These were drawn on location in the rainforest of Panama’s Barro Colorado Island in 2009. They are pastel and graphite on either Rives BFK or Canson Ingres paper, 18″ x 24″.

12 thoughts on “Panama Plein Air

  1. Muriel says:

    My favorite is fallen branch it is what you left unsaid, the suggestion. I also am partial to palm tree perfect job of highlighting the right areas without getting fussy. Obviously all excellent. Rufus wins for color exuberance.

  2. Ken Januski says:

    I’m happy with this collection; all that shlepping and complaining and there you go, a good bunch of pictures to show for it.

    For a second there I thought I saw that you’d written ‘complaining’ as ‘compleining’, all the more fitting I suppose. It isn’t it nice when you finally have something to show for all of your work? I’m sure shlepping in heat and humidity, with possible monkey attacks and who knows what else, did make you wonder if it might not be easier to do all of the studies in the Moleskin and then do the finished work on larger paper back inside. Congratulations on seeing it all through.

    I think my favorites are probably: ‘Cecropia roots and great tinamou’, because the tinamou fits in so well and is quite a surprise, and maybe ‘Fallen branch’ for the range of value. I’m not really sure about the latter but for some reason the darkest areas really stood out to me. And then there is the monumental luminosity of ‘Small Palm.’ As usual it’s hard to fathom the ability to see and hold a mental image of all that detail long enough to get it down on paper.

    1. Trevor says:

      As a struggling graduate student trying to make it as a scientific illustrator I’m afraid I can only offer my sincere admiration and respect. I absolutely love your work though and can’t tell you how impressed I am by all of it. I am a bit curious about your travels and if they were personal adventures or funded research trips. My childhood dream was and still is to hoof it through the woods while doodling in my sketchbook (and maybe even get paid to do so). It seems like you’re living the dream…

      P.S. Have you read The Wild Trees by Richard Preston?

  3. zeladoniac says:

    Trevor, most of my trips are personal but I’m proud to say that the Amazon trip was sponsored by the Eckelberry Endowment, a Fellowship specifically set up to fund tropical field work for bird artists. You can get more information on it here: http://www.ansp.org/library/eckelberry/application.php

    Good luck with your work- sketching as you hoof it through the woods is a fine aspiration and you can do it, too.

    Thanks for the book recommendation!

  4. zeladoniac says:

    Boquete has a shtetl? I’m so there!

    Seriously, Boquete is supposed to be a wonderful place, with great birdlife. I’ll see if I can get up there one of these days!

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