Sunday, April 30, 2006

Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

Title: Manatee with calf, Alternative Title: (none), Creator: Rathburn, Gaylen, Source: WO3544-Highlights, Publisher: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Contributor: DIVISION OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS,Title: Manatee calf nursing, Alternative Title: (none), Creator: Rathburn, Gaylen, Source: WO3544-Highlights, Publisher: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Contributor: DIVISION OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
Language: EN - ENGLISH, Rights: (public domain), Audience: (general), Subject: marine mammals, wildlife, endangered.

File size: 134 KB, Format: JPEG image (image/jpeg), Dimensions: Screen: 1143px x 750px, Print: 7.62 x 5.00 inches, Resolution: 150 dpi (mid, presentation quality). Depth: Full Color.

Unless otherwise indicated, resources in the Digital Library System are in the public domain. No restrictions or copyrights are placed upon these materials. You may credit the source of the resource using the information contained in the "Creator" or "Rights" field of the resource record. Download Full High Resolution Image

File size: 1.32 MB, Format: JPEG image (image/jpeg), Dimensions: Screen: 3658px x 2400px, Print: 12.19 x 8.00 inches, Resolution: 300 dpi (high, print quality), Depth: Full Color.

Generally speaking, works created by U.S. Government employees are not eligible for copyright protection in the United States. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" from the U.S. Copyright Office.

Anyone incorporating a work of the U.S. Government into a copyrighted work should be aware of 17 U.S.C. § 403. This section requires a copyright notice to contain a statement identifying what portions of the work consist of a work of the U.S.Government.

The Florida manatee, a subspecies of the West Indian manatee, occurs only in the southeastern United States. It occupies the northern limit of the species’ range, which extends south along the eastern coast of the Americas to Brazil. Manatees are slow-moving aquatic herbivores that feed in freshwater systems and the ocean. They rarely venture into near-shore ocean waters except to travel between adjacent rivers or estuaries. Prolonged exposure to water temperatures below 18°C (65°F) can be lethal to manatees. Marine Mammal Commission: Species List,

The average Florida manatee is about 10 feet long and weighs close to 1,200 pounds. Manatees can reach up to 13 feet in length and weigh 3,500 pounds. Female manatees tend to be larger than the males. Their calves weigh around 66 pounds and are 4 feet long. Fish and Wildlife Research Institute,

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

His name is FUDGE


Watercolor on paper.

ONE LOVELY DRAWING, part five



Paging through Victorian era magazines you will find thousands of dull, unimaginative illustrations that long ago ceased to have relevance to anyone. But every once in a while you find an illustration that leaps off the page, grabs you by the lapels and shakes you. The rare artist with "the spark" still stands out.

Most of his peers have been blissfully forgotten, but English illustrator William Hatherell (1855-1928) had "the spark" and deserves to be remembered for it.

This drawing overcomes every disadvantage that the world could throw in its way: working in black and white with charcoal and wash, reproduced in a publication with poor printing quality in a period when the prevailing style was largely fusty and stolid, Hatherell produced a picture of striking strength and vitality measured by the most modern standards.

His composition has all the verve and excitement of an illustration from America in the 1960s. His potent use of values, his vigorous strokes and the careful placement of figures result in a picture more dynamic and lively than much of what is produced today using the latest computer graphic technology. It just goes to show you that even if you are born in the wrong place and time, working with the wrong tools, sheer talent can do a lot to level the playing field.

I don't have access to the original of this drawing by Hatherell, but I am attaching below some details from another one of his drawings so you can see his technique.



Hatherell worked on the staff of a magazine called The Graphic starting in the early 1890s.



In less capable hands, this drawing would lapse into a nondescript puddle of gray. Only Hatherell's mastery of value maintains the integrity of the picture.



You won't find much of his work around these days, but this was a man who could draw.

