Oakhurst, CA (Vocus/PRWEB) March 29, 2011
A special art show taking place at the Timberline Art Gallery in Oakhurst next month will feature scenes depicting the region eons ago.
Timberline Gallery and the Fossil Discovery Center - Present David Douglas: Imaginative Art of an Ancient Age - 700,00 years ago in Chowchilla opens April 7. The show will feature works from David March Douglas illustrating life in the valley 780,000 years ago, when sabre-toothed cats, Colombian Mammoths and other Pleistocene era animals lived in the Chowchilla area in amazing numbers.
“Imagine the ancient Savannah where Pleistocene animals once roamed,” said Merylyn Whited with the Timberline Art Gallery. “David Douglas' portrayal of the Savannah watering source where the Pleistocene animals once came to quench their thirst takes you back 780,000 years and really makes you feel as if you’re there, watching these amazing animals in person.”
Douglas is an artist with experience bringing unique scenes and creatures to life, having many major motion pictures to his credit. “I've worked in feature films as an effects Artist/Animator/Matte Painter for about twenty years,” he said.
The film experience has been of great benefit to Douglass, using that to depict life in the valley during the Pleistocene era, and the life that thrived in the Chowchilla area during that time. “I’ve created lots of Sci-Fi cities, ghosts, and alien biologies. Most of the techniques I use come from the skills I learned doing film work. The rest have come from time spent in the woods studying animals in their native environments.”
Now employed by the new Fossil Discovery Center in Chowchilla, Douglas has recreated numerous animals. “There will be the seven main Fossil Discovery Center pieces, painted reconstructions of the extinct species found at the dig site: Dire Wolf, Smilodon (Sabre-toothed cat), Colombian Mammoth, Pleistocene Horse, Camelops, and the Harland’s Groundsloth. These paintings will also be accompanied by actual fossils and replica skulls,” he said.
There will also be a video presentation featuring some of his Sci-Fi and feature-film related work.
The Fossil Discovery Center in Chowchilla sits adjacent to the largest Pleistocene era fossil bed in the western United States, and showcases the fossilized remains of the animals that will be on display in this art show.
“Our Chowchilla-Fairmede area was once a vast Savannah where ancient Pleistocene animals—mammoths, sloths, camels, all sorts of birds and smaller animals lived. Hunting them were the saber toothed cats, humongous short faced bears and the huge Dire wolves. It's just incredibly exciting to imagine that era. It takes a visionary artist like David Douglas to bring the scenes to life. Not only are his images researched and true to the fossil flora and fauna, they can stand alone as beautiful works of art,” said Whited.
One question that Douglas is often asked, how do you create such life-like images of animals long dead. “The most effective approach,” he said, “Is to find a living animal that resembles the subject. With the Pleistocene mega-fauna it's actually easier than some other eras, as the animals are closely related the animals of our time. A modern bear's legs may be shorter than its Pleistocene counterpart, but it's basically the same thing.”
Gallery representatives are excited about the upcoming show. “We at Timberline are very honored to be selected to curate this exciting show for David Douglas and the Fossil Discovery Center,” said Whited.
“In the 26 years that Timberline has been sponsoring fine art shows, we believe that this one to feature David Douglas and his portrayal of the exotic animals of the Pleistocene is one of the most exciting we have produced, because it not only educates us about an ancient era, it introduces us to a new and technologically advanced medium for artistic expression.”
Douglas produces his art digitally, after first sketching the animals by hand. “When he is satisfied with the effect, the final composition is rendered in pencil. He scans these images into the computer and then all of the 'painting' is done electronically using the same type of programs used in the big Hollywood blockbusters. There will be an interactive video playing at Timberline to demonstrate the techniques he has used,” said Whited.
“I consider it to be about 70% science, and 30% guesswork.”
Timberline Gallery and the Fossil Discovery Center - Present David Douglas: Imaginative Art of an Ancient Age - 700,00 years ago in Chowchilla opens April 7 – 18, with receptions April 9 and 10 from 10 am to 4 pm and April 16 and 17 from 10 am to 4 pm.
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