This blog is closed. For more recent content, visit Chris Clarke's new site Coyote Crossing.
Creek Running North
October 09, 2005
Nothro y nosotros
I spoke in this post of some exciting giant-ground-sloth-related news upcoming on Creek Running North, and, well, it's exciting to me, anyway. My pal Carl Dennis Buell - who comments here as "OGeorge" - very thoughtfully crafted a painting of Nothrotheriops shastense, the Shasta giant ground sloth, enjoying a fine day in the Mojave desert sometime a bit more than 12,000 years ago with a couple of friends.
I'm quite pleased with the result. I wish I could go there for real. 12,000 years ago, the Mojave was a land of lakes with fringing foliage and wildlife, and junipers and Joshua trees growing in woodlands on the valley floors. There were probably trout in the Mojave River.
Carl has been working on launching a blog for the last few months, though his busy life has gotten in the way somewhat. He tells me he's pretty close to launching it, and when he does you'll be able to see more of his artwork there. He's been published in some rather prestigious places in his career, and in Earth Island Journal too, but I think a blog is long overdue for him. I'll take the liberty of quoting a sentence from his email to me tonight:
Maybe if you put it up and people kick my butt enough about it, I'll actually start blogging.
That sounds like a thrown gauntlet to me, folks. See the "comments" link just below? Kick Carl's butt.
Posted by Chris Clarke at October 9, 2005 11:45 PM
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Incentivize an illustrator today!
Excerpt: So that's what Chris Clarke looks like—man, he really needs to trim his nails.
That's one of many paintings done by Carl Dennis Buell, illustrator of the ancient world extraordinaire. Carl has been promising us a website for some time,...
Tracked: October 10, 2005 05:20 AM
way cool to see Zekey immortalized in artwork - but somehow I doubt he would ever willingly get that close to a giant ground sloth. Or a giant anything else, for that matter.Posted by: Craig Carlyle Clarke at October 10, 2005 12:41 AM
I'm putting on my steel-toed boots right now.Posted by: PZ Myers at October 10, 2005 04:45 AM
Carl: what's your medium? I love this. And I'd love to see more of it.Posted by: Pica at October 10, 2005 07:31 AM
C'mon Carl crank it up. I'm sure a lot of us will link the dogshit out of it ;-)Posted by: ~DS~ at October 10, 2005 07:48 AM
Actually for Carl's benefit I should rephrase that slightly: We'll link the coprolites out of it.Posted by: ~DS~ at October 10, 2005 07:52 AM
It's wonderful. Yes, get blogging already!Posted by: nina at October 10, 2005 08:18 AM
Oh, yeah, that's great! hee hee
And am I mistaken, or did he even immortalize The Boots?Posted by: Sara at October 10, 2005 08:50 AM
I'd love to see more of Carl's work. Please start blogging. Show us more!
My fantasy painting: I'm sitting around a campfire with neanderthals and cro magnons. They're laughing and telling me that of course they're related. Jeez, what's with you people?
Kick! :)Posted by: Rana at October 10, 2005 09:28 AM
Nice touch on the green fur of the sloth.
And Carl Buell, you better get it started up!Posted by: Hai~Ren at October 10, 2005 09:42 AM
No, Sara, those are my admittedly very nice hiking boots.
And just between you and me, I think it was just a little insensitive of PZ to make that comment about his steel-toed boots. You know that scene in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, right after he gets his bike stolen, where he's sitting in the plaza and everyone there has a cool bike except Pee-Wee? That's how that comment made me feel.
Snif.Posted by: Chris Clarke at October 10, 2005 10:00 AM
I would be thrilled if Carl launched a blog. Not only do I love his work, but I think he has a lot to say, too. Go for it, O'George. I can't wait.Posted by: Hungry Hyaena at October 10, 2005 10:13 AM
Get thee blogging, Carl!
You know that scene in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, right after he gets his bike stolen, where he's sitting in the plaza and everyone there has a cool bike except Pee-Wee? That's how that comment made me feel.