Leopard (Panthera pardus)

Title: Leopard, Alternative Title: (Panthera pardus), Creator: Stolz, Gary M. Source: WO5666-007, Publisher: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Contributor: DIVISION OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.Title: Leopard, Alternative Title: (Panthera pardus), Creator: Stolz, Gary M. Source: WO5666-007, Publisher: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Contributor: DIVISION OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
Language: EN - ENGLISH, Rights: (public domain), Audience: (general), Subject: Africa, Animals, Mammals, Tanzania, Wildlife, cats, predator.

File size: 198 KB, Format: JPEG image (image/jpeg), Dimensions: Screen: 1083px x 735px, Print: 7.22 x 4.90 inches, Resolution: 150 dpi (mid, presentation quality), Depth: Full Color.

Unless otherwise indicated, resources in the Digital Library System are in the public domain. No restrictions or copyrights are placed upon these materials. You may credit the source of the resource using the information contained in the "Creator" or "Rights" field of the resource record. Download Full High Resolution Image

Generally speaking, works created by U.S. Government employees are not eligible for copyright protection in the United States. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" from the U.S. Copyright Office.

Anyone incorporating a work of the U.S. Government into a copyrighted work should be aware of 17 U.S.C. § 403. This section requires a copyright notice to contain a statement identifying what portions of the work consist of a work of the U.S.Government.

The most secretive and elusive of the large carnivores, the leopard is also the shrewdest. Pound for pound, it is the strongest climber of the large cats and capable of killing prey larger than itself. African Wildlife Foundation: Wildlives

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Buddhist Tantra of Deep Meditation










'The Six Perfections'
"Derived from the Sanskrit Pāramitā, the six perfections literally means crossing over to the other shore. In Buddhism it symbolizes transition of the sentient beings from suffering shore to the other shore of spiritual liberation.

The Six Perfections includes six Buddhist scriptures related to Tibeto-Chinese art dated 14th and 15th centuries collected at the National Palace Museum. With their rich calligraphy, illustrations and description, hopefully you will be able to capture even a little refreshing and joyful wisdom on the shore of liberation."
The images here are taken from a single text among the Six Perfections - The Vajra-Wisdom Tantra of Deep Meditation:

"Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.), Hsuan-te period (1426-1435 A.D.), dated 1428 A.D. a manuscript of the Peking (Beijing) area attributed to Shen Tu (1357-1434 A.D., calligraphy) and Shang Hsi (act. 1426-1435 A.D., paintings)".



These very beautiful (probably scroll) manuscript images come from 'Convergence of Radiance: Tibeto-Chinese Buddhist Scripture Illustrations from the Collection of the National Palace Museum' in Taiwan.




I've only seen the Six Perfections section from this website so far. The large images above have been uploaded at full size - you really need to click on them to see them properly I think.

There are 3 volumes in the Vajra-Wisdom scripture with maybe 20 or so images in each. Occasionally below a thumbnail image is a 'detail' icon, which is where all the large images here come from - mostly from volume II. From any standpoint, be it illustrative, religious or historical, these are exceptional Ming dynasty artifacts, in my ignorant and unworthy opinion of course.

Chiriaka in Technicolor


It must be one of Murphy's Law's: "You'll always find the perfect reference after you don't need it any more". So it is that this great example of Ernest Chiriaka's work for Hollywood magically appeared before my eyes after our week of examining the artist's work.

No matter - that's what weekends are for! And to enhance your appreciation for this aspect of Chiriaka's career, here's one last short excerpt from David Saunder's article in the 8th issue of Dan Zimmer's Illustration magazine:

Chiriacka’s agent showed his work to 20th Century Fox studio chief Spyros Skouras, who hired the artist to paint the movie poster for the first major CinemaScope film, The Robe. Not knowing how to approach this kind of assignment, Chiriacka made a color sketch to suggest a possible design concept, but instead of being commissioned to paint a full-sized finished version, Skouras said, “That’s great! I’ll buy it! I’ll take it just like that. Wrap it up!” And Chiriacka’s preliminary sketch became the final poster for this historic widescreen spectacle starring Jean Simmons and Richard Burton. This blockbuster film saved 20th Century Fox and won four Oscar nominations, and set the 1950s trend in Hollywood for swords and sandals. The innovative technology of CinemaScope was copied by all the major studios, and it temporarily enticed the American masses to turn off their television sets and go out to see the movies.

