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Bones - A real STILL Life

If you've followed my work for any time at all, you've seen bones. I've painted and drawn them in oils, watercolor, graphite, ink and charcoal. I enjoy the intriguing shapes, subtle color variations, the starkness. Timeless. Fascinating. Hidden from view until death and decay uncover their structure.

It's a wonderful counterpoint to my plein air work. Bones sit VERY still - "still life" - unlike the changing landscape out there with the clouds, wind and sun to contend with! It feels like it works a different area of my artist brain.

Recently, I've been painting a lot of bones in watercolor from the archives of the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center. A good exercise in drawing and color harmonies. And I like the gentle handling of the subject that watercolor imparts...

Bighorn Ewe - 23" x 16 1/2"

The skull is in the collection of the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center.

A variety of my watercolor 'bone paintings' - all painted from 'life' at the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center.

Here with the 'still life' set up by my completed watercolor painting. The bones are from Yellowstone Wolf 302M in the collection of the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center.

More bone paintings of 302 M

The skull - upside down - to keep those shapes and colors REALLY interesting!.. almost 'abstract' since it's not an easily recognizable subject.

Bone mecca : I had heard they had a lot of bones in Paris, not only in the catacombs and famous cemeteries but also on display in the French National Museum of Natural History. So on our recent trip to Paris, a visit to the Museum's Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy was a 'must'.

It was absolute heaven. (pardon the pun) I was not prepared for the shear number and variety...

...Or the gorgeous architecture it was set within. But, hey, it's Paris, that's to be expected right?

And it's not just one hall, there are many many halls of bones and more bones...

Their extensive collection is just mind boggling. The variety of the sizes and shapes was so astonishing to see, I couldn't get enough. A visual feast! You can imagine - it was hard to get me out of there!

Fetuses - really!

Even a hall of extinction.

Purely, utterly captivating. Oh, the shapes and colors! A lifetime of painting is housed within those walls :)

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