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Book Release: Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down?

Why Would Any One Cut a Tree Down, Cover

The US Forest Service just released a beautifully-illustrated, non-fiction children’s picture book that discusses why trees are sometimes cut down.

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Book Review: Unfeathered Birds

The Unfeathered Bird CoverIn The Unfeathered Bird, Katrina van Grouw offers a unique treatise on bird anatomy that should be in every natural history illustrator’s library. Unique because she portrays her subjects in lifelike poses and includes examples from many bird orders and families -- two features most welcome to those with an interest in birds. Too, Katrina’s illustrations are superb and easily fulfill her wish to show anatomy, not describe it in an excruciatingly detailed text.

Katrina has been a self-employed artist, illustrator, and printmaker since earning, in 1992, a Master of Arts in Natural History illustration from the Royal College of Art. Her thesis was an illustrated treatise on bird anatomy, designed to aid artists in producing life-like drawings and paintings. So was born the idea for The Unfeathered Bird, a project which is, to date, a life work. She has also served as curator for the ornithological collections at the British Natural History Museum in London, a post which has provided the contacts she needed to continue her work.

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GNSI Members' Books make the NSTA List!

Natures Patchwork Quilt, CoverNature's Patchwork Quilt: Understanding Habitats
by Mary Miche; published by Dawn Publications; illustrated by Consie Powell

Just imagine all of nature, mountains, prairies, oceans, and all lying on your bed as a patchwork quilt! Take flora and fauna in their unique habitats, fold them up and you have a book, this book. Downloadable activities for this book can be found on the Dawn Publications website.

 


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Book Review: The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds

The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds book coverIt’s been said that unless one studies the structure of birds, one will never really portray them well. This is especially true for birds, for they are cloaked in a soft covering that conceals most of their anatomy. The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds is a book that will guide the new or experienced bird artist with an in-depth approach to drawing birds.

There is a certain fear factor facing the novice bird artist. Birds have shape and form that demonstrate light and shadow, which are apparent from viewing the outside. Artists must also study and investigate what goes on underneath the feathers, how the feathers attach, and how all of this benefits flight.

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Book Review: Joseph Hooker Botanical Trailblazer

Joseph Hooker Botanical Trailblazer

This richly illustrated little book follows Joseph Hookers career as he struggles to raise botany from a Victorian gentleman’s hobby to a recognized science. Through his world travels and a network of collectors he identified more than 12,000 new plant species, published several illustrated books and journals on plants and eventually followed in his fathers’ footsteps as Director of Kew Garden. His good friend and colleague Charles Darwin was so impressed with his work that as a legacy he funded the Index Kewensis, a comprehensive list of the world’s plant species which is still kept current today. The beautiful plant illustrations and landscapes reproduced here from his journals are accompanied by reproductions of lithographs and paintings done by Walter Hood Finch. This overview of Hookers life along with the reproduced illustrations, documents and photographs make this little Kew publication one any fan of the history of botany would enjoy.

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Book Review: Images of Nature–The Art of the First Fleet

First Fleet Falcon1787 “Two Naval Ships, the HMS Sirius and HMS Supply, three store ships and six convict transports set sail from Portsmouth bound for Botany Bay,” ‘the First Fleet’ as defined by colonial Australian historians. The brief but poignant introduction by Lisa Di Tommaso, the Assistant Librarian of the Natural History Museum in London, sets the stage for a series of images that portray the earliest encounters between European commerce and Australian aboriginal natives.

The collection exhibiting this summer in London highlights the illustrated works from three categorized sources: the works of George Raper, a midshipman on board HMS Sirius, the works of Thomas Whatling, a landscape artist turned convict for forgery, and works by unidentified artists who went by the name “Port Jackson Painter.” Given that the voyage or colony had no designated official artist, the collection’s unique depictions are a testament to the various artists, their unique character, and how they came to be in Port Jackson, Australia, in the late 1700s.

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Book Release: Field Notes on Science and Nature

Field Notes on Science and Nature, CoverA new Harvard publication edited by Michael Canfield, "Field Notes on Science and Nature" explores multiple methodologies for creating science field journals with multiple authors presenting a chapter each. This includes the GNSI's own Jenny Keller of the California State University, Monterey Bay campus.

The book covers disciplines as diverse as ornithology, entomology, ecology, paleontology, anthropology, botany, and animal behavior, and Field Notes on Science and Nature. Readers are allowed to peer over their shoulders and into the notebooks of a dozen eminent field workers, to study firsthand their observational methods, materials, and fleeting impressions. And features wonderful illustrations from the journals of the authors. Jenny's work is prominently featured.

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Book Release: Colorful Edibles! A new ASBA coloring book

Colorful Edibles book coverThe American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) has published a wonderful new coloring book, Colorful Edibles. It features 28 pages of delicious line drawings by 26 ASBA members selected from nearly 80 submissions. I am excited to say that two of my drawings have been included! In addition, a number of other Guild of Natural Science Illustrators with ASBA membership are also in the publication.

Contributing artists are: Bobbi Angell, Mary Bauschelt, Beverly Behrens, Irene Blecher, Doreen Bolnick, Silvia Bota, Carol Creech, Carrie DiCostanzo, Jan Denton, Beverly Duncan, Joel Floyd, Keiko Fujita, Gretchen Halpert, Carol Hamilton, Wendy Hollender, Lois Jackson, Jeanne Kunze, Marjorie Leggitt, Derek Norman, Suellen Perold, Kelly Leahy Radding, Maryann Roper, Nancy Savage, Pauline Savage, Judith Scillia and Kelly Sverduk.

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Book Review: The Multifaceted Life and Books of Arthur Guptill

All of us know of the American Artist's Magazine, its American Artist's Book Club and their publisher, Watson-Guptill Publications (ownership now is in Billboard Publications). This article is about Arthur L. Guptill, co-founder, co-editor and co-manager of these businesses in art, with his longtime friend, Ernest Watson. Together they undertook many art enterprises under the Watson-Guptill umbrella.

Arthur GuptillGuptill the Polymath

The word I have used goes back into early Victorian history: a person with multiple interests and vocations who pursues all of them vigorously at the same time. Guptill's major occupations were artist, architect, decorator, teacher and finally author with the Watson-Guptill firm thrown in between. At all of these things he was good; to them all,l he brought a strong artistic sense; and in them gained an enviable reputation for his work.

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Copyright and Fair Use

This is an edited virtual roundtable discussion held online. Transcribed for the September 2010 GNSI newsletter column "Ripped From the List "- edited by Stephan DiCerbo, and now edited for online presentation.

Gail Guth emailed the list about a fellow who wanted to avoid the cost of repro rights on someone else’s images by tracing them and was concerned—with good reason—if he was infringing on copyrights. The thread brought out various takes on the issue, some of which you might find surprising. This thread also touches upon “fair use for educational purposes” and “government use and public domain.” – Stephen Di Cerbo

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Book Review: Manual of Leaf Architecture

Leaf Architecture Cover

A new book on the architecture of leaves, Manual of Leaf Architecture, by Ellis, Daly, Hickey, Johnson, Mitchell, Wilf and Wing, goes into great detail, assigning names and descriptions to important characters that distinguish different leaves. Size, shape, lobing, surface texture, apex and base and margins all are fully described and named and are characteristics we should be aware of as artists.

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