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"M. K. Rasmussen" <[log in to unmask]>
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SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 27 Apr 2004 15:28:24 -0400
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Dear friends,
A couple of weeks ago two quiet legends passed away: Wilson Stewart and Wes
Dr. Stewart was aged 95, and Wes went within days of his 75th birthday.

I want to bring some attention to these wonderful strong artists and gentle
men not only because of a personal connection to each which I am awfully
fortunate to now be able to hold at heart (both were uncannily supportive to
me over years, in my 'this just makes more sense to me, I dunno' approach to
fossil plant illustration) but also because each made *such* a contribution
to the field as a whole.  Each in his own way devised -- and was able to
work in to even the most necessarily dry presentations -- a sense of real
life beauty and balance in the name of naturalism, for the glimpsing of the
life in the rock. And that, in days when it was  not the norm to do so.
These two were part of the mass of workers of a certain time, who have
allowed our present-time understanding of fossil materials -- and how to
conceive illustrations of them -- to be as cranky and dedicated and precise
and yet also as glowing with life, as it is.

If I were to choose one word to describe the artistic presence of each of
these men, it would be "direct."

So I offer this note to any who like to appreciate continuity in our own
identity as a group of many-hatted; wierdly, passionately patient;
nature-loving; sharp-eyed, blossom-hearted persons.

There is no copy of Dr. Stewart's landmark book I have ever seen which is
not completely soft and rubbed with wear:
_Paleobotany and the Evolution of Plants_
     (1983 and again in '93, with Gar Rothwell)

and for a brief perception of the essence of Wesley Wehr, you can view the
two.5 minute video at:

Inspiration Is.

with very best wishes,