I'll start with the well known of wildlife artists, Robert Bateman. What wildlife artist doesn't have at least one book of art by Robert Bateman? I have three of his books. I'll start with one of his earliest books, The Art of Robert Bateman.
Next up we have Robert Bateman, An Artist in Nature.
And last, but not least, Robert Bateman's Natural Worlds.
All of these Bateman books are full of wonderful images of his paintings and sketches. Because he's such a well-known artist, lots of these books were printed, and you can find many used copies for a very good price, sometimes for just pennies to a few dollars. At those prices there's no good reason not to have one or more of these books in your collection!
Next up is the Nature Paintings of Carl Brenders.
The amount of detail in this artist's work is truly amazing. I don't know how he has the patience! Truly inspiring.
Another oldie but goodie is The Big Cats by Guy Coheleach.
This is a huge book with beautiful images of his paintings and drawings of big cats but it's also full of lots of text talking about each of the cat species in his artwork. So if you want beautiful images of big cat paintings as well as lots of information about the animals, this is a great book to have on in your collection.
While we're on the subject of cats, another really nice art book featuring big cats is Great Cats by Simon Combes.
This book also has lots of beautiful cat images and information about the animals but, just as interesting, if not more so, are all the stories about Simon's travels around the world to observe all these amazing creatures in their natural habitats. It is unfortunate that his adventures into the wild led to his early demise.
Another amazing art book in my Collection is Beast by John Banovich.
I think this book deserves its title for more than just its contents. This book is huge and weighs a ton! But it is because of the quality of the printing that it weighs so much. Spectacular images of mostly African wildlife paintings, beautifully printed on thick, high quality paper, make this an excellent coffee table book and conversation peace.
Next up in my collection is a book of Stephen Lyman's work, Into The Wilderness.
Though Stephen painted more landscapes than wildlife, this book has special meaning to me. I had the opportunity to meet the artist in person, where he signed my copy of his book, just about a month before his tragic death from a fall in Yosemite National Park. Every time I look at his signature, signed with a gold paint marker, I can't help but feel sad that the world lots this talented artist at such a young age, when he had so many productive years ahead of him. He was only 38. How many hundreds more of his paintings might we have to enjoy today if he were still alive?
Here is an artist every wildlife art lover should be familiar with, Carl Rungius.
Though born in Germany he was considered one of the great masters of North American wildlife art. Being a hunter and outdoorsman, he particularly enjoyed painting big game animals such as moose, elk, and bighorn sheep.
Another artist whose work is of similar style and subject matter to Carl Rungius is Ken Carlson.
As well as other North American big game animals he paints a lot of deer and, because deer are one of my favorite animals, I really enjoy looking at his work.
And, to finish up my collection of inspiring artists books I have to include an artist who is not a wildlife art but whose work I really admire, Howard Terpning.
He is an artist best known for his paintings of Native Americans and the Old West. I admire his work because of his expertise at texture, color, and lighting. I've seen no other artist who has mastered all three so well. If I could even master one so well I'd be happy! Even if you're not into Native American and Western art, you should check out his work just to study and admire his technique and skill.
Well, that's it for now. I'll move on to my instructional art books in my next post.