*You can see this image at full size in my Ernest Chiriaka Flickr set.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Weather, Caves

W. E. Davies and I. M. Morgan  US Geological SurveyA cave is a natural opening in the ground extending beyond the zone of light and large enough to permit the entry of man. Occurring in a wide variety of rock types and caused by widely differing geological processes,
caves range in size from single small rooms to interconnecting passages many miles long. The scientific study of caves is called speleology (from the Greek words spelaion for cave and logos for study). It is a composite science based on geology, hydrology, biology, and archaeology.
Source: USGS NPS DOI Geology of Caves
USGS - U.S. Geological Survey, USGS Mapping DivisionThe Learning Web, a portion of the USGS website, is dedicated to K-12 education and life-long learning. Explore things on, in, around and about the Earth such as land, water, plants and animals, and maps. USGS Where Are America's Caves
Most U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) information resides in the public domain and may be used without restriction. There is no legal requirement for users to acknowledge or credit USGS as the source for public domain information, but they may wish to do so as a courtesy. If you wish to acknowledge or credit USGS as an information source of data or products, use a line of text as shown in the guidance below.

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey, or Department of the Interior/USGS. For images, U.S. Geological Survey/photo by Jane Doe (if the photographer/artist is known)
Recharging the ecosystem.  Sunlight shines into this cave entrance allowing abundant localized growth, which in turn provides food sources for life deeper within the cave. The National Park Service Cave and Karst ProgramRecharging the ecosystem. Sunlight shines into this cave entrance allowing abundant localized growth, which in turn provides food sources for life deeper within the cave. Karst is a region of irregular topography with sinks, underground streams, and caves that were formed by dissolution of soluble rock.
National Park Service DOI Cave and Karst Program
The National Park Service Cave and Karst Program. Information presented on this website, unless otherwise indicated , is considered in the public domain. It may may be distributed or copied as is permitted by the law.
Centuries of calcite deposition may cause stalactites and stalagmites to grow together, forming huge columns. (Ogle Cave, New Mexico JIM GOODBAR, BLMIn karst areas, rivers often disappear underground, where they continue to erode and shape the landscape. JIM GOODBAR, BLMFirst discovered in the mid-1950s, Musk Ox Cave on BLM lands in New Mexico was still being surveyed and mapped several decades later. Cave explorers have found fascinating formations as well as numerous fossil vertebrates dating from the Late Pleistocene, some 1.5 million years ago. JIM GOODBAR, BLM
This page was created by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Office of Public Affairs. Information presented on this website is public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credit is requested. Bureau of Land Management Welcome to the Underground
Cowboy Caves, located on the Colorado Plateau in Utah, are named for the cowboy graffiti and cattle brands scratched on the walls in relatively recent times. But they have provided archaeologists with a wealth of information about prehistoric life in the region as well. The caves show signs of human occupation beginning about 6,300 years ago, including fire pits, milling stones, grass matting, rock art, and unusual split-twig figurines. BLMCowboy Caves, located on the Colorado Plateau in Utah, are named for the cowboy graffiti and cattle brands scratched on the walls in relatively recent times. But they have provided archaeologists with a wealth of information about prehistoric life in the region as well.
The caves show signs of human occupation beginning about 6,300 years ago, including fire pits, milling stones, grass matting, rock art, and unusual split-twig figurines. BLM.

This page was created by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Office of Public Affairs. Information presented on this website is public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credit is requested. Cave Ecosystems Bureau of Land Management

Generally speaking, works created by U.S. Government employees are not eligible for copyright protection in the United States. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" from the U.S. Copyright Office.

Anyone incorporating a work of the U.S. Government into a copyrighted work should be aware of 17 U.S.C. § 403. This section requires a copyright notice to contain a statement identifying what portions of the work consist of a work of the U.S.Government.

