Author Topic: Hello from Tennessee  (Read 4161 times)

Newt

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Hello from Tennessee
« on: April 11, 2014, 03:21:41 PM »
Hi y'all! I'm Newt, and I'm an animal enthusiast from Tennessee.

I have a BS in biology; I mainly studied herps and freshwater fishes, but I'm interested in all animal groups (and plants too, for that matter). I take lots of (not very good) wildlife photos, and occasionally draw, paint, and sculpt critters of various sorts.  I don't collect animal toys or art, but I am interested in eventually producing them commercially.

Some stuff what I've made:


A diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) with some sort of barnacles on him, taken on the bank of a salt creek on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina


An acrylic painting of a green frog (Lithobates clamitans)


An oil painting of an eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina)


And, just to break the herpetofaunal streak, a sculpture of an angwantibo (Arctocebus calabarensis) in Monster Clay.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2014, 03:23:59 PM by Newt »


mermaidgrey

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Re: Hello from Tennessee
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2014, 03:53:56 PM »
Lovely work :) Sculptures always amaze me, as, even though I consider myself quite an artistic person, sculpture has never been something I've done myself. I feel inspired by these though. Perhaps I will give it a go eventually! How did you sculpt that love;y texture on the angwantibo? I'm also impressed by your oil painting skills. Are oils difficult to work with? Hope to see more of your creations :)

animaltoyforum

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Re: Hello from Tennessee
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2014, 04:14:19 PM »
Welcome to the forum, Newt :)


Newt

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Re: Hello from Tennessee
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2014, 04:17:19 PM »
Thanks Mermaidgrey and Animaltoyforum!

I've only begun sculpting recently, but I find it's actually pretty intuitive, and a lot of fun! I don't remember which tool I used for the fur texture on the angwantibo, but I do remember just dragging it through the clay many, many, many times.  It was not an economical method.   ;D

Oils are not hard; in fact, they are far more forgiving than, say, watercolors (watercolors are the devil).  They stay wet a long time, which lets you go back in and modify or even remove your strokes, and work wet-in-wet easily.  They do have some drawbacks: the long drying time, while advantageous in some ways, can also be inconvenient; you can't whip out a finished oil in one session, and you may have to stop before you wish to and let the paint dry for a few days before continuing.  The easy way around this is to have a few paintings going at once, so you can switch among them.

More seriously, you have to use turpentine, turpenoid, mineral spirits, or a similar solvent with oils.  These solvents are smelly (even the ones that are called "odorless"), volatile, toxic, and flammable.  They're a nuisance, and because of them I haven't painted with oils in years.  There are water-miscible oils, but I haven't tried them yet.

KaraWildsong42

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Re: Hello from Tennessee
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2014, 12:48:24 AM »
Amazing set of skills Newt! Can't wait to see more from you! The photo of the terrapin with the barnacles is intriguing, and your paintings look like photos themselves! Will you be adding your amazing painting skills to your sculpture of the angwantibo?
'O bliss of the collector, bliss of the man of leisure!  [...] – and I mean a real collector, a collector as he ought to be – ownership is the most intimate relationship that one can have to objects. Not that they come alive in him; it is he who lives in them.' - Walter Benjamin

brontodocus

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Re: Hello from Tennessee
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2014, 11:07:15 AM »
Sorry to be late - but hey, welcome to the Animal Toy Forum, Newt! :) Your paintings are great and the angwantibo (quite an unusual vernacular name to me, in my language they are called "Bärenmaki") is awesome! 8)

bmathison1972

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Re: Hello from Tennessee
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2014, 01:12:36 PM »
Hi Newt!

Welcome, I am in Atlanta so I am your neighbor just to the south! :)

-Blaine

Jetoar

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Re: Hello from Tennessee
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2014, 03:35:00 PM »
Welcome to ATF friend  ^-^.
My website: Paleo-Creatures
My website's facebook: Paleo-Creatures

Newt

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Re: Hello from Tennessee
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2014, 02:16:49 PM »
Thanks for the welcome, everyone!

Kara- I'm afraid the angwantibo is due to be melted down so I can reuse his materials.  I'd like to get better at sculpting before I try casting and painting anything.

brontodocus- I don't speak German, but I'm guessing "Bärenmaki" means "bear monkey"?  If so, it's a literal translation of the genus name Arctocebus.  I have no idea what "angwantibo" means; I assume it comes from some language in the animal's native range.

