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Expedition Art

The Art Explorers is evolving and is now officially a non-profit corporation, we won't update this blog anymore and everything has moved to our new space > expeditionart.org
Check it out for the latest news and information about our next projects and adventures, Expedition Art is a team of artists who have joined together to raise awareness for wildlife and nature conservation initiatives through art.

Manatee love

Manatee mom & calf, I had the chance to see them last Christmas while paddle-boarding in the Keys with my girlfriend, what an amazing encounter.
Peace!
GoPro footage of our curious friends...

Great white love

Sketching for our forthcoming exhibition in L.A, I honestly haven't drawn any animals for a while and it's good to look at references of those beautiful creatures, sketchy speedpainting at my local café.
Peace!

Chauvet Cave Replicated

I've always been fascinated with the Chauvet Cave. I think it speaks wonders for the art world. Especially those of us that love history, animals and art. I have never visited nor is it easy to get a tour.  I think it's even closed to the public. The ancient site has been wonderfully protected and preserved. One particular detail that comes as an observation is the artists using the contours and shaped of the natural rock to guide your eye and help in creating the art. The same way one looks in the clouds to make out distinct figures. Such nice motion depicted in the prehistoric art, almost animated.
It has just been announced that a couple of kilometers away from the actual cave, a replica has been built for public viewing. It took eight years to create. Made from huge metal scaffolding, limestone reproduced from concrete.  Stalagmites and stalactites remade in resin.
Even the temperature has been set to match that of the original. Cool to go and check it out. Would have been great to have helped with the building of this replica.
On a different but similar note, I'm always bringing rocks, driftwood and even buying certain slate tiles at home improvement stores  because I see wonderful shapes to "paint out."

Below is an example from myself and Thierry Doizon from about 14 years ago (more HERE). I still rummage thru my garage and find the towers of tiles with some awesome images of griffons, bisons and even one with a great western classic shootout. One day I'll get to them.Go search and create!
Expedition Art

Adobe Creative Cloud Interview with David Levy

Here is David's INTERVIEW and a link to his sweet short film PLUG. we would like to thank  ADOBE  and VIMEO for their support.

Team AE

Earth Day

"Man's heart away from nature becomes hard."
~Standing Bear~
Roaming the woods on Earth Day.
Go outside, let nature make you smile, inspire you and heal the everyday stresses that surround our fast paced modern times. The outdoors never gets old!








Earth Day broadens the base of support for environmental programs,
rekindles public commitment and builds community activism around the world through a broad range of events and activities. Earth Day is the largest civic event in the world, celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities. More than a billion people participate in our campaigns every year.
"Man's heart away from nature becomes hard."
~Standing Bear~

Animal at GNOMON School of Visual Effects

Our Current upcoming show at the Gnomon Gallery is focusing on helping raise awareness for the massive sea lion die off. There are several ways for you to help if interested, by showing up donating to support California Wildlife Center and the team, or by simply posting a link to your Facebook /Twitter and Instagram to raise awareness. Until then, here is a well done example of someone doing something great to raise awareness. With a little luck we will have an event later this year for African wildlife in danger. 100% of our donations will go directly to California Wildlife Center, hope to see you all there and thanks for your help!
AEx
For more info on our event click the link  HERE

In African Skies

When I was in Africa volunteering on the rhino operation with AWARE Trust. One of my most memorable moments was flying in the helicopter over an incredible landscape. Immediately my mind goes to those beautiful panoramic shots on BBC Planet Earth. From above, the wild that is Africa, takes a totally different personal view. My time was spent inside one of the four wheel drive trucks pursuing the rhino after it was darted by the wildlife vets. But the time I had in the air was incredible. I thought I would share some of these moments.
In the first photo below if you look closely, a female ostrich protects its nest. About 40 minutes before I took this pic, the rhino, we were perusing was heading straight to the nest. But to our surprise motherhood kicked in and the female ostrich stood her ground. In front of a charging rhino! The rhino went around and continued running to evade us.
I've also included one of the videos that we shot at the bottom of this page. Enjoy the summer. Get outdoors and create!
Manu

