Thursday, September 29, 2011

"A Cold Day Out" - Dinosaurs & Robots Art Show

As humans, we have all been guilty of prejudicial categorization - for example "creepy" and "crawly" things, like lizards and insects, are objects of scorn and revulsion, not generally synonymous with fine art or decoration.  This view was especially true during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, at the close of the 19th century.  Then, in 1897, French art nouveau painter M. P. Verneuil released his critically acclaimed design portfolio "L'animal dans la d├ęcoration," the pages of which were filled with glorious renderings of creatures that were once seen as disgusting, alongside more traditional "beautiful" animals - bats, bugs, and lizards in perfect harmony with peacocks, parrots, and dolphins. The balanced, graphical style of art nouveau breathed a new life and appreciation into these once reviled creatures and made them attractive to even the most dapper fashionplate of the era.

Albertosaurus lived during the Late Cretaceous era and is known
in Alaska from several bones and teeth discovered in the
Coville River basin near the North Slope during the 1980s.


Such was the inspiration for this image - dinosaurs, with larger theropods in particular, have been popularized through movies, television, and books as bloodthirsty, snarling beasts or scaly monsters. Few people realize that these magnificent ancient animals, like their avian kin, could have been devoted parents that tended to their young to give them the best possible chance at survival. With this painting of a young Albertosaurus mother and her brood of fluffy chicks, I utilized the principles of art nouveau and combined it with a scene that any Alaskan parent can relate to - taking the kids for a walk on a chilly fall or winter day - to illustrate this point and to cast a different light on these powerful, misunderstood beasts.

If you are interested in purchasing prints, visit my DeviantArt page.

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