In order to produce artworks that reflect a true impression of the subjects and their surroundings, it is necessary to spend time "In The Field". This allows the artist to see and feel both the subjects and their habitats to build a familiarity which can then be transferred to the particular work in process. Combined with other areas of references such as photography, field sketches, collecting specimens, study of taxidermy mounts and reviewing relative publications, the artist can produce a more educated and realistic artwork. Another area to pursue is discussion with the client to gain their insight for the expected result.
Bette preparing various bird specimens in Zambia.
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Bette with Rio Grande Turkey called in and taken in Oklahoma. A great specimen for reference.
John with a brace of Ruffed Grouse in the Cumberland Mts. of Tennessee. A thick forest background reference for a painting.
John, Honey and Bette collecting Chukar and Hungarian Partridge in rimrock country.
Sketching the details in the natural bush in Africa.
We spent nearly a month putting 1700 miles on the truck of well known Safari guide Louie -John Havemann, taking hundreds of reference photos and getting educated on the African wildlife from Louie -John.
Western region of National raptor study team, of which John was selected as a participant. Bell jet copters used below 10,000 ft. elevations, French Alluette copters above that elevation.
John with two Turkeys that he and Bette took at the same time out of the same flock. ( A Carter Double.) Note the variations in color. Reference in hand.
Bette in Rhodesia. A close call when this wounded Cape Buffalo made it's charge, but then stopped. A very unusual situation.
John and Bette fly fishing Beaver Creek in Colorado. A great winter background reference.
Making field sketches and observing wildlife on walks in the African veldt.Then showing the use of these references in finished paintings.
Waterfowling on an ocean bay to collect specimens. Note that the interest in how early Market Hunters experienced days afield, resulted in research for plans and the building of Barnegat Bay Sneak Boats as well as hand carved cork decoys. What an experience. This boat and outboard are now offered for sale. Contact the artist.
Steelhead fishing on the Cattaragus River in New York. Beautiful river background reference.
John and Bette collecting Gambles Quail in Arizona Sonoran Desert.
A Columbia Blacktail Deer. The taxidermy reference is in John's studio.
Bette and Dave with Bette's biggest catch of the trip to Arizona fly fishing.
Big rattlers, one of the dangers In The Field in Mexico. But they cooked up great.
Son Doug, John, Honey and Bette with results of a high Cascades mountains Band-tailed Pigeon collecting hunt.
Son Dave with a great Brown. Check out this background reference.
A keeper Sturgeon from the Columbia River.
Collecting waterfowl on an ocean bay. 17 different species of diving and puddle ducks. All the good specimens were mounted for reference.
Bette with her Russian Boar collected in a Pine Woods Texas background. This reference was used to produce an oil painting.
Bette and John collecting Mourning Doves in Arizona's Sonoran Desert.
Bette, John and son Dave were fortunate to catch several specie, Rainbows, Brooks, Cutthroats, Cuttbows and German Browns.
This photo shows the steep canyon habitat for the background in Chukar paintings.
Doug, John, Mark and Pete with bird dogs ready to start upland hunt. This is great background reference for the artwork.
Waterfowl , Upland Game Birds & Animals Worldwide
John and Bette collecting Ringed Necked Pheasants in High Desert above the Columbia River gorge in Oregon.
Fishing reference is harder to come by, so we were lucky. Bette with one of her many fish caught and released on the San Juan river in New Mexico.