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:
If you click the small picture, it takes you here.
As his friend, I’ll also tell you about this (hint, hint).