Common names are funny.  I recently read a book on trees that was written by an Englishman.  Many trees native to my country were featured- and the English have apparently assigned them new common names, being unsatisfied with North American English common names! I remember a few instances (British common name first):

Wellingtonia = Giant Redwood
Swamp Cypress = Baldcypress
Pencil Cedar = Eastern Red Cedar
American Plane = Sycamore

I wish I could remember more...

mermaidgrey

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Re: Hello from Tennessee
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2014, 08:17:44 PM »
Thanks for the welcome, everyone!

Kara- I'm afraid the angwantibo is due to be melted down so I can reuse his materials.  I'd like to get better at sculpting before I try casting and painting anything.

brontodocus- I don't speak German, but I'm guessing "Bärenmaki" means "bear monkey"?  If so, it's a literal translation of the genus name Arctocebus.  I have no idea what "angwantibo" means; I assume it comes from some language in the animal's native range.

Common names are funny.  I recently read a book on trees that was written by an Englishman.  Many trees native to my country were featured- and the English have apparently assigned them new common names, being unsatisfied with North American English common names! I remember a few instances (British common name first):

Wellingtonia = Giant Redwood
Swamp Cypress = Baldcypress
Pencil Cedar = Eastern Red Cedar
American Plane = Sycamore

I wish I could remember more...

How perculiar! I am a Brit myself and I've always said Sycamore. In fact I don't think I've ever heard any of those British common names before. Maybe they are just for the very elite tree enthusiasts :) Secret codewords for the secret tree society ;)

Newt

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Re: Hello from Tennessee
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2014, 01:59:45 PM »
You could be right about the secret club thing.  I'm from the rural South, and learned the names of all sorts of plants and animals from my grandmother.  When I started learning more from school and books, I had to learn new common names as well as Linnaean names.  Crawdaddies and snake doctors became crayfish and dragonflies, chicken snakes became rat snakes (clearly a PR move by the herp club), water dogs and scorpions were revealed as salamanders and skinks, thorn trees became honey locusts while locusts became cicadas, and so on. 

It's not that the new common names I had to learn were more accurate or classier or anything; I think it's just a matter of the folks who write the books being Yankees and preferentially using their northeastern colloquialisms.  I bet something similar has occurred in your country.

I believe "sycamore" in England refers to a type of maple.  There's also a fig called "sycamore" (this is the one mentioned in the New Testament story of Zacchaeus, the diminutive tax collector who climbed a sycamore in order to better see Jesus' sermon and about which I had to learn a song in Sunday school that I cannot seem to forget :-X...).  Ahem.  As I was saying, common names are funny.

One North American woodpecker, the Northern Flicker, has more than 100 common names across its range!

mermaidgrey

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Re: Hello from Tennessee
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2014, 02:26:58 PM »
That's really interesting :) Languages are fascinating, even how much the same language can vary from region to region. Mind boggling! I guess it's just the same way as slang words for things develop, common names for local trees and wildlife change and evolve from place to place too :)

KaraWildsong42

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Re: Hello from Tennessee
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2014, 05:08:57 PM »
You could be right about the secret club thing.  I'm from the rural South, and learned the names of all sorts of plants and animals from my grandmother.  When I started learning more from school and books, I had to learn new common names as well as Linnaean names.  Crawdaddies and snake doctors became crayfish and dragonflies, chicken snakes became rat snakes (clearly a PR move by the herp club), water dogs and scorpions were revealed as salamanders and skinks, thorn trees became honey locusts while locusts became cicadas, and so on. 

It's not that the new common names I had to learn were more accurate or classier or anything; I think it's just a matter of the folks who write the books being Yankees and preferentially using their northeastern colloquialisms.  I bet something similar has occurred in your country.

I believe "sycamore" in England refers to a type of maple.  There's also a fig called "sycamore" (this is the one mentioned in the New Testament story of Zacchaeus, the diminutive tax collector who climbed a sycamore in order to better see Jesus' sermon and about which I had to learn a song in Sunday school that I cannot seem to forget :-X...).  Ahem.  As I was saying, common names are funny.

One North American woodpecker, the Northern Flicker, has more than 100 common names across its range!

Forced to learn 'Zacchaeus Was A Wee Little Man' too eh? I have that song stuck in my head now!  :-\
'O bliss of the collector, bliss of the man of leisure!  [...] – and I mean a real collector, a collector as he ought to be – ownership is the most intimate relationship that one can have to objects. Not that they come alive in him; it is he who lives in them.' - Walter Benjamin

widukind

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Re: Hello from Tennessee
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2014, 06:24:55 PM »
Welcome here , nice figurines  :)