To Reference or Not to Reference?

So the Gregory Paul emails keep stirring up controversy.

In the build up to our Hadrosaur gallery we've seen two ART Evolved members take drastically different approaches to their pieces, both consciously engaging and taking to heart one of Gregory Paul's key demands. The thing is our two members have taken diametrically opposite positions on Paul's ultimatum.

We are wondering what you think about the whole mess?

The two members in question are Zach Miller and myself Craig Dylke. For the record, this post and what we are about to discuss is NOT a fight between the two of us. Zach and I have had a laugh or two discussing it on Facebook, so there is no ill will or a grudge to be read in this post (at least between us. Towards Mr. Paul on the other hand well...)

Our two "conflicting" artworks above, are reactions to Gregory Paul's recent rants about people referencing his own work. Zach has responded to Paul's demands in a very classy fashion, whereas I have reacted in a far more vindictive and combative one (these negative emotions being against GSP mind you, not Zach!).

If you missed the whole Gregory Paul "email incident" a month ago on the Dinosaur Mailing List here are the links to the original posts here, here, and here. The specific line me and Zach both specifically fixated on is:

"I am going to have to regretfully require that other artists either stop
using my materials as source material and do entirely original restorations from beginning to end, or make arrangements to provide compensation if they do so when engaging in commercial projects."
-Gregory Paul

How does one respond to such a demand?

If you are Zach you do the classy thing and do exactly what Mr. Paul has demanded of you. I think this speaks highly of Zach's character, and definitely proves he is a better person on this score than myself. I don't take this gracious route (as you shall see).

While constructing his Hadrosaur Zach approached it with a "No Greg Paul skeletals were referenced for the production of this illustration" policy. Zach has even wants to go the one step further and get an online movement towards this trend, and make it a meme.

In the long-term I think this is a insidiously effective and brutal attack on Mr. Paul. If Zach is successful down the road no one will purchase Mr. Paul's books, no one will reference his papers, and everyone will snuff out the GSP skeletal pose. Boiled down Mr. Paul will be eradicated from Palaeo-art and thus Palaeotology in general. Powerful stuff. Especially as this is not Zach being evil, but simply him doing what Mr. Paul has asked of him. In scientific illustration referencing is the key, and to not be referenced is death...

If you want to get back at Mr. Paul, especially for his rather bad behaviour in the emails (again you need to read them all. I am only really presenting the parts relevant to my current essay here), than please engage in Zach's online campaign, and join this meme. You, like Zach, are a long term thinker, and your patience may be the ultimate response to Mr. Paul's ultimatum.

Sadly I am not that patient a person. I don't do long term response. I'm an immediate action sort of person. More to the point I take extreme issue with what Mr. Paul has demanded of me. While Zach has been a honourable person and approached Mr. Paul's emails as though they are from a sane and rational point of view, I personally do not.

You see I do not agree with Mr. Paul's ultimatum in the quote above, and in fact find what he has said an utter lie attempting to bully other people out of palaeo-art! That is right Mr. Paul if you are reading I have called you a bully, a liar, and I'll add a hypocrite. Before I retract these accusations I require a coherent (unlike the nonsense you spouted off in your emails) response to the following:

You seriously claim ownership of a "reference" (especially for a real animal like a Dinosaur)?!?

The philosophic ramifications of Mr. Paul implying you can own a reference are staggering. I'm not sure he actually understands what the word reference actually means.

The whole point of a reference is it is something one refers too, not copies or rips off. If you use something as a reference you should be merely looking to this source for a vague inspiration or an idea to guide your own work. If your finished work at the end looks just like your reference, than you haven't actually referred to your source, you have copied it.

If not for his comment quoted above and a few others throughout his emails, I would swear Mr. Paul seems to have confused the word referencing with the word plagiarising (plagiarism being something I'm not advocating!).

When any artist tries to capture the illusion of the real world in art, they need references. Whether these be someone elses work (photographs, paintings, sculptors, etc) or just the world around them and experiences in it, being a reference does not take a tangible form. So to claim we can't reference one specific set of works is ludicrous, as whether we mean to or not, artists reference everything around them! The whole world is our reference, why not your pictures too?

