I ignite clarity in all. A window to the Art of Chuck Todd

Archive for September, 2011

Wildlife artwork for the new exhibits at Lindsay Wildlife Museum. One of the coolest projects I’ve ever been a part of.

Red-tailed Hawk Wings by Chuck Todd for Flight Simulator display at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum

The Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, CA is part wildlife hospital and part wildlife museum where kids and adults can see animals native to Contra Costa County and the Mount Diablo area. The wildlife on display at the Lindsay are those that cannot be returned to the wild due to injuries or that they have become habituated to humans. You can see up close a mountain lion, golden eagle, hawks, snakes and many other birds and mammals.

Illustrations for the Lindsay Museum: I recently was asked to create illustrations for a new interactive flight simulator exhibit and for a field guide display. For the flight simulator I painted the wings, back and tail of a red-tailed hawk.

In the display the wings are life-size and constructed into a bench with controls and a monitor at the front. A kid (or adult) can lay down on the display, face forward to the monitor and can experience a hawk’s eye view of flying over Mount Diablo. The illustration for the simulator is at the top of the post and was created in pencil, acrylic and watercolor on bristol board. I was able to examine and study specimans and had two red-tailed hawk wings as reference. What fun!

You can see what it looks like in action on the front of today’s Contra Costa Times.

The Lindsay Museum "New Heights" front page of the Contra Costa Times

Story by Elisabeth Nardi with photos by Jose Carlos Fajardo and design by Chris Gotsill. Very cool. (Full disclosure: Although I work at the Times I was not involved with or mentioned in the story, nor did I design or art direct the package. Elisabeth wasn’t even aware that I had done illustrations for the project until after she had worked on the story and I mentioned it to her.)

Here is a link to the Contra Costa Times story on the new Lindsay exhibits including a video and slideshow.

http://www.contracostatimes.com/bay-area-news/ci_18991270?nclick_check=1

I’m also including a few other wildlife illustrations for the new Raptors Exhibit and for the new field guide display.  The grand opening is next week, I have not seen them myself yet, really looking forward to taking one of my drawings for a ride. Thanks to Loren Behr, Michele Setter and Marty Buxton at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum and to designer Lisa Park-Steskal and James Freed on allowing me to be a part of something so special.

Red-tailed Hawk in Flight by Chuck Todd for Lindsay Wildlife raptors exhibit

Red-tailed Hawk detail

Red-tailed Hawk detail

Gopher Snake illustration for the Lindsay Wildlife Museum

Fox Squirrel illustration for the Lindsay Wildlife Museum


Illustrations related to 9/11

On the somber 10-year anniversary of 9/11 I thought I should post a couple of 9/11 related images I have done.  The first illustration went with a story published in the Contra Costa Times a month or so after the horrific terrorist attacks. It went with a story about how we are coming to terms and coping with the terrible events and images of that day.  I contrasted a linear portrait of a woman, head bowed, with an abstraction of the twin towers.

The second illustration went with an A&E cover for the Contra Costa Times on how the Arts have been impacted by 9/11. I painted a stage with Hamlet raising a sword, twin lights beaming down from above against a backdrop of the ruins of the twin towers. This published a year or so after 9/11.

Hamlet on stage with ruins of the twin towers in the background...and two lights from above shining down.

The third illustration I painted to go with a story on athletes that have a fear of flying…even though they have to fly on planes to competitive events.  9/11 made this fear more daunting to overcome. After 9/11 I think all of us had to deal with a fear of flying in one way or another. In this painting I tried to portray the emotional conflict and fear the person had to confront. Lines connect different cities he has to travel to. Dramatic lighting, a shadow of a plane and hand lettering for the headline echoed those feelings.

Looking back on these images now, I see that I was also coping with the 9/11 events in my artwork.

Illustration for story about athletes who have to confront a fear of flying, as many of us did after 9/11.