water/shore environment…open for interpretation. The exhibition is offered though River Arts Inc., a non-profit organization based in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin dedicated to enriching, inspiring, and educating through the arts. All artists, styles, techniques, and media are welcomed. Please see the details through Café (Callforentry.org). January 1 deadline for March 7-May 6, 2014 show.

Full details and link to entry forms

Developing A Portable Studio

If you attended the past two conferences and stopped by the Technique Showcase, you were treated to a display of field kits presented by a number of our members. It was obvious that the choice of equipment and supplies is as varied as the artists who use them, and depends on their preferred way of working, locale, subjects, etc. And of course, different circumstances may require different kit compositions. All agree, though, that the best way to choose and use your own field kit is to just get out there and try various items out. Keep sketching! We will feature more field kits in future issues.

Laurel Mundy’s Field Kit

I almost always use the same small set of tools, regardless of whether I am working in the field or sketching at home. My most important of those is my blue lead mechanical pencil (along with extra lead), which I use for making all of my preliminary drawings. It is easily erased and hides well under ink and watercolor, which are the two media I most commonly work in while field sketching. I like to bring two erasers; a gum eraser to lighten outlines I don’t I want showing, and a fine eraser with a plastic holder. I usually sketch over my preliminary with a more final version in a regular graphite pencil before moving to the color or ink stage. I also bring along a black and a white color pencil, both very soft, for adding shadows or highlights (along with a quality pencil sharpener, of course). For finalizing dark outlines I usually use a 01 size Pigma Micron, occasionally using the even smaller 005. I like having a Koh-I-Noor rapidograph pen as well if I plan on using a lot of ink in the drawing, as it flows better and is a darker black.

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2013 GNSI Educational Series Workshop: review

GNSI Ed Series Workshop 2013It was a rare treat to spend four days with botanical artist Carol Woodin during the 2013 Education Workshop, “Painting Slipper Orchids in Watercolor” May 31st - June 3rd at the beautiful Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa. Carol is a wonderful botanical artist whose breathtakingly beautiful artwork has been exhibited and collected around the world. She has exhibited at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew and the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, and has her artwork in the Shirley Sherwood collection.

We had class participants come from Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Kansas, Iowa, Colorado, and Vancouver, British Columbia. One participant, Matthew Constant, is a very talented high school student who is looking into scientific illustra­tion as a possible career. This was Matthew’s first time working with vellum and his first time seriously working with watercolor paint. He has a lot of potentials.

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Geoff Thompson's Award Winning Fly Photo

Geoff Thompson's photo of flesh flyAustralian GNSI member Geoff Thompson's specimen photos are winning him recognition down under. Geoff works for the Queensland Museum & Science Centre. He was recently honored with several Australian Institute of Medical and Biological Images Awards, including Best Overall Biological Photo for this image. It's the definitive specimen, holotype (QMT2351), of a flesh fly Sarcophaga alpha. The species was described by Johnston and Tiegs in 1922. For the photographers among you, the equipment used: Visionary Digital image, Canon 5D MkII, focus stacked with Zerene.

GNSI-Oregon: Digital Illustration Workshop

August 2 and 3rd, 2013 the GNSI Oregon Group hosted a computer workshop geared toward Scientific Illustrators as part of our ongoing Ocean Art Challenge. Our members had indicated improving basic computer skills was high on their wish list.

Amadeo Bachar, the digital media instructorAmadeo Bachar, the digital media instructor for the Scientific Illustration Program at California State University in Monterey, provided an excellent workshop plan for us, and was an excellent and very qualified teacher, and very patient.

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Science Illustration Sourcebooks

For those who promote their work to potential clients, one of the traditional methods is through sourcebooks. For the science illustration community, this often means September is a big month when the fruits of your labor are put on display in the latest editions of the Science-Art and Medical Illustration Source directories. The Science-Art.com sourcebook is full of GNSI member's work and the art of Nicolle Rager Fuller graces the cover.

Both these publications will be released to a total of 9500 potential art buyers this September. The cool thing about the internet is that the books are already available digitally for your enjoyment, and is an educational opportunity in how others design promotional material for themselves.

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Book Review: The Big Apples of New York

The Big Apples of N.Y. CoverThe Big Apples of New York takes the reader on a wonderful journey that includes apples. It teases the senses. It is filled with rich history related to the apple, from the beginning with Adam and Eve to the people who brought the seeds to America. The book contains myths, medical uses, history, and a wonderful mystery.

The Big Apples of New York is a great addition to the library of a hobbyist, gardener, history buff, botanical artist or any person who loves apples. Even the domestic chef would be surprised by the recipes at the end of the book. The book is filled with beautiful botanical apple plates that visually distinguish the varieties through color and textural look. Descriptions of history and how the portrayed apple might be used are written on the back of the plates. At the back of the book, you will find a list of apple orchards in the state of New York. I found the book easy to read- and thoroughly enjoyable. Just make sure you have apples on hand for a snack.

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[Compiled] 2013 GNSI Annual Conference

2013 GNSI Conference Logo by Dick Rauh

2013 GNSI CONFERENCE

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Call for Exhibits: Plants, Birds & Pollinators-Art Serving Science

The Denver Botanic Gardens and the GNSI are pleased to announce a premier juried exhibition opportunity for GNSI members only, highlighting the subject matter of plants, birds, and pollinators. Subjects may include plants only or animals only (birds, mammals, insects, reptiles & amphibians, etc), but judging weight will be given to images that emphasize plants and their relationships with their pollinators.

Original art only (includes prints of digital works) in 2- or 3-dimensions. Jurying emphasis will be on both artistic excellence and scientific accuracy.

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Sydney Prentice (1873-1943): The Art of Drawing Fossil Whale Bones

 

Parietobalaena palmeri Kellogg (USNM 10677) dorsal view (with detail). Published in Kellogg, 1968. Original drawing: 70 cm (h) x 36 cm (w); published drawing: 19 cm (h) x 8 cm (w).

Abstract

Sydney Prentice (1873-1943) was a paleontological illustrator and a master of the pen and ink thick/thin (eyelash) technique. A collection of his rough sketches, finished art, drawing equipment, zinc engraved printing blocks, and published drawings in the Department of Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution document a historic scientific illustration process and serve as an instructional model for artists working today. The drawings were prepared for Smithsonian cetologist Remington Kellogg (1892-1969). A gallery of images may be seen at paleobiology.si.edu/paleoArt/prentice/prentice.html


The Department of Paleobiology in Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) houses several beautiful collections of historical scientific illustrations representing a wide variety of paleontological subject matter. One of these, the Kellogg Illustration Collection, focuses primarily on fossil whale skeletal anatomy and comprises more than 250 pen and ink line drawings and rough sketches of over sixty species of whales (Fig. 1). Sydney Prentice, a master of the pen and ink line technique, prepared most of the drawings. They appear mainly in publications by the Smithsonian cetologist, Remington Kellogg.

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