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Some People Make Me So Frustrated/Jealous!

Discussion in 'Habitat and Exhibit' started by kbauman, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. kbauman

    kbauman Active Member

    I am not much of a pure habitat taxidermist with my work. I love to compete, and I spend most of my time trying to think of an artistic presentation to compliment my competition mounts. 8 out of 10 times, what seems good to me, ends up NOT having flow or eye appeal. Today, when I opened up the taxidermy.net home page, I got so mad at my good friend Mike Orthober. He took a simple oval hardwood base, a piece of driftwood, and a few blades of grass, then made a masterpiece of artistic flow. He is an unbelievable talent and I am so jealous and furious. Why can't my simple mind, come up with such a simple, artistic, flowing piece for my competition pieces? Mike you totally amaze me with your work and artistic abilities. Maybe someday,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, my mind will wake up to the concept of simplicity.

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  2. Sikk

    Sikk Member

    Amen, paul

  3. Kbauman, nit trying to insult you, but maybe your thinking to "hard" about your habitat work. Another words jus let your mind go don't think about 1 thing think about a whole bunch of stuff start laying it out and I bet you will surprise yourself. I do the same thing all the time, and once I actually relax and just think of a whole bunch of stuff the ideas are coming out like you just hit the jackpot on a slot machine..

    posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire
  4. antlermike

    antlermike Active Member

    A judge once told me after I had gone all out on a habitat base to remember Kiss Keep IT Simple Sucker. I got suckered in and spent more time on the base than the mount!
  5. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Sometimes it's hard to beat what nature has made.
  6. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

    I thought Mike's bird looked good. The best thing was the position of the head and neck. The habitat on the other hand was lacking. Yes, it is very simple, however, it's just a simple habitat. Of course, I did a lot of habitats with Newmyer. Theres really no need to be jealous over it Mr. Bauman, it's not rocket science. Sorry Mike, the bird looks good!
  7. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    I totally agree Ken, you do suck. ;)
  8. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    There seems to be several trains if thought on bird mount habitat. Two that come to mind are Stefan's whose a minimalist on habitat and Frank Newmeyers that does elaborate displays. I like both and both are tuff to pull off IMO. The mount above's focal point is the bird. Had he added a bunch more stuff could have taken away from the beauty of the bird. I think he did a splendid job on the habitat but that's just my opinion.
  9. Matt

    Matt Active Member

    Ken, you keep putting out those outstanding fish, no ones really going to even pay attention to your habitat!(LOL)
  10. kbauman

    kbauman Active Member

    Thanks Cole. Nothing like support from your friends.
  11. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    That's what we are here for.
  12. I did a mount with a simple habitat and the judge said it needed more. I said you are not judging the habitat just the mount. Was told again more habitat it would score better.

    I did a mount with a great habitat and the judge said it was to much. I said you are not judging the habitat just the mount. Was told again less habitat it would score better.

    I did a mount with a great habitat and the judge said it was not artsy enough. I said you are not judging the habitat just the mount. Was told if it had been more artsy it would score better.

    Less, more, artsy or mount on a stick. what does each person judging a mount want? Good luck guessing!
  13. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    It's not about how simple or complicated, artistic or natural, big or small. It is about balance, flow, composition and creativeness. Personally, I think the above pc. by Mike has excellent flow down the subject through the driftwood and back up the grass. It also has nice composition with the negative space under the driftwood. If I were to change anything I would use a black stain on the base, repeating the color of the legs and offering greater contrast to the bird and habitat. That said, I'm an artistic dummy and someone far more talented in that respect might tell me I'm nuts.
  14. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

    .......replace Mike O's name with mine!

    I'm with you Ken, both on the compliment to Mike, and the anguish of getting composition right. Saw the movie Amadeus awhile back, and it's a little like that for me. Some seem to have a natural direction and some approaches are more technically driven. Left brain, right brain approaches maybe? Some of the best art happens when the two sides play in concert. But, it's not that easy either. While sometimes personal restraint is best, sometimes you have to put who you are 100% into your art (another movie, Pollock, Comes to mind). Collaborating with someone who has a different approach can help develop balance, or seeking critiques and making adjustments, but at some point you just have to stand behind your own stuff and be proud, no matter what the critics say (being ones own toughest critic is a real dilema). I try to have as specific a focus as possible in a piece and to make that clearly identifiable. If I can't achieve that, no habitat.

    At least we don't have to think about making political and social statements, right.

    I actually like the monotone nuetral brown base and habitat as is, which draws attention to and elevates the white bird as the primary focus. (though my eyes sometimes also jump to those black legs in the middle too)

    A neat study to show composition concepts (and how good this piece is) would be to use a computer program and separate the elements and piece them together in different configurations. What if the bird was reversed (mirror image) so it flowed in line parallel to the log? What if the base was black? What if the base was blue? And the log was sun bleached white?

    Anyway, Ken...I don't think you have much to worry about with the quality of your masterpieces.

    Best, Scott
  15. BO-N-ARO

    BO-N-ARO Hunt hard but hunt safe!

    But it's so easy..... you just have to "capture the space"......or what ever that art teacher use to say??
    That is a wonderful piece with such a simple form.
  16. Kenneth, Bob Berry I think it was, wrote about this in the Breakthrough Habitat manual. When it comes to a pieces composition some people have it and some people don't. When you see a great composition with "flow and balance" you can see that it looks great but you cannot always say why it looks great. It is one of those pieces that if anything else was added it would be too much and anything less would leave it with empty space. kinda like what JohnC was sayin. I wouldnt fret about it, your winning pieces have spoken for themselves. I am terrible when it comes to putting together habitat. I try and follow the ballance of 3 "rule" otherwise known the odd number rule only cause it works for me. I try and have an odd number of items to complement the mount but in everything I have done so far the old saying of - "less is more" seems to hold true and Mike's mount exemplifyies this thought. (Counting the grass blades and the wood there are 7 items - just saying) Try looking up "Artistic balance" and see the different examples that come up. That has helped me more than anything. Frank Newmeyer told me to draw out every mount idea I had to help envision the final product. You will know when it is right - you have proven it before! Hope to see you at the Worlds!
  17. trky

    trky New Member

    Always remember. Habitat should compliment your mount. Not the other way around, and that means less is more.
  18. I spend more time thinking about my comp pieces than I do putting them together. Then I do a sketch. Sometimes I sculpt a small scale version to get the composition right. I typically know exactly what my comp piece will look like before it is even started.
  19. I say do what you like and don't worry about the Judges.

    I did a piece a while back with a similar base and Mike O wrote on my score sheet," base is to FLAT". Why is mine to flat and his is not?

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  20. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    I know I'm late to this topic, but I've been getting more and more intrigued with the habitat side of things. I agree with what Cole says here. To add to it, the grasses on the left make this piece. They replicate the thin legs of the bird yet contrast them with their natural brown color so not to detract. And yes, the grass positioning (pointing towards the bird and inward) is also critical in creating that negative space below the bird and keeping your eye moving within the piece. So simple, yet great composition. The only thing that I'm not sold on is if a dark, black stain were used on the base. I'd have to see it though to be honest. My thoughts are it would detract more from the center of the piece and bring your eye downward too far being such a dark color. It might work, but I think it works fine just as it is...