Name Dropping: Carl Buell Rocks! And I Know Him!

I have a good friend who paints dinosaurs. (And other critters.)

This is not “just some guy” who does it in his spare time, but a serious natural history illustrator who has worked for museums all over the world, whose paintings have, just within the past year or so, opened exhibits in Beijing; Paris; Pisa, Italy; and Washington, D.C.

He’s had illustrations in four of science writer Carl Zimmer’s books, including a fantastic cover illustration for a book coming in Fall of 2012.

Not to mention THIS cover illustration on Zimmer’s fabulous evolution textbook, “The Tangled Bank,” published in 2009.

I met Carl Buell and his wife in California about 15 years ago. He was the Artist in the Window at a local outdoor shop. I used to hang out and watch him paint, and we became fast friends talking long past midnight about science, evolution, wildlife, politics, dogs, and a thousand other things.

In the first year I knew him, I watched him give a totally off-the-cuff evening talk on animal tracks and tracking, with nothing but a blackboard and a piece of chalk, and was blown away by it. A talk that was supposed to last about an hour went on, because of attendee questions, for more than two hours … and the audience stayed and hung on every word.

He worked in acrylics when I first met him. I can brag that I was some slight help in getting him switched over to digital painting some years back, but he blew past my limited skills in a day, and started turning out even more beautiful stuff, even more detailed stuff, that has allowed him to serve the science community and his world-spanning clients faster and better.

Someday I’m going to do a much longer piece on him, but today I’m only bragging: I KNOW HIM.

Less than a week ago, I got to watch him painting a piece on Eocene whales and penguins discovered in Peru. And — cool! TODAY that piece is already published:

New Archaeocetes from Peru Are the Oldest Fossil Whales from South America

If you click the small picture, it takes you here.

If you want to know more about him, you can find galleries and other details at CarlBuell.com, or you can Like his Carl Buell Illustration page on Facebook.

As his friend, I’ll also tell you about this (hint, hint).

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About Hank Fox
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