But you've got a sloth. A giant sloth. Nobody else can say that. Zeke has apparently grown accostumed to him. What do you suppose he's looking so intently? What is it that is more worthy of constant barking and general freaking out than a giant sloth?
Posted by: eRobin at October 10, 2005 10:16 AM
Becky's just outside the left margin of the painting, and she's eating a baloney sandwich.Posted by: Chris Clarke at October 10, 2005 10:24 AM
Wow! Fabulous artwork!Posted by: Rita Xavier at October 10, 2005 10:43 AM
How can I be insensitive? You're immortalized in a cool Buell painting, and are bragging about it here...and I'm the insensitive one?
Besides, if it makes you feel better, my boots aren't very comfortable. I should give them to one of my kids to break them in for me.Posted by: PZ Myers at October 10, 2005 11:20 AM
OK, OK, you guys are right. I've got a painting, and a sloth, and an email from Carl saying that he's gonna hurry up and start his blog, so life is pretty good.
But bootlessness still sucks.Posted by: Chris Clarke at October 10, 2005 12:22 PM
excellent sloth!Posted by: kathy a at October 10, 2005 12:30 PM
Ooooo! Can I have a copy? I LOVE it!Posted by: Carrie at October 10, 2005 04:05 PM
you could sell limited edition prints to your family members.Posted by: craig at October 10, 2005 04:56 PM
"you could sell limited edition prints to your family members."
which, for certain definitions of family, could pay for the Creek *and* Brenda's subscription to moonlink for some time to come.Posted by: Miguel Alondra at October 10, 2005 05:34 PM
Not counting dogs, Carl Buell is my first and best friend. I see him almost every day. Any of you who want to be sure that someone actually DOES kick his tail about getting his blog started, send me your name and a deposit, and I'll start scheduling you in on the lengthy tail-kicking queue.
Seriously, I've known this guy for 10 or 12 years now. I've been saying since the first week I knew him that he's a WORLD CLASS wildlife, paleontological and natural history illustrator.
Ten years or so later, he still surprises me ... not only with the amazing stuff he paints, but with the detailed paleontological and anatomical knowledge that he possesses and puts into them. If he's painting a raven, he knows exactly how many feathers there are on a raven's wing; if it's an extinct ancestral whale, he knows the exact shape of that species' teeth.
I once watched him do a totally unrehearsed talk on winter wildlife tracking and he spoke and drew track patterns on a blackboard for close to two hours, to a riveted audience. It was just so amazing ... like taking the first close look at the medium-sized hill in your back yard, and finding out it's not a medium-sized hill at all, but a powerful volcano.
By all rights, Carl Dennis Buell should be a world-famous Ph.D., flitting around the world to paleontological conferences and such.
The blog is the least of it. But I'll do all I can to "encourage" him to get it done and online soon. For ALL of his fans.Posted by: Hank Fox at October 10, 2005 05:52 PM
Somehow I've always had the idea that sloths probably don't smell very good.Posted by: craig at October 10, 2005 07:51 PM
Amazing and very unique perspective.
If Carl doesn't blog soon, I'll be forced to open a Texas-sized can of Whup Ass, complete with pointy-toed Justin boots. Red ones.Posted by: Cowtown Pattie at October 10, 2005 07:57 PM
I'll buy a limited edition print.Posted by: Rita Xavier at October 10, 2005 08:21 PM
so, carl dennis buell -- when are you going to start blogging? and how can we get prints of your work? your extended family [pretty extended, but i'll go with someone else's definition] wants to know.
we could use a sloth around here, if only to intimidate the native household wildlife.Posted by: kathy a at October 11, 2005 07:00 PM
Wow. I was just looking up ancestral whales and stumbled across some of Carl's work, then found this page as well.
I'm an art major in college and would love, above anything else, to someday become a scientific illustrator. I'm unsure of exactly how to get to that end result...I was unfortunately not able to double-major in biology, though perhaps grad school of some sort isn't out of the picture.
Anyway, a personal blog from someone in this field such as Carl would be an invaluable resource to multidisciplined people like me who wish to combine art and science in their careers.
Please, Carl, the next generation of artists needs your wisdom!