Sunday, 28 June 2015

#647 Modeling a Grizzly and waypoints . . . con't

Start with post #644 for more information on this series of posts about anatomy.

While sculpting an animal with thick fur or hair such as a grizzly, the waypoints and bony landmarks can be hard to see . . . but the sculptor must always organize the sculpture by indicating the skeletal structure with quadruped waypoints.

The fur tracts should be studied carefully in order to avoid a shapeless mass . . . indicating waypoints prevents this.
Show where the joints articulate by breaking the fur patterns in the right place . . . even if you don't see them.
I've obtained great reference by observing and photographing grizzlies emerging from the water in Alaska.

While a bear's skeletal proportion is unique, the muscular form compares with other quadrupeds such as dogs.
The animal has a high shoulder, an up-tilted pelvis, and is heavily muscled.

Below, is a small clay model in progress of a Grizzly.

Below, an image of the above sculpture cast in bronze.

Below, is an image of the bronze sculpture, "Tail Hook".

Below, is an image of and early monumental bronze sculpture, "Chum Run".

Go to the BLOG INDEX  and Reference Page for more information.  See post #616 and #655

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

#646 Live models and comparative anatomy . . . con't

Please see the previous two blogs for more information about this post.

Before an artist can properly represent an animal in either action or at ease, an understanding
 of nature's one pattern, waypoints and bony landmarks must be understood. 
Comparative anatomy is a logical sequence of anatomical understanding and once the artist understands
the special peculiarities of various species and grasps the different characteristics of the animal, whether wild,
domestic, or even human, splendid opportunities exist for artistic expression!
Nature's one pattern, waypoints, and bony landmarks can be reviewed on the previous two blogs.  

A necessary point to remember is that our principle joints correspond to those of other mammals and birds. 
All have shoulder blades that connect to the humerus, which is attached to the radius/ulna at the elbow.
These join the bones of the wrist and hand.  There is a pelvis connected to the femur with a ball-and-socket joint . . .  
the tibia/fibula is connected to the femur at the knee and a heel, hind foot, and toes are  connected to the 
tibia/fibula at the ankle . . . all of this, common to man, mammals, and birds alike and all are vertebrates.

In man , the scapula is across the back and turned at a right angle to the plane of the body.
The scapula on a bird is covered with feathers of course and not visible . . . but, it is there.

It's not always possible for the sculptor or painter to work from live models.  Wild animal subjects such as grizzlies, 
wolves, cougars, moose, caribou, African species, etc.  are not usually available to pose for the artist.   
Much can be learned by comparing wild animal anatomy to a household pet or domestic animals that you have access to.  Begin by locating the joints (waypoints and bony landmarks) on a drawing or blocked-in clay model of your wild animal subject, then find the same joints on a pet such as your dog, cat, or horse.

The scapula or shoulder blades on quadrupeds typically stand almost upward and lean slightly in.
The scapula are easily identified by feeling down the slope of shoulder on your dog or cat to the place
where the scapula joins the end knob of the humerus . . . then follow the humerus to the elbow . . .
it is the elbow on the front limb of your dog that thrusts upward.

Next, locate the top of the hipbone and run your hand to where the femur emerges.  Then, run your hand along the femur to the knee.There's a bewildering array of shapes and proportions in the dog family . . . making them a favorite subject!

It's important to remember, that whether you're modeling a short-legged Dachshund or
 a long-legged Borzoi,  proportion is determined by the length of the skeletal bones.

"Painters paint what they see - sculptors sculpt what they know."

                                                                               - Sandy Scott

Go to the BLOG INDEX and Reference Page for more information.  See post #616 and #655

Blog, text, photos, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Sunday, 21 June 2015

#645 Nature's one pattern and waypoints . . . con't

Please see the previous blog for more information about this post.

The artist who perceives nature's one pattern will realize there are significant bony landmarks or waypoints
where the skeletal structure consistently reveals itself.  These prominent waypoints
identify the location of  joints and thus movement within the mass of the body.

The artist must understand that a waypoint presents a bulge, projection, or angle on the form.   
Realizing nature's one pattern will take the mystery out of  organizing skeletal and muscle structure. 
The most important mammal bony landmarks and waypoints are:  Elbow, wrist, knee, heel, top of the humerus (shoulder), and top of the femur.  Included as waypoints are the shoulder blade (scapula), pelvic girdle, and connecting spine.

