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dino-artist of the century



As a professional paleoartist who has been lurking on the list for the
past few months, I have found the dino-artist thread particularly
interesting and am gratified at the appreciation shown for this highly
specialized art form.  Paleoart requires not only artistic skills in
color, composition, perspective, etc. but also, of course, technical
knowledge of dinosaur behavior and anatomy.  Because your typical
dinosaur-lover lacks advanced artistic skills and your typical artist
lacks advanced knowledge of dinosaurs, serious paleoartists are rather
rare.  To make matters even more difficult, those few serious
paleoartists (like those who have been discussed in this thread) work
with the scantest of clues coupled with constantly changing
paleontological theories.  What I am getting at is that all of these
artists deserve respect for their efforts.

Some of you have cast your vote for Charles Knight whose position in
paleoart history cannot be challenged.  Though the postures of his
dinosaurs are now outdated, in his time they reflected current
scientific thought.  Moreover, his was a classically trained artist long
before he turned his talents and interests to paleontology.  As a
result, his paleoart fulfilled two very important criteria: it was
artistically admirable and scientifically correct. His images remain
important today for two reasons.  First, they are cherished works of
classic early-twentieth-century art, regardless of the subject matter.
Second, they help document the history of paleontology; ironically,
their technical inaccuracies are the very attribute that make them so
valuable in documenting turn-of-the-century paleontological thought.

 Any of you who have seen my work (i.e., SVP '97, Dinosaurs Illustrated,
April 1998 Earth Magazine, New Mexico Museum of Natural History, etc.)
may be interested to hear that Dinosaur Man in going online with our Web
Site next month.

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DINOSAUR MAN**Rich Penney, Paleoartist
dinoman@trail.com
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