Art Explorers and Gnomon Team Up


Gnomon School of Visual Effects and Art Explorers have teamed up for a great cause! With both of us having like minds and passions that strive in the same direction, it was inevitable.
Both art and the environment are two things that we are very passionate about. Combining both education and art, we can make a huge difference. Not just to an individual but on a global scale. Our natural surrounding and wildlife inspire our artwork and the way we see things. Places like Machu Picchu, the Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon all filled with natural beauty and inspiration. Places where unique wildlife and habitat are key. We are super excited about bringing you events that will not only be a wonderful place to learn art and make new friends. But an event that will help and benefit the wild kingdom and our environment. We would like to welcome Travis Bourbeau to the team. Travis and the AE team have been busy planning a way to make events make a difference together, so instead of just working together. We have brought him on board as our newest member. We want to make Art Explorers a community where we can share knowledge about art, passions and the OUTDOORS! We have some super exciting things in the works. Fun things, wild things!

Plug on Adobe

http://blogs.adobe.com/premierepro/2015/02/david-levy-explores-new-worlds-with-plug.html
Plug interview on Adobe! Click on image or LINK HERE
Lots of great things happening with Plug. We will keep you all posted


Jean Giraud "MOEBIUS" 1938-2012

Two years ago today the world lost an amazing French artist. His name was Jean Giraud also known under his pseudonym as Moebius. He was a major influence to three of us here at Art Explorers. One of many things that brought us together as friends. Today we take time to remember this amazing influential man, whom we all here agree is a hero to us all.
"Growing up reading super hero comic books I never thought that a "western" comic book would surpass my favorites by leaps and bounds. This "Blueberry" cowboy archetype just floored me and I was completely taken. The cinematography and artistry of the book was just mindblowing. His love for the genre is demonstrated in his work. I was fortunate enough to have spent some time with Moebius and even dinner. There I learned his love for the Southwest desert and his love of the western and Native American ways. I could go on writing about the conversations but that is for another time. For now it is a giant thank you. For filling a young boys head with beautifully drawn images that will forever influence my love for sequential art and amazing adventures.

Manny


"John Difoolle monde d'Edena and especially Blueberry had a major influence on my life as a kid and incidentally later as an artist. The creativity, humor and craftsmanship behind those incredible stories expanded my imagination and motivated me to draw more and more. Thank you so much Mr. Giraud!"

Thierry

"Growing up, Moebius has always been the perfect example of someone who could do a job, and also keep his artistic integrity. On top of that his attraction and curiosity towards all genre and styles still stays unequaled. As an adult I thoroughly enjoyed his interviews by Numa Sadul, it taught me so much about how to grow up and the pitfalls to be careful about as an artist. As a designer, the most personal satisfaction I have ever had, was to work on two sequel projects in some ways linked to my hero, Prometheus and Tron. I was lucky enough to browse through some of his original drawings shared by Steven Lisberger, and was blown away by the simplicity and perfection of his lines. I am truly sad never having met him, there are many things I would have loved to ask him."

David
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31eMG8MoXD8

A Big Cat Fascination...and Art :)