Below, is a drawing of nature's one pattern with the important waypoints identified.
Concept:  By Eliot Goldfinger.  

               Below, is a drawing of a dog with the waypoints and bony landmarks identified.

Below, the five most important waypoints on a bird are:

   1. - Wrist:  The angle where the wing breaks . . .  the primary flight feathers originate  from the      
          hand and the secondaries from the radius/ulna.   
   2. - Elbow:  The joining of the humerus to the radius/ulna causes the thickest part of the wing.
   3. - Knee:  Causes the bulge along the bird's flank . . . the femur, like the humerus is imbedded and
         covered with feathers:  Bird sculptors must understand feather groups and where they originate.
   4. - Pygostyle:  Fleshy imbedded shape where the backbone ends and where the tail feathers originate.
   5. -  Bill (or beak): - Along with the wrist and foot, one of the few hard places on the feathered bird. 

"My goal while creating sculpture, is to make sure all of the shadows fall in the right place."

                                                                                                                           - Sandy Scott

Go to the BLOG INDEX and Reference Page for more information.  See post #616 and #655

Blog, text, photos, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

#644 "Nature's One Pattern"

Last Saturday at Prix de West I was a member of a wildlife art panel which included Greg Beecham,
Ralph Oberg, and moderated by Walter Matia.  During the discussion, I talked about nature's one pattern. 
For more information about Prix de West and the panel, see the previous post.
Nature's one pattern is a phrase I use when teaching bird sculpture workshops and it refers to comparative anatomy. 
 After the panel, I was asked to elaborate on the phrase by someone in the audience who follows my blog.  
While I've mentioned it before in a blog, the focus of this post is a review of nature's one pattern

Like humans, quadrupeds and birds are vertebrates . . . meaning they have a backbone and nature has designed
 just one pattern for all vertebrates.   Below, are drawings comparing humans with quadrupeds and birds.

Variation in the length and shape of the bones indicate how and where an animal lives, feeds, runs, crawls, hops, flies, breeds, and exists on this planet.  All of the approximately 4,500 known living species of mammals fall into one or
another of 19 orders and all of the over 10,000 species of birds fall into one or another of 28 orders and
all species can be compared to and realized by knowing and understanding nature's one pattern.

All are vertebrates and have skeletal similarities:  nature's one pattern.
All have a backbone, humerus, radius/ulna [the bird's wing compares to our arm], 
femur, tibia/fibula,  rib cage, sternum, scapula, pelvic girdle, digits, toes,  etc. 
Interestingly,  while all mammals have 7 neck vertebrae - even giraffes -  birds, on the other hand, 
have a very flexible neck consisting of 13 - 25 neck vertebrae.

The artist must know how the skeleton is arranged and how the joints articulate.
The artist must understand that it is the skeleton and length of bones that determines proportion.
The artist must understand the skeletal structure and similarities of animals and
know how to use nature's one pattern which is inherent to all vertebrates.

Understanding comparative anatomy will revolutionize the artist's approach to figurative sculpture:
be it a figure of a human, horse, cat, dog, deer, bison, bear, bird, and beyond:  nature's one pattern.

Go to the  for more information.  See post #616 and #655

Blog, text, photos, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Sunday, 14 June 2015

#643 Prix de West, 2015 . . . con't.

Please see the previous two posts for more information about this blog.

Prix de West weekend is over and my work was well received.  Happily, sales were brisk for not only my work but for the entire exhibition.  This year, 99 artists presented over 300 paintings, drawings, and sculptures.  For more than 40 years the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City  has hosted the Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition and Sale, making it the nation's longest running contemporary Western art show.  This year marked my 27th year participating in the prestigious event . . .  the sculptures I exhibited this year can be seen in the previous two blog posts.

Below, are pictures, notes, and memories of the 2015 Prix de West.

Above and below, I was on a panel discussion about wildlife art, moderated by fellow sculptor, Walter Matia.

Below, while on the panel, I respond to good-natured banter with longtime friend and fellow sculptor, Walter.

Below, Tim Shinabarger, T.D. Kelsey, and Veerla and Kent Ullberg were in the audience.

Below, fellow artists: Matt Smith, Morgan Weistling, Dean Mitchell, and Tom Browning at the awards banquet.

Below, I'm talking art with Chris Blossom and Len Chmiel . . . two great painters!

