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Good Design On Competition Winner

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Joe Kish, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

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    I've saved this photo in my files as an example of good composition, visual lines and overall appealing artistry. I forgot to label it with the name of the guy who created it. Some of you must know who did this nice piece. I would appreciate it someone would name the artist for me. Thanks.
     
  2. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

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    This computer stuff - I'm still an amateur! I appreciate your forbearance.

    Pyramidal piece.jpg
     
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  3. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking Jim Hall ?
     
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  4. Carolin Brak-Dolny

    Carolin Brak-Dolny Active Member

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    Good design except for the yellow wood base. Perhaps it could be a weathered wood colour. The yellow colour is not complimentary to the piece.
     
  5. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I'm not a big fan of this one as FOR ME, it seems too "busy" and too "dry" for what its intent was. The "shelf" on the sand to the right takes away from the initial impression. It may be an old mount as the sheen on the trout seems to be aged and perhaps when it was new, it would have given me a different perspective.
     
  6. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Can’t believe I’m saying this , lol but I have to agree with George. Very busy and has it seems to be a shore bank and there is no wet area
     
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  7. Carolin Brak-Dolny

    Carolin Brak-Dolny Active Member

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    It is a little too busy and not wet enough but the composition is good. You first look at the one otter, then the next otter, then the fish. You go around and around, in a circle. There is the fact that you will stop to look at this one, when other mounts you will just glance at and walk by.
     
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  8. Brian Reinertson

    Brian Reinertson Well-Known Member

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    the base doesn’t work with the piece at all.
     
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  9. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

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    doesn't work for me at all, the fish looks like a stiff wall mount they just layed there. The otter standing is looking off of the base. it's dry looking shouldn't there be some water and mud? Many other things don't jive. Agree with George and Carolyn
     
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  10. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

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    I’m surprised at the responses. I was only looking for the name of the taxidermist who created this piece. I’m still hoping someone will be able to provide it.

    In the meantime, I’m impressed by all the responses, overall some very good observations.

    RC - I’m fairly certain it wasn’t Jim Hall. Jim is famous for “The Fly” mount which also depicted a spilled creel with a fly in the trout’s belly where it had been gutted. Someone also once credited it to the late Bruce Babcock up in Kalispell, I think it was.

    Carolyn B-D - Yes, that light colored wood frame at the bottom, while mono-chromatic with the general color scheme, still lacks visual “weight” to be at the bottom of the composition. And as you say it is much too busy with the spilled contents too far from the creel. Not even the otters are wet. That’s a good observation here: “You will stop to look at this one…..etc.”

    George – Yes, too busy and too dry.

    Brian R - You didn’t give us enough information. There’s a reason for your opinion. Perhaps you would care to tell us why the base doesn’t work with the piece at all.

    While this piece isn’t a brilliant example of artistic composition and design, it is a fine example of a singular element that will, as Carolyn said, “There is the fact that you will stop to look at this one, when other mounts you will just glance at and walk by.” Even if she hadn’t read my book she knows what that element is and why it arrests ones attention.

    I wasn’t expecting this much response to this post. But since enough of you found this an opportunity to give a mini critique of a work by an as yet anonymous taxidermist, I would like to mention two things: 1.) That we all agree that taxidermy is an art, it doesn’t necessarily follow that taxidermists are artists by vocation. A majority are not. They are just simply good at taxidermy. When I look at the pictures on Ken’s Corner of all the winning competition mounts from the various shows, it’s obvious that most of those competitors don’t remember much of what they may have learned in a high school art class or never opened a single book on art theory and practice. 2.) Furthermore, taxidermists today don’t have to know anything about composition, design or really any of the elements of artistic presentation because the base does not affect the score in competition or the satisfaction quotient in a customer’s work. 99 out of a hundred customers are clueless about what makes a fine presentation and presume whatever a taxidermist makes for a base, must be satisfactory, because the taxidermist did it. I say this without disparaging those practitioners who have mastered artificial rock and water making to a degree that one can’t tell the fake from the real.
     
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  11. Micah Howards

    Micah Howards Active Member

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    I agree That the fish looks to stiff, but think about putting a fish in a basket it will get stiff in maybe 20 mins which if the otters got into it then the person would have had to of left it for a while. and for if there should be water and mud, I disagree if you look at the otters they are dry which would mean they were out of the water for awhile. IMO
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  12. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    Furthermore, taxidermists today don’t have to know anything about composition, design or really any of the elements of artistic presentation because the base does not affect the score in competition or the satisfaction quotient in a customer’s work.

