Puget Sound Through an Artist's Eye

Tony Angell
Foreword by Ivan Doig

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  • $34.95 hardcover (9780295989273) Add to Cart
  • Published: 2009
  • Subject Listing: Art; Nature and Environment
  • Bibliographic information: 144 pp., 141 illus., 120 in color, 8.5 x 11 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Published with: People For Puget Sound
  • Contents

Puget Sound's rich abundance of life - from mammals to birds - can be attributed to the fact that the region is far more than just a body of water. Edged by an extraordinary range of habitats, this region is visited and occupied year-round by species that are finely tuned to exploit the resources here that are necessary for their survival. Birds are among the most obvious occupants of these communities, and witnessing their dynamic lives has been a source of inspiration for artist and naturalist Tony Angell.

For nearly fifty years Angell has used Puget Sound's natural diversity as his artist's palette. In this book, he describes the living systems within the Sound and shares his observations and encounters with the species that make up the complex communities of the Sound's rivers, tidal flats, islands, and beaches: the fledging flight of a young peregrine, an otter playfully herding a small red rockfish, the grasp of a curious octopus.

Angell goes on to explain the methods he uses in his art. The shapes, movements, patterns, and even temperatures and smells that he experiences in the field are all brought to bear on his work. His drawings bring clarity to his visual and emotional memories, and his sculptures allow him to approach a memory from many directions and retain that memory in his hands. In all of his work, he lets the passion and excitement of his discoveries drive his artistic expression.

Angell augments his descriptions of the wildlife of the Puget Sound region and his working methods with two appendices listing guides and references to this and other regions by other artists and naturalists. These resources not only put wildlife viewers in touch with the times and places to view particular species, but also speak to the patience and willingness to be delighted that are necessary to increasing the understanding of our wild neighbors.

See Tony Angell on YouTube:
Tony Angell is an illustrator, sculptor, and author. Angell has won numerous writing and artistic awards for his work, including the prestigious Master Wildlife Artist Award of the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum and the 2006 International Victoria and Albert Museum Illustration Grant Award. His sculptural forms celebrating nature are to be found in public and private collections throughout the country. In 2002, Angell retired as Washington State Director of Environmental Education after thirty years of service. A devout conservationist, he received The Oak Leaf Award, the highest recognition given by the national office of The Nature Conservancy. He is author of Ravens, Crows, Magpies, and Jays and Owls. He lives in Seattle with his wife and two daughters.

"To encounter Tony and the plenteous generation of sculptures that have come to cold yet fiery life is literally to see a world in the making. . . . And so we have, in the mighty circle of work that Tony Angell has bestowed on us across the past four decades, an orb of double importance. An everlasting sense of the Puget South country that is nature's blessedly varied kingdom, and within that a brilliantly preserved wingdom."
-Ivan Doig, From the Foreword

"A wonderful book as Angell's superlative sculpture and exquisite drawings demonstrate how fine art can build a bridge of understanding to an extraordinary and still wild area that remains an important repository of some of the natural capital we depend on."
-Paul Ehrlich, President of the Center for Conservation Biology and Bing Professor of Population Studies at Stanford University

"Puget Sound is not just a description of a geography, it is a place. Tony Angell's book brings home that place in all its mystery and splendor. This is why the people who live in the Pacific Northwest love it."
-William Ruckelshaus, two-time former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Chairman of Puget Sound Partnership Leadership Council, and Strategic Director of the Madrona Venture Group

"Tony Angell's sculpture is iconic. It transcends its subject matter in a way that all great works of art must do to resonate through space and time. A thousand years from now, people will still be awestruck by the power and beauty of these sculptures. Let us hope that the wildlife that inspired them will be with us as well."
-Robert McCracken PeckAcademy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and, author of A Celebration of Birds: The Life and Art of Louis Agassiz Fuertes

"In many ways, Tony Angell is Puget Sound. Through his writing, sculpture, and drawings, he artistically captures the Puget Sound environs better than anyone. If you have an interest in our region's birds, mammals, and marine life, dramatically depicted, then this is the book for you. Tony illustrates, explains, and provides a full understanding of each. This book is a 'must read' for all of us."
-Ralph Munro, former Washington Secretary of State

"Less is more, and the way Tony is able to catch the character of his subjects by stylising them makes him a true artist, exceeding the genre two hundred percent!"
-Ysbrand Brouwers, Director, Artists for Nature Foundation

"Finding one's own voice, one's own authenticity, is perhaps the highest goal an artist seeks. In my estimation, Tony Angell has done this through his observation skills of nuances in the natural world and transformed them into shapes removed of all excess, leaving a form in pure, silent power."
-George Carlson, Sculptor

"More than a quarter of a century ago, Tony's art had already assumed a maturity that is reflected in this wonderful new publication: his pen and ink drawing had a feeling of sculpture, just as his sculpture has a feeling of drawings. In both, he captures not only the movement, but also the essence of the birds and mammals. Detail is of secondary importance. Elegance of line and a deep understanding of-and empathy with-the interaction of the animals and their environment are Angell's hallmarks."
-David M. Lank, CM, Fellow of the Explorer's Club and professor, McGill University, Montreal

"Tony's subjects are living creatures far removed from basalt and marble. Life is their strength, and the challenge is to give to the stone and bronze not only a true outward likeness but an inner presence which radiates from it. This quality is there in all Tony's work, and comes from a deep knowledge of how birds and animals live, and through sharing their environment."
-John Busby, Artist

"Tony Angell-Behold a gifted intellect, an eye that sees what ours do not, Under bold chisel and strong hand, stones awaken and dark metals leap."
-Thomas Quinn, Artist

Foreword / Tony Angell's Stone Summonings: Art to Have and Hold by Ivan Doig

ONE The High Country and River Valleys
TWO Where the Great Rivers Meet the Sound
THREE Along Cliffs and the Rocky Flanks of Islands, Reefs, and Headlands
FOUR Along the Course Sand and Cobble Beaches
FIVE At the Near Shore and on the Open Waters

SIX The Artist at Work
SEVEN Getting into Nature
EIGHT An Afterword

Appendix A: Artists and Writers of Other Times and Places
Appendix B: Puget Sound's Land and Waters

"From Angell's creative process to his personal commentary, Puget Sound Through an Artist's Eye takes readers through his artistic journey."
-Southwest Art

"If this were a 'mere' coffee-table book showcasing Angell's birds, it would still be magnificent. But it is, first, a celebration of the Sound..and second, an inquiry into the artist's craft. There may be more visual artists who can write than writers who can paint or draw, but Angell is exceptional both as an observer of nature and at his own mind and hands' work."
-Living Bird

"If you've lived here for any length of time, you've seen an Angell sculpture: in a public place, an art gallery or a private home. Puget Sound Through an Artist's Eye chronicles 40 years of the Seattle-area artist's sculptures and paintings of the birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and undersea life of our region. It's a summing up to date of Angell's career and a testament to the tenacity and inventiveness he draws on to pursue his quarry. And it's a cri de coeur for a halt to the degradation of one of the most beautiful and fecund places on Earth. As with the best coffee-table books, you can read the narrative straight through, or stop and linger over Angell's marvelous way with marble and chlorite, limestone and serpentine. This is a keepsake book-a testament to an artist's passion for his work and for Puget Sound, his home and his muse."
-Seattle Times

"In Puget Sound Through an Artist's Eye, Angell's stone sculptures and drawings are on full display. His accompanying words about his life and art are a grounded, eloquent match for the illustrations. . . There are those who write about the Northwest, or paint it, or tour it, but Tony Angell embodies the spirit of this place in his life and art."
-Seattle City Living