Leave a comment, make a request, Let this small sampling be a guide to better quality, more plentiful, public domain, royalty free, copyright free, high resolution, images, stock photos, jpeg, jpg, free for commercial use, clip art, clipart, clip-art. more at and or and or and or and

Illustration Friday: UNDER THE SEA


Watercolor on paper (Click on the image to see a larger version)

Pinocchio









[click the above images for larger versions -
I've touched up the majority: background artifact for the mostpart]

Pinocchio will be 125 years old in July. Carlo Collodi published the first of 36 episodes of La Storia di un Burratino -- 'The Story of a Marionette' -- in a weekly childrens' paper, Il Giornale dei Bambini. The last episode came out 2 years later in 1883 and was compiled into a book shortly afterwards.

Ironically, the story of a wooden puppet who would go on to lead an independent life beyond his creator became reality as Collodi didn't live to see the success of his allegorical writing.




The popularity of the story was assured in 1911 when Attilio Mussino produced a large number of illustrations to animate Pinocchio's life. It was a dream gig for an illustrator. Mussino employed a wide range of illustrating styles and was able to capture the humour, pathos and empathy of the characters and story lines.

Inspire Me Thursday: LET'S GO DIGITAL


Ink drawing digitally colored.

Chiriaka's Esquire Girls

His first big success in the slicks was painting two pin-ups for Esquire. They were bound with 10 other pin-ups by six different artists to form a calendar for 1952: “The Esquire Girls—a dozen visions to give the New Year a beautiful start.” This separately bound calendar was printed on card-stock and was “available at newsstands as both wall & desk sized.” Esquire produced this lucrative special interest publication only for sale during the New Year’s season, and featured it in their January issue to announce its release. Chiriacka’s “visions” were apparently the most beautiful because the following year, he was commissioned to paint all “12 timely toasts” for the 1953 Esquire Calendar Girls, and again in 1954, he painted all of the “12 lovely ladies—plus two for good luck—for the 1954 Esquire Calendar.” These pin-ups were boldly signed “E. Chiriaka,” omitting the second “c” to streamline his name for more pizzazz.



Chiriacka is best known today for his famous Esquire pin-ups. His sultry women have the dignity and proportions of a classic statue of Aphrodite. Unsatisfied with the complete perfection of any single model, the artist would hire as many as six different women to assemble his vision of an ideal beauty. They are as exotic and tastefully costumed as a playful strip tease by Gypsy Rose Lee. Their flesh is sculpted in the artist’s jaunty manner, so his women have a rough hewn earthiness. But the major reason Chiriacka is remembered for his pin-ups is simply because they are the major works the artist signed as “E. Chiriaka.”



Once again, my thanks to Dan Zimmer for granting me permission to excerpt David Saunders' text from his Ernest Chiriaka article in the 8th issue of Illustration. If you enjoyed these excerpts and would like to read the entire article, you can order it here.



*Don't forget, all of this week's images can be seen at full size in my Ernest Chiriaka Flickr set. Next week: When he was bad, he was really bad, but when he was good, he was great. Five of the hottest pieces I've ever seen by Coby Whitmore.

18th Century Chinese Garden Architecture

Xushuilou dongmian, east façade of Reservoir

Xieqiqu beimian, north façade of Palace of the Delights of Harmony

Dashuifa nanmian, Great Waters, south side

Wanhuazhen huayuan, the Maze

Haiyantang dongmian, east façade of Palace of Calm Seas

Xianfashanmen zhengmian, façade of gate leading to Hill of Perspective

A Suite of Twenty Engravings of the Yuan Ming-Yuan Summer Palaces and Gardens of the Chinese Emperor Ch'ien Lung. (published 1786) at NYPL Digital Gallery.

Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766) received artistic training from Carlo Cornara and Andrea Pozzo in Milan and then took his religious vows. As part of the Jesuit evangelical aspirations in China, Castiglione was sent there as a missionary when he was 27 years old.

He was to serve for 51 years until his death as court painter under his Chinese name of Lang Shih-ning to 3 Emperors during the last Chinese (Quing) dynasty. He introduced the ideas of renaissance perspective, anatomical accuracy and the use of light and shade which had a significant and lasting influence on Chinese art. He himself incorporated Chinese artistic techniques into his own works.

