In the Audubon Tradition Exhibition

About James Gurney

James Gurney is the artist and author best known for his illustrated book series Dinotopia. He specializes in painting realistic images of scenes that can’t be photographed, from dinosaurs to ancient civilizations. He is also a dedicated plein air (outdoor) painter and sketcher, believing that making studies directly from observation fuels his imagination.

Born in California in 1958, the son of a mechanical engineer, he taught himself to draw by reading books about the illustrators Norman Rockwell and Howard Pyle. He studied archaeology at the University of California at Berkeley, receiving a degree in anthropology with Phi Beta Kappa honors. Prompted by a cross-country adventure on freight trains, he coauthored The Artist’s Guide to Sketching in 1982. During the same period, he worked as a background painter for the animated film Fire and Ice, co-produced by Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta.

 

T. Rex in Forest

$9500

Oil on Panel

14 x 18 x 1

An adult Tyrannosaurus rex steps out of a mixed conifer forest into the sunlight. I painted this under the supervision of paleontologist Stephen Brusatte and it was published in 2019 by the National Wildlife Federation in an article called “The Real T. Rex” I referenced various scale maquettes set up in actual sunlight, and based the forest on plein air studies made in similar analogous environments. The T. rex has a light coating of feathers along the neck and back, in keeping with the recent discoveries by scientists such as Mark Norell, Phil Currie, and others.

How to Purchase
To purchase this artwork please email the name of the piece you want along with the artist’s name.
EMAIL TO:
Erica Wainwright
Cincinnati Museum Center

T. Rex Family Bathing

$9500

Oil on Panel

14 x 18 x 1

In a shallow stretch of a freshwater stream, an adult Tyrannosaurus rex introduces three juveniles to the water and supervises them while they bathe. I develop the scenario after observing the bathing behaviors of ostriches, emus, and cassowaries, plus a lot of kinds of birds. The juveniles still have their light coloration and haven’t yet molted into their adult layers of feathers.

The feathers are based on the fact that all members of the tyrannosaur group which have been found with detailed fossils (such as Dilong and Yutyrannus) show feathers. Among my scientific consultants was tyrannosaur expert Steve Brusatte, who said: “I am particularly really moved by the one of the adult and juveniles bathing in the stream. It brings these predators to life in a way that hunt scenes don’t–it makes them seem more like normal animals, not monsters.”

How to Purchase
To purchase this artwork please email the name of the piece you want along with the artist’s name.
EMAIL TO:
Erica Wainwright
Cincinnati Museum Center

Khaan Displaying

$5500

Oil on Panel

14 x 18 x 1

There is now ample fossil evidence that small theropod dinosaurs had extensive feather covering, and in some cases, winglike structures on the arms, even though these dinosaurs could not fly. So what were the feathers for, and what did they look like? I portray a small oviraptorid dinosaur, Khaan mckennai in a courtship display, used either to attract mates or intimidate rivals, much like the behavior of many modern birds. I made this painting recently for the National Wildlife Federation, which published it in an article about dinosaurs with feathers

 

How to Purchase
To purchase this artwork please email the name of the piece you want along with the artist’s name.
EMAIL TO:
Erica Wainwright
Cincinnati Museum Center