Mr. Paul's counter:

But some have disagreed, and are basically saying that those who go to
tremendous effort to build up a body of technical artistic work have to allow
all others to derive much of their art from that work. This is based on the idea
that accurate restorations are the “truth” like photographs of lions and
elephants. This is errant for legal and practical reasons. Starting with no one
has to do work restoring living animals.

If you have as thoroughly researched a Dinosaurs skeleton as you claim Mr. Paul, than YES your skeletals are as much a " 'truth' " as a photograph of a real animal is! Dinosaurs were real animals, and as of such Mr. Paul you can not claim to own any part of them... Their proportions and bones won't change no matter who is looking at them.

For those bones you've filled in for missing ones, you did this as a SCIENTIFICALLY educated guess, and not an artistic expression. The instant you present this as research and science it becomes part of that " 'truth' " stuff again. You might be wrong about the reconstruction in the end, but at the time you made it, this was your scientific hypothesis as to what the animal looked like.

This is all really giving more than a tiny bit of credit to Mr. Paul's concept of being able to own a reference in the first place!

Why is it okay for you to reference someone elses work, but I can not reference yours?!?

One of the key things that bugs me about Mr. Paul's demands, is that he implies he is reference-free in his skeletals. Yet follow my logic here, if you look at a fossil (even to the point of precisely measuring it) you would still be referring to the actual fossil, yes?

I've already done a satirical post on my thinking in this regard, but I wanted to flesh it out here in more detail. Paul is claiming that because he referenced an actual fossil (in theory... in this post I am NOT taking his word for that!) he is not on the hook for this compensating the referee.
How exactly does that work?!? If he doesn't have to pay, why do I? If he was paying, than really shouldn't I be paying the institution that owns the fossil in the first place, since I'm referencing a referral of their reference (see the rather stupid chain of causality this is leading to!)?

However I'm challenging Mr. Paul's claim that he directly looks at every single fossil in the first place! I know as a matter of fact Mr. Paul has not been to an Alberta in a very long time (or if he has no one saw him come and take careful measurements of our bones, and I know a LOT of people in Alberta Palaeontology. We're pretty sure we would have seen you visit if you were properly measuring bones Greg).

So this particular half serious statement, half joke on Mr. Paul's part is frankly somewhat insulting with this in mind:

Then does that not lead to a slippery slope in which any published images including the bones published in technical paper are out of bounds, forcing anyone who wishes to illustrate dinosaurs to go to exhibits and take their own photos of the bones? Of course this is obviously true. So you all beef up your travel budgets!

-Gregory Paul

Before I rush off to compensate Mr. Paul, I want to see his proof that every single one of his skeletals is based solely off the original fossils, and than the receipts from him compensating all the owner of these fossils he referenced.

However I'm not dumb, and can easily tell that if Mr. Paul hasn't visited all the museums housing the specimens he is reconstructing, he must be getting his own references from somewhere. Sadly for Mr. Paul, he tells me exactly where in his emails harping on me for referencing his hard skeletal work...

As far as I know no scientist objects to the images of skeletal elements and mounts that appear in their academic publications being used by illustrators. If any do, they can mention it in the their papers. -Gregory Paul

Uh Greg, the scientists don't put it there because they doesn't care, but because they know they can't. Scientists are super smart people who not only know how to interprete fossils, but also that they don't own the reference to said fossil.

The kicker is one can easily picture Mr. Paul sitting there pilfering all the "objection" free skeletal references in academic papers, and thinking to himself how clever he is finding this loophole the scientists have left for him. At least I hope he is that stupid. Otherwise he really is a douche for presenting his case as anything different from these scientists.

You imply I have not compensated you for use of your work as a reference, despite the fact I bought it!?!

We now come to my final, and most enraged point. Mr. Paul presents his case as though all of us out here who have gotten our hands on his skeletals have somehow stolen them from him without his permission, and without compensating him for our possession of them.

*BEEP* that! I get all my Gregory Paul skeletal references out of the five books I BOUGHT and PAID for! Two of which were only purchased for the skeletals within them!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but is not buying something a form of compensation?!?