Emperor Quianlong (Ch'ien Lung) contributed to the vast Summer Palace region in Beijing by having Giuseppe Castiglione design buildings for the Yuanmingyuan or Old Summer Palace. Unfortunately, French and English forces plundered Yuanmingyuan in 1860 and only ruins remain. The beautiful illustrations above were published 20 years after Castiglione's death but I'm not sure if the engraving work was by done by him or someone else.
The only reason this post is here is because I heard about NYPL Digital Gallery winning a thoroughly deserved award for the Best Research Site last month and I went wandering in my usual random fashion. The NYPL Digital Gallery now hosts 450,000 images. From my own point of view it is the best digital repository online.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Weather, Coral Reef

CoralReef at Johnston Atoll, NOAA Ship MCARTHUR II Marine Operations Center, PacificNOAA Ship MCARTHUR II, Marine Operations Center, Pacific, Coral Reef at Johnston Atoll - High Resolution Image, The McARTHUR II was acquired from the U.S. Navy in 2002 and was converted by NOAA.
from a T-AGOS surveillance vessel to a multiple-disciplinary platform capable of a broad range of missions.NOAA Life at Sea Ship McArthurII
Elkhorn coral and a club tip finger coral in the foreground. Image ID: reef2554, The Coral Kingdom Collection Credit: Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary,Elkhorn coral and a club tip finger coral in the foreground. Image ID: reef2554, The Coral Kingdom Collection Credit: Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, High Resolution Photo Available - Click Here
Publication of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library, Last Updated: 07-17-2001. NOAA Photo Library
Soft coral with polyps extended. Image ID: reef2562, The Coral Kingdom Collection Photographer: Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Staff Credit: Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Soft coral with polyps extended. Image ID: reef2562, The Coral Kingdom Collection Photographer: Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Staff Credit: Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, High Resolution Photo Available - Click Here
Publication of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library, Last Updated: 07-17-2001, NOAA Photo Library
Figures 1-8, Isophyllia dipsacea. In: 'Report on the Florida Reefs', 1880, by Louis Agassiz. Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College, Vol. VII, No. 1. Plate VII. These plates help document the oldest studies of the Florida Reefs. Image ID: reef2507, The Coral Kingdom Collection Location: Florida Photo Date: 1851 Field StudiesFigures 1-8, Isophyllia dipsacea. In: "Report on the Florida Reefs", 1880, by Louis Agassiz. Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College, Vol. VII, No. 1. Plate VII. These plates help document the oldest studies of the Florida Reefs. Image ID: reef2507, The Coral Kingdom Collection Location: Florida Photo Date: 1851 Field Studies. High Resolution Photo Available - Click Here
Publication of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library, Last Updated: 07-17-2001. NOAA Photo Library
Brain coral and sea fan close-up. 1987 Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Photo Contest entry. Image ID: reef2585, The Coral Kingdom Collection Photographer: Steven Cook Credit: Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.Brain coral and sea fan close-up. 1987 Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Photo Contest entry. Image ID: reef2585, The Coral Kingdom Collection .
Photographer: Steven Cook Credit: Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. High Resolution Photo Available - Click Here Publication of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library. Last Updated: 07-17-2001. NOAA Photo Library

Restrictions for Using NOAA Images, Most NOAA photos and slides are in the public domain (ALL those presented here) and CANNOT be copyrighted. Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce unless otherwise instructed to give credit to the photographer or other source.

Generally speaking, works created by U.S. Government employees are not eligible for copyright protection in the United States. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" from the U.S. Copyright Office.

Anyone incorporating a work of the U.S. Government into a copyrighted work should be aware of 17 U.S.C. § 403. This section requires a copyright notice to contain a statement identifying what portions of the work consist of a work of the U.S.Government.

Leave a comment, make a request, Let this small sampling be a guide to better quality, more plentiful, public domain, royalty free, copyright free, high resolution, images, stock photos, jpeg, jpg, free for commercial use, clip art, clipart, clip-art. more at and or and or and or and