[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

RE: Homage to the murals of Jay Matternes.

Actually, given that there was a later series of Turok done by Valient, and
there are lots of new versions of old series coming out, he still could.
Would be fun.


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] On Behalf Of
dale mcinnes
Sent: Monday, March 07, 2011 9:42 AM
Subject: FW: Homage to the murals of Jay Matternes.

Imagine if William Stout had done Turok !!

> Date: Sun, 6 Mar 2011 15:09:51 -0700
> From: ralphchapman@earthlink.net
> To: ralphchapman@earthlink.net; wilburwateley@gmail.com; dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: RE: Homage to the murals of Jay Matternes.
> As a very quick post facto to my last -
> First, as would be clear to anyone who has seen Stout's work on Antarctic
oceanic stuff, he certainly can do great realistic illustration, he just
does a lot of stuff more oriented towards the fantasy/comic market because
he is a bit of a god there, so he more often tries for something other than
strict realism.
> Also, I should have mentioned the animation work being done also, which is
generating moving murals in different media that, at times, is breathtaking.
> So, we live in a great time for those of us who love the images of
paleontology and we should stop frequently and realize just how lucky we
> R
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] On Behalf Of
> Sent: Sunday, March 06, 2011 11:34 AM
> To: wilburwateley@gmail.com; dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: RE: Homage to the murals of Jay Matternes.
> Well, I guess it is great to have passions and preferences but I really
believe this post needs to be replied to, and probably best by a non artist
so it does not have a possible self-serving aspect. I apologize ahead if my
spelling of names misses the mark at times as I am doing this as a stream of
consciousness during a lazy Sunday morning.
> First of all, I was working in the building when Jay did the murals and
lived with them for more than 15 years. I had the pleasure of staring at
them multiple times a week during that time and think they are indeed
wonderful. However, the first comment I would make about them is that they
really have the old Edward Hicks style Peaceable Kingdom vibe about them
which I am sure Jay did at the direction of the curators, presumably Bob
Emry, and this would be to pack a lot of beasts in what are relatively small
areas in the murals. I'm sure given full control, Jay would have done
something more biologically (ecologically) realistic. But they are fabulous
murals so the theme of this reply is NOT to be interpreted as any slight
toward them or Jay. Great stuff.
> However, less than 20 feet from one of them is Ely Kish's Life in the
Ancient Seas mural which is easily just as great a demonstration of artistic
wonderfulness. And nearby was John Gurche's work on the time column which is
as good as any paleoart ever done.
> I guess what Wilbur seems to have missed is that the past 30 years has
seen an incredible golden age of paleoart and Jay's stuff is just one
component of it. Before I turn to archosaurs, I would also mention that Mark
Hallet's stuff is as good as anything I have ever seen for mammals and there
are a pile of mammal people working around the globe that are at Jay's level
- and again this is not to suggest Jay's stuff is anything but fabulous. I
wish I had some on my walls.
> Now onto archosaurs - I have to mention I grew up less than 20 miles from
the Zallinger murals at Peabody and still they take my breath away every
time I revisit them. However, there are fabulous things happening in
archosaur paleoart right now and for the past 30 years. Anyone who went to
SVP this year saw Bob Walters and Tess Kissinger's murals at the Carnegie
and they are absolutely magnificent and second to none - and more
biologically reasonable in not so much the Peaceable Kingdom (although
remember that paleoartists have constraints given to them by the one's
paying the bills or the curators they place in control, so again Jay would
do it differently now, I'm sure). This is just the start as Bob and Tess
have done other great stuff and there are a pile of people doing fabulous
levels of work on archosaurs - easily on par with Jay's high level. I again
mention Ely with marine reptiles and, of curse Gurche. Stylistically we have
people like Doug Henderson who are doing real works of art and Ray Troll and
Bill Stout can do some real amazing stuff, although they are less into
realistic depictions. Then there is Skrepnick, Karen Carr to name a couple.
I have Brian Franzcak's painting of three Stegoceras walking by a lakeside
in my living room (the lakeside is not in my living room the painting is)
that I look at daily and it reminds me of the quality of the realistic work
being done these days. There are also about 20 Walters pieces around the
house that do the same thing.
> Not to mention Greg Paul (although murals are not his real niche) , Donna
Braginetz, Bob Hines, Luis Rey, Jim Gurney, John Sibbick, Todd Marshall and
lots of others from NA, Europe, South America and, if my facebook friends
are any indication, Asia. I'm spacing on the names of some the fabulous and
young artists as I write this.
> These are some of the top of the crop, but there are a bunch of others
working at a comparable or near comparable level, and don't get me started