Below, I'm with longtime friend and fellow sculptor, Shirley Thomson-Smith.

Below, two friends and two of my favorite artists:  David Leffel and Sherrie McGraw.

Below, I'm with (left to right) Dan Smith, Tom Dailey, and Curt Walters in front of Curt's breathtaking painting.

Below,  Wyoming gallery owner, Sue Simpson Gallagher,  and artists, Carrie Ballentine, and Chris Blossom.

Below, Andy Peters with his Prix de West award-winning painting - "The Lake of Glass".

Left, Steven Karr, Ph.D.,
President of the museum.

Right, Logan Maxwell Hagege,
an extraordinary painter.

Below, a picture of the 2015 Prix de West Artists.

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

#642 Prix de West, 2015 . . . con't

Please see the previous post for more information about this blog

Invited artists may exhibit four works in the Prix de West Exhibition at the National Cowboy Museum and Western 
Heritage Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  The gala opening is this weekend . . .  it closes August 2, 2015.

The previous post shows "Jake", which is one of four new sculptures for the exhibition.
The additional three sculptures in the exhibition is the focus of this blog post. . . all are copyright, 2015.

Shown below, "King of the Kitchen" is a wall-mounted sculpture.

King of the Kitchen
11"H 25"W 3"D

Shown below is "The Taker".

The Taker
18"H 18"W 3"D

Shown below is "Dixie".

12"H 12"W 6"D

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Sunday, 7 June 2015

#641 Prix de West, 2015

By this time next Sunday, Prix de West in Oklahoma City will be over and I'll post and update.
For more information about the exhibition, go to the museum and catalogue links and the blog links below:

This year is my 27th year to be invited to participate in the Prix de West Exhibition at the National Cowboy Museum and Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City.  Like most artists, it's important for me to introduce new work at the prestigious event and no one wants to drop the ball!  The collector and museum expects new work and my studio method and working challenges demand it. The Prix de West, like the Autry, Eiteljorg, Briscoe, Jackson, Cody, and others gives the artist an opportunity to engage in a catalogued museum gala venue and sale that is as good as the artist chooses to make it . . . 
I can't imagine not giving it my best and respond with new work and over the years, I've attempted to do just that.

Below, are images of one of the new works for the exhibition entitled, "Jake".
The sculpture is a quiet study of a young male Wild Turkey and is shown cast in bronze and during patina.

The patina is achieved by applying liver of sulfur to cold metal then scrubbing back, revealing darks in the negatives
and lights on the high points.  Next the sculpture is heated and cupric nitrate is sizzled on to the hot metal.
Then, ferric nitrate is applied while the bronze is still hot.  The sculpture is waxed with Johnson's Paste Wax
after cool-down, and "Jake" is placed on a walnut base.

The close-ups reveal the "woodsy" feel and coloration I was attempting to convey with the patina.

For more information about see post
#635 May 17, 2015

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Addendum: John J. Geraghty (1930 - 2015)

I will always remember John's passion for art and his generous, caring support of the artists who were fortunate to know him.  His contributions to the art world are immense and I'm one of many artists whose life and careers he touched and who feel the same, profound sadness that Trish and I feel to know that he is gone.  By virtue of his excellence, every artist knows the importance and professional responsibility it is to be a member of the "Autry Family".  He was a trusted and valued friend.

Every September after the National Museum of Wildlife Art miniature show in Jackson, Wyoming, he and his beloved wife, Saralynn came by the Wyoming studio for drinks, laughs, and lively talk about the art world with fellow artist, friends, and neighbor, Richard and Steffi Greeves.  One year, he drove his new Bentley here and it made the local newspaper in our little town.  I'll never forget going to the foundry with him in that car to give him a tour and introduce him to the staff . . . sculpture took a back seat as no one could talk about anything except the Bentley!  He had a delightful sense of humor and I'll miss his big smile and his lovable eccentricities.  As big as he was in the art world he was a friend who always answered calls and his intelligent, sensitive advice will forever be with me.  Trish and I extend our thoughts and love to
his beautiful family . . . he will be missed and always in our hearts.

Autry Logo
Media Contact: 
Keisha Raines
John Geraghty
The Autry Announces the Death of Trustee and Special Advisor John J. Geraghty 
The Autry’s 2016 Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition
and Sale
® to be dedicated to Mr. Geraghty’s life and legacy
Los Angeles, CA (May 28, 2015)—John J. Geraghty, a longtime trustee of the Autry National Center of the American West and special advisor to the Autry’s Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale, died May 27, 2015, following a battle with cancer. Geraghty, 85, is survived by three children and nine grandchildren.