Young future King
I have a fascination with big cats. It all started with watching a television program called , Mutual of Omahas Wild Kingdom. An amazing television show that I blame for starting my passion for wildlife. But the big cats of the world have stuck out, everyone that knows me knows my passion for raptors or birds of prey. Folks sometimes confuse them thinking I'm talking about dinosaurs, like the time I went to an emergency room and told them I was grabbed by a raptor and the talons went thru my hand literally. The looks I got were priceless. Along with the mentions of Jurassic Park out in the hallways by nurses as they peeked in my room, that's another story.
Big cats also have an amazing presence. Their way of life. The amazing regal beauty and design. And that one thing that strikes a deep chord of art and passion. I have never worked with big cats but have several good friends that do and I'm very fortunate. I have two animals that rule my drawing domain. My favorite being the horse and a close second, big cats.  
Brothers in the world make a great team.
I went to Africa recently and worked with an amazing wildlife team doing rhino conservation. But while I was there I saw them. Lions. A very dear friend runs a lion park and is an amazing wildlife wrangler. He toured us in his SUV thru his place and saw the pride. He also has a pair of white lions that are separated from the pride. The wildlife there was just absolutely inspiring. The rock formations. The amazing prehistoric bush art just blew my mind. Apparently the wildlife there has been inspiring artist thru history. That actually made me tear up a bit.

I remember one of the times we were done working on a rhino we were gathering vet equipment and tools when I looked in the distance and saw a big gathering of vultures. I stopped and took in the moment. I've seen this countless times on documentaries but never in person. Not in Africa.  As I sat there a ranger walk by me and says, "it's the lions." He smiles and walks away. "The lions?"
Ball point tiger sketch. Video here
I grew up in West Texas and my family has a ranch in the Big Bend area where we have cowboyed going back to my great great grandfather. The area is home to one of my favorite big cats. The mountain lion. I have only seen one in my life there. When I was a very young boy of about 8 I was with my father in the mountains deer hunting when we came upon a cave in some rocks. Lion tracks everywhere and a deer foreleg still warm but with no meat left. My dad held me close to him and said, "lets get out of here and let me know if you see the cougar immediately." I was scared and excited at the same time! I remember wanting to take that bone with me because a mountain lion was chewing on it. What a great souvenir. I was already passionate about big cats. 

I remember how excited I was when I found out how to record national geographic or pbs documentaries. Now I could slow things down or maybe even pause the picture to draw from! It wasn't the greatest image to draw from but I learned. A lot. I never realized how big of an impact the film team of Dereck and Beverly Joubert would be in my life.  Joining the ranks of Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler. Thanks to their films, photographs and their Big Cat Initiative they continue to feed this crazy fascination of all big cats.  If you haven't seen their National Geographic work I recommend them highly. Eternal Enemies, Relentless Enemies and The Last Lions to name a few.

Butch. Video Here
As far as wildlife art went one man caught my attention early on. Bob Kuhn. This was all thanks to a magazine called Boys Life that I got as part of being a Cub Scout. He made my imagination go absolutely nuts. His paintings captured such life and adventure. An animal story in one painting. When I finally saw his sketches I was floored. I couldn't get enough of his artwork and I had a heck of a time finding it as a kid. His inspiration still lives with me to this day. I spoke to him once and hoped to meet him at a gallery show in Arizona but he passed away. I did finally see his work recently at his latest traveling exhibit. Every time I'm out flying my hawk in the woods I see what I call a Bob Kuhn moment. And it makes me smile. His love for animals and art shows thru his work.  Now with the internet we can all find our favorite artists and even possibly contact them. 
Tiger Drawing Video Here
Big cats have helped shape me into loving to draw and paint. Traveling whether to another country or just visiting a zoo or sanctuary is a must. Life is an amazing teacher. With lessons that are both amazing and sometimes hard but it's our passion that keeps us going thru "difficult terrains." Our journeys also lead to new people and amazing friends. Fellow Art Explorer, Terryl Whitlatch and I spend countless hours discussing talons, horse hoof anatomy, sighthounds, camels you name it and we have discussed it. We even have a project we are playing with dealing the animal world.
Cheetah Doodle with Neocolors
We live in a society where we don't get outside enough. I think it's keen for people to step outside. It feeds the human spirit. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or not. Life is better outside. Feed your passion, enjoy nature and the beauty it has to offer your soul.