    It seems you may be out of the loop, as artistic presentation is in fact an important factor regarding competition pieces, specifically in the Masters Division, and does have an affect on the score. Perhaps this isn't as true in the Professional Divisions, but in Masters it absolutely is. I would also disagree with your "99 percent of customers" not knowing about art composition. While you are correct in that they may not know specifics, rules of balance and color are there because that is what makes something appealing, and following these rules in our commercial work makes these pieces appeal to the customer more, even if they can't put their finger on "why". As for the piece you posted, I would not consider that a good example of balance or composition...but that's just me.
     
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  13. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Micah, now lets be honest. Look at that trout. Do you really think a fisherman would use that basket creek for a fish of that size. Personally if I fished a stream of that size, I wouldn't bother carrying that silly creel.

    Cole, I know it's going to shock you for me to disagree with you, BUT I tend to agree with Joe. Modern language usage has bastardized the terms of "artistic creativity" in award winners. Putting a "dead" deer in a pickup isn't creativity. Its shock value. Joe's favorite, "a pig on a stick" isn't but wins on "cuteness" and quality taxidermy. In my life there have been a few spectacular mounts that did all that. Ken Walker's ringtail pops out as does Jean Roll's baby moose in, I think, Frank Newmyer habitat. Phil Soucy's cougar on the ancient cedar. Scott Brewer set the current standard of creative artistry with the "Winter Warrior". More competitions are won today on "cute, warm, and fuzzy" than artistic creativity.
     
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  14. Micah Howards

    Micah Howards Active Member

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    Well all people are different, I know that me and my family have used certain things that we shouldn't have used it for what we did. If you think about it in real life maybe he forgot his other basket.
     
  15. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

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    Cole wrote, "...It seems you may be out of the loop, as artistic presentation is in fact an important factor regarding competition pieces, specifically in the Masters Division, and does have an affect on the score. Perhaps this isn't as true in the Professional Divisions, but in Masters it absolutely is."

    Truth be known, Cole, I invented the loops. ALL the major ones. Id like to hear you tell us exactly how you think artistic presentation "...does have an affect on the score." I know how good artistic presentation has an affect on a judge. I wrote all about it in my post "Sell the Sizzle, not the Steak." But....

    I don't recall ever seeing any competition scorecard that has "in fact" a criteria for basework that would be a factor in elevating the score of the taxidermied part of an entry. Or why would competitions have two standards for no basework criteria affecting the score on a mount, one "isn't as true" for Professional and "absolutely" one for Masters? Duh?

    That competitions are still today using scorecards at all strongly suggests that a mounted specimen is still very, very strongly a mechanical process over an artistic one. If a competitor didn't make the mannikin himself and scores a 99, how much actual "artistry" is involved over a practical mechanical process of carefully applying a cape, which the taxidermist didn't make either, on any of a half dozen top selling WT shoulder forms?

    It's analogous to a guy in a paint and body shop who does a beautiful job of restoring a wrecked auto to where you can't tell the result from when the car came new from the factory. Is he an artist? Did he create a work of art?

    The attached photo is from a Denver Museum diorama. A coyote family group was my first assignment. The late great Henry Inchumuk had started the group when I hired on. He had completed modeling and molding both the male and female. I cast paper forms from his molds and applied the skins to the two adults. Did artfully applying the skins to those forms make me an artist or a darn good skin layer? Likely everyone who commented on this post could have done as well as I with forms of the caliber I had to work with. (I did the pups from scratch.)

    001.jpg

    Now Cole, I'd like to hear you explain for us all why you "...would not consider that (the otter group) a good example of balance or composition...". Your opinion expressed here is akin to Huffaker's "Many other things don't jive." but he doesn't say why either.



     
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  16. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Talking bout base and habitat not effecting score . I took a clients deer to a show put it in the masters it was just a wall ped shoulder mount as that’s what my client wanted , got an 89 on it , first thing judge said to me was if this thing was in a nice habitat base , it be blue all day long . So now i made up a base to screw my clients mounts to if I take them to show , I’ve used same base like 5 times now , you got to give the judges what they want to see .
     
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  17. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    Just saying .... what is art?

    :)

    Kerby...
    art-banana.jpg
     
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  18. Carolin Brak-Dolny

    Carolin Brak-Dolny Active Member

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    hahaha looks like Brooke Shields got a banana bandaid. But it does follow the 2/3 1/3 principle. lol
     
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  19. Brian Reinertson

    Brian Reinertson Well-Known Member

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    Don’t bite Cole
     
  20. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

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    Hey Brian,
    What's with you? I don't appreciate j-rk-ffs like you implying that I was baiting Cole when I was plainly inviting him to elucidate his opinions. Your implication suggests that I was doing something sneaky or underhanded. Do me a favor, please. If you are in serious need of drama on a public forum, I hear facebook is made just for your caliber of intellect. You're a grown man not a teenager. Stop acting like one.