on 3D paleoartists - just look at David Krentz' post a few hours ago, or
Brian Cooley, or Bruce Mohn, and, of course, Gary Staab to name a few of the
many that are so good they will floor you with their stuff.
> So - and I apologize for spacing in my head as I write this quickly - I
would suggest that Jay has been ably matched by a bunch of archosaur types
as well as mammal people and those who do inverts and stuff. We are all the
better for their work and they really do need to have their work compensated
for properly. I know Linda Deck and I drove our Camry for 12 years in part
because we put our available funds in art (and still do) rather than trading
in cars very often.
> Finally, I would say that great paleoart serves a tremendously important
function for all of us as well as educationally. For paleontologists, they
give visual expression to what we see in our organisms that most of us don't
have the talent to do ourselves - and many do an amazing amount of research
as they work. Still, they can also serve as powerful art in themselves.
Zallinger's mural has a powerful effect (at least on me) that matches any
art I have seen. When the Vermeer show came to DC when we were there, we
went. I thought the "Girl with the Pearl Earring" was a nice piece and then
I saw it and it was incredibly Powerful in person in a way reproductions
just can't match. It's a shame we don't have lots of paleoart murals being
done these days as they are a special thing and can really have that effect
on people.
> So, sorry for the length but there is too much great archosaurian paleoart
being done now to be ignored. Great that Wilbur has a passion for Jay's work
- and it deserves passion - but we are truly lucky to have a bunch of its
quality coming out these days.
> So I have passions also.
> Ralph
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] On Behalf Of
M Wesley
> Sent: Saturday, March 05, 2011 6:11 PM
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Homage to the murals of Jay Matternes.
> You'll hopefully forgive my immediate nostalgia but when I was maybe
> ten or eleven my brother wanted me to see something he'd found in the
> section on Texas geology in our collection of encyclopedias. As I
> walked over he seemed to anticipate the excitement I was going to
> express when I saw what he was gazing at; in those pages were detailed
> copies of Jay Matternes' Smithsonian prehistoric mammal murals. I
> looked awestruck at the dazzlingly bizarre spectacles on display and
> the inordinate realism given to each era and subject. The painted
> murals covered every major epoch of the Cenozoic and with profound
> detail and realism illuminated fauna big and small from each subjected
> period. Though I found them all fascinating I then, like today, found
> the Pliocene Missouri Basin mural, with its panicked animal subjects,
> darkened and roiling storm clouds, and juxtaposed light and dark
> counterchanges, to be my undisputed favorite of the six; it has a
> chaotically moody quality rarely found in the genre. Years later I
> agreed to go to Washington D.C. with members of my family-not to see
> the Lincoln Memorial and what not-but to view, like on some paleoart
> pilgrimage, the murals that had impressed me so as a child. From the
> viewing of these images in a book as a child to seeing them up close
> and personal as a young adult I vehemently attest to the fact that
> these murals are collectively the single greatest works in the short
> history of paleoart; no other work I have ever seen has offered such
> fidelity of realism, accuracy, detail-both faunal and physical-and at
> the same time such vastly epic scale as these works; I can say with
> confidence that cumulatively in all these categories no other work has
> ever even come close.
> Still, it's strange that no archosaur-illustrating paleoartist, and
> their have been so many since Matternes painted those murals, has even
> tried to rise to meet the challenge-no Milton to his Homer, or Leone
> to his Kurosawa to his Eisenstein, or Rockwell to his Leyendecker to
> his Parrish-and painted the Mesozoic's fauna on equally vast and
> Byzantine terms. Though it may be because of reluctant exhibit
> directors I think it more likely stems from the lack of scope and
> scale on the part of the artists'-myself included-as well as the
> simple fact that we have so few near complete faunal assemblages,
> representing both the magnanimous and miniscule, from the Mesozoic.
> Certainly we have the Chinle here, and the Liaoning there, but these
> are spread out disparately to the four winds over various continents.
> More to the point we have nothing close to a continuous knowledgeable
> flow of evolution for the dinosaurian fauna of North America-the
> continent with which The Smithsonian murals particularly illuminate-as
> glaring omissions stand in our way, namely periods such as the middle
> Jurassic; we know so little from that time period for North America
> that "the dinosaur fauna of the middle Jurassic of North America" as a
> description almost has a humorous novelty aspect to it.
> Perhaps sometime in the distant future, when we've excavated faunal
> assemblages as good as or better than the Judith River or Morrison for
> most of the major periods of the Mesozoic, some child will grow up
> inspired to create works as grand as those crafted by Matternes all
> those years ago. Perhaps.