Manny

Exploring the Arabian Desert and Sharing a Passion (or two)

Art Exploring (and hawking the Arabian desert)
For those of you that know me, you know how passionate I am about animals and wildlife. Those who know me very well know my love for raptors and falconry.  Falconry can be defined as the taking of wild quarry in its natural state and habitat by means of a trained raptor. To me personally its a passion, almost as much as art, not quite , but a close second.

Getting to mix the two has been a dream. I have traveled the world and have met so many different international falconers, that I now call friends and family.  Much like the art community but smaller, we all know one another and share our lessons and information with each other. The parallels are actually amazingly similar. It is an art form and some do it better than others. Like artists, some falconers are well known and others up and coming.


This year I went in attendance with the North American Falconers Association representatives to The United Arab Emirates to Abu Dhabi. I brought some artwork, my sketchbook supplies and a Native American flute. I was prepared to see an amazing culture and hopefully share some as well. The first part of the trip was an amazing desert camp in the beautiful dunes. A tent city was set up along with huge tent facilities for speakers and demonstrations. Falconers from every corner of the world together to share the same passion.
Houbara bustard
              

We hunted the deserts on camel back with falcons pursuing a bird called a houbara bustard. A beautiful bird that very much looks like a Terryl Whitlatch concept and put together by Jim Hensons Creature shop.
The flights were amazing and the experience unforgettable. Pinching myself and wondering if I was dreaming.
At night, the campfires burned, music played, beautiful Bedouin tents were up to enjoy all of the cultural commodities. Dates, Arabic coffee (I am not a coffee drinker. Only in Arabia ), hot teas, fruits and great food. Their hospitality was amazing. One of the nights I shared dinner with the Arabian falconers in their own tent, it consisted of the houbaras that were captured with the falcons that day.
I met some very talented artist/falconers from Belgium, New Zealand, Mexico, Japan and other countries. The motivation for both art and falconry was irresistible.
A gift to a very gracious friend in the UAE





I brought a sketchbook and drew some, not as much as I would have liked too, but I did take pics.
Its amazing what passion brings when you follow your path of what inspires and drives you. In times you will be surprised where it might lead you.
In closing I did share another thing I absolutely cherish and is very close to me, the Native American flute. This particular flute belonged to my friend and brother, Robert Mirabal. I was honored to have played at the festival everyday, something that was not planned, again, where one things leads to another. I played as the United States Falconers were on the field or stage I should say and again in closing the entire ceremony with very important audience members of the UAE.


I could keep going on and on about the people and experiences , but I thought I would share just a small part with you all. Thru art I have made the most amazing friends and families worldwide.
Where has art lead you?
Whom have you met?
What have you learned?
I hope your journeys are motivating experiences that will fuel your art and passion. Look around you. We live in an amazing place.

Manny

"Just as art informs art and always refers back to itself, we as artists are a collective whole whose dreams circle back on themselves in the sense that, ultimately. I believe true artists want nothing more than the freedom to do their art. All obstacles in our way are just the tolls we pay on our separate journeys. We owe it to ourselves to make the most out of the help we're given; and we owe it to our art to stay positive, aim high and ket nothing stop us from our goals."
Sketching hawks
gyr sketch

Mongolian Eagler
Quick Camel doodle
Native American Flute 

Happy New Year

Hi everyone!
Its been a hectic 2014 for lots of us and we hope that 2015 will be a great one. The AE Team have lots of projects we are hoping to get to and hope to achieve. As you continue to work do not forget to get outside and use the outdoors as a place to help recharge your creative batteries. The outdoors does wonders, whether it's visiting state parks or the creek nearby, going outside and taking in nature is  amazing medicine.
One of the fantastic things were are starting year off with is a Schoolism Live event in Austin, TexasSchoolism is bringing some incredible instructors. Nathan Fowkes, Terryl Whitlatch and our very own David Levy! I will also be joining Terryl in her creature design class so it should be an exciting time for everyone.
Hope to see lots of you there. All the best to you all and have a wonderful New Year!!

Manny
Register HERE