“The sadness I feel in the loss of my longtime friend John Geraghty is without measure,” said Jackie Autry, Founding Chair of the Autry’s Board of Trustees. “In addition to his role as a major trustee of the Autry, John co-founded the Masters exhibition with Joanne Hale. He was a mentor to Western artists, and many felt he was like a second father. John inspired all of us to not only learn about quality Western art, but also to appreciate the story it was telling along with its beauty.”

Masters began in 1998 and with Geraghty's continued involvement as a special advisor, it soon became one of the Autry’s most successful annual fundraisers and one of the nation’s premier Western art shows. In a 2011 interview with Southwest Art magazine, Geraghty was asked to describe his greatest source of pride related to the Masters exhibition. “The commitment and dedication of the artists and their willingness to continue to challenge themselves,” he said.

“Our Autry staff and trustees are profoundly saddened by this loss,” said W. Richard West, Jr., the Autry’s President and CEO. “Beyond his leadership role at the Autry, John was a tireless champion for Western art and artists. We quickly and unanimously decided that our 2016 Masters exhibition will be dedicated to his incomparable legacy—one that has impacted hundreds of artists and thousands of museum visitors who attended the exhibition during the past 18 years.”

Beyond Masters, Geraghty served as an Autry trustee since 1998, and was a co-founder and past board member of the Cowboy Artists of America Museum, now the Museum of Western Art, in Kerrville, Texas. He was also a co-founder of the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming, a board member of the California Art Club, and a board member of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma, where he co-founded the Prix de West exhibition and sale. But within the Western art community, he is recognized for much more than his extensive board service and 40 years as a collector: among artists, he was a trusted mentor, advocate, and friend.

"I loved John as a brother and had tremendous respect for him. Beyond the studio and art shows, our families spent a great deal of time together," said Howard Terpning, a leading Western painter.

"My feelings toward John echo those of artists across the country. He always looked at things from an artists' point of view, bending over backwards to make artists feel welcomed, appreciated, and supported every step of the way.”

A native of California, Geraghty was married for 60 years to his wife Saralynn, who passed in 2013. Geraghty retired in 1997 after heading Geraghty Automotive Inc., Geraghty A+M Products Inc., and Geraghty MPG Products, specializing in national automotive businesses with headquarters in Los Angeles, for 44 years.

The funeral will be held on Thursday, June 4, at 11:30 a.m. at Old North Church, Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068.

About the Autry National Center of the American West

The Autry is a museum dedicated to exploring and sharing the stories, experiences, and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West, connecting the past to the present to inspire our shared future. The museum presents a wide range of exhibitions and public programs—including lectures, film, theatre, festivals, family events, and music—and performs scholarship, research, and educational outreach. The Autry’s collection of more than 500,000 pieces of art and artifacts includes the Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection, one of the largest and most significant of Native American materials in the United States. 


For general inquiries, call 323.495.4370,
or e-mail

Images available on request.

For additional press releases on all things Autry,
visit the Autry Press Room.
Director of Communications and Marketing
Office: 323.495.4259
Cell: 302.359.0397
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Office: 323.495.4370
Copyright © 2015 Autry National Center. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

#640 The pond, con't . . . Geese - domestic and wild

Please see the previous two posts for more information about the pond at the Wyoming studio.

Domestic geese have historically been kept as poultry for their eggs, meat, and down.  We currently have nine that we keep because they are beautiful on our pond, they're efficient "lawnmowers" and are alert "watchdogs".  
Although they're messy when they get on the deck, - as shown below - they have become a part of our life.

Due to their upright posture, their large, heavy body, short wings, and much of their weight being aft in spite of 
their large, meaty breasts . . . domestics are flightless.  Below, are images of our geese.

A few years ago we only had four domestics and what you see below, happened.
We try to prevent more breeding and I'll keep you posted about the outcome.

The domestics routinely interact with the wild Canada Geese on the pond during spring and summer when
 the wild ones are here to nest and raise their young.  While I don't understand the dynamics, 
the Canadas always win and keep the larger domestics away from their young.

Below, are images of the two different species on the pond. 

Below, is an early watercolor tinted etching of domestic geese . . . created in 1978.

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish