Monday, August 27, 2012

Tor at the Zoo


Goal: Have a good time while improving animal drawing skills by reading eight animal anatomy and art books and completing a two week submersion experience drawing animals at various Midwestern zoos.

Dates: From August 11th to August 26th- 16 days

Miles traveled: > 1,800 (all done at night after zoos closed)

States traversed: Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, and Missouri

Zoo visited (7):

Milwaukee Wisconsin
Indianapolis Indiana
Columbus Ohio
Cincinnati Ohio
Saint Louis Missouri
Brookfield Illinois
Chicago Illinois

Sketch pages completed: 101

Total sketches: 684

Notes on some of my favorite sketches:

Baby elephant: This was a two month old at the Indianapolis zoo. They had 8 total! I also saw two amur tigers, a leopard, and another elephant at various zoo of about the same age.

Orangutan: Seemed as interested in me as I was in him- posed for about 15 minutes until I got surrounded by too many kids and couldn’t work anymore.

Reptiles: Being slow moving, I had a chance to develop the drawing more than others

Zebra: My horse anatomy much improved from animal anatomy books

Bantengs: Usually animal instincts interfere with drawing because they perceive being stared at as a threat or challenge. In this case, I started to draw the young calf and the father but the mother saw me focused on her calf and came and put herself between me and her calf. It made for a perfect composition.

Pachyderm: This was my best overall page from the trip probably because I was fresh in the morning and had good concentration. The elephants are actually composites of three elephants in the same yard. I was utilizing the tactic of drawing multiple animals that eventually return to similar positioning to complete various poses on one page.

Wrestling bears: Although very unfinished, I consider it my best accomplishment at capturing action. The technique requires three skills: a shorthand suggestion of the composition done in about 10 seconds, visual memory, and application of knowledge of animal anatomy to add some detail afterwards.

Bathing elephant: Indianapolis zoo brought out one of their elephants for a crowd demo and chance to touch the elephant. The elephant got a bath with a hose, an activity it seem to relish very much.

Very angry parrot: The blue parrot on this page was well behaved and quiet until a human visitor squawked at it. It got very agitated and started screaming, beating its wing aggressively, and showing its claws. The perpetrator left quickly leaving me with the parrot who decided to direct his anger at me for the next 10 minutes.

Gorilla: This gorilla, like the orangutan above, came over and sat on the rock 2 feet from the viewing window. It stayed about 20 minutes and seemed to enjoy looking at the people as much as they did at him. I had the same experience a few years ago with the same gorilla at the Milwaukee zoo.

................... Tor Muehl

(Editor's note: it's not really my intention
to focus exclusively on the bizarre projects of my friends.
All bizarre projects are welcome!
Just send me the text and pictures)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Tim Leeming in the Wednesday Journal

This blog has often featured the paintings of Tim Leeming (because he puts them in our shows -- and I like them)

But now, he has also caught the attention of The Wednesday Journal where I saw his face this morning, staring out from the front page of Oak Park's local weekly newspaper.

And, according to the text, someone in the Palette and Chisel gave him the idea to paint criminals:

Leeming, who has been working as a criminal defense lawyer for about 30 years, first got the idea for the series from a friend in the Chicago art club he belongs to. Artists are supposed to document their times, he said, and the idea arose during a time when urban areas were experiencing high crime rates and an unprecedented number of incarcerations.

By the way, there's quite a few reader comments at the end of the internet edition of the story - mostly taking Tim to task for 'romanticizing' reprobates.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

P&C in Minneapolis

Three interesting exhibits will be in Minneapolis for the next three weeks.

The above show is at the Minneapolis Institute of Art until September 16. (note: if you plan to you, you've got to buy tickets in advance, because they do sell out)

And this show will open this coming Saturday at the Museum of Russian Art, not far from the Minneapolis Airport.

I've been looking forward to them for about six months, and bought my tickets in July.

But still, I was surprised to hear them being talked about in both of the Wednesday night workshops at the P&C.

And now, thanks to Errol Jacobson, I've just learned that this exhibit of American painting is concurrently running at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul.

So, I'm pretty sure I'll be seeing quite a few P&C people when I stroll past the Rembrandts this weedend.

See you there!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

P&C in CPP

Nancie King Mertz

William Schneider

Liz Wall

Kathleen Newman

Above are the artists
whom I recognize as
as P&C members
included in the
Fourth Biennial Members Juried Exhibition
of the Chicago Pastel Painters

Below are some of the other pieces
that caught my eye

Brian Sauerland

Dotty Carringi

Eve Miller

Tatijana Jacenkiw

Lynne Miller

Larry Wick

It looks like the artists of the CPP are,
like the members of the Palette and Chisel,
primarily romantic realists,
and I'm glad our gallery has been used
for this kind of juried show.

This piece was done by the show's juror, William Hosner
who awarded the "Best in Show" to the Nancie King Mertz piece
at the top of this post.