The implication I am somehow stealing content from Mr. Paul is insulting. I would not have access to his skeletals had he not been offering them (for a price) in the first place! I have not even been getting them out of the library, borrowing them from a friend, or some other free means of accessing the book. I purchase the books and their content, and as of such I am free do to what I want with them and their contents so long as it is legal (in other words I do not directly reproduce their contents for a profit...), referencing being well within my rights.

In fact referencing is all a book is there for. I reference the ideas within it, and that is why it exists. Whether the information we are accessing is intellectual or visual in the end the book exists only for us to reference!

So Mr. Paul the simple solution to your problem is as follows. Either charge us more money for these books OR alternatively (especially if you wish us not to reference your work at all) stop selling them to us!!! While I sympathize that the cost of producing a book is high,and that there isn't a lot of profit in being an author, the point is as a 20 year running author you should know this by now! If giving us access to your skeletals is hurting your art career that much and not making up for the lose, than stop making the books we're using!


Perhaps the personal reason why I have found Mr. Paul's emails so insulting is the fact I had just purchased his Princeton Field Guide a month before he essentially yelled at me for doing so.

Despite the "wonderful" text within this book, that presents Mr. Paul's personal arbitrary reclassifications of all manner of Dinosaurs as fact with NO explanation (did you know that all Centrosaurine ceratopsians are just Centrosaurus and all Lambeosaurines are all just Hypacrosaurus? To give you two "small" examples of the written content), the only selling point I could reach for picking it up was the skeletals within the book. So $35 of my hard earned money later I was the proud owner of a work that immediately after I bought, I was no longer allowed to use for my intended purpose.

What really pisses me off about this, is that Mr. Paul knowingly released this the largest and most comprehensive collection of his skeletals to date, while having huge issues with people referencing his similar skeletals from his many other books of the past 20 years, and than have gumption to bitch about it all!!! It is as much have your cake and eat it too solution as you can get really from his point of view. Release a book that everyone Greg doesn't want having his stuff must have, let them buy it for a few months, and then once the market for it has dropped off attack those same people so they don't actually use the book.

So if I haven't fully made my case to you by now, than I shall leave with this one last illustration of Mr. Paul's dishonest claims and demands. In his email a few sentences after the initial "I am going to have to regretfully require that other artists either stop using my materials as source material" quote he stated this:

"For example, the restorations in The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs are
copyrighted, and I note in the text that anyone who wishes to utilize them for
commercial purposes needs to first contact me.
-Gregory Paul

So I hope I don't have to really explain why utilize and reference are not the same by this point. In his email Paul believes them to be the same, but of course they are not.

However I took him up on this statement in my copy of the Princeton Field Guide, and tried to find this "note" of his. My findings were quite amusing and yet disgusting at the same time.

On the publication page there is a Copyright by Gregory Paul 2010, but that is all. I read through the preface by Paul and found nothing about people using his art that alone contacting him personally. After that I could find no other sections in there by Paul that should address this topic (unless he snuck it into the body of the book somewhere else)

The only written line I could pertaining to using Paul's skeletals (overall content really) in the whole book was this from the publication page:

"Requests for permission to reproduce material from this work should be
sent to Permissions, Princeton University Press." -Princeton University

Once again am I missing something here or is this man a lying douche? In that previous quote I shared with you, Mr. Paul directly claimed this preamble should have been by him and about him, rather than Princeton University Press. This to me calls into question just how much personal ownership he has over the material in the Field Guide in the first place.

That being besides the case, notice how Princeton only demands you approach them if you "reproduce material" from the book, rather than reference material. Hmmm maybe because much like the aforementioned scientists in this essay, Paul's publishers know they can't claim rights on people referencing the book.

So what are your thoughts on this rather large, and in my opinion outrageous topic?

March of the Dinosaurs Art

Mososaur attacks a Pachyrhinosaur
(image from Discovery Channel)

Dinosaurs are on the march!  Several stunning photos, such as that above, show some gorgeous 3D renditions from the new March of the Dinosaurs.

There are many more amazing images on the blog Simply Television, and several blown up on the Dinosaur Toy Forum.  These must be seen!  And serious, actual feathers on raptors! 

As for the show itself, I have yet to see it, but Dave Hone over at Archosaur Musing has written a great review here.  Check it out.

Palaeo Earth Reconstructions

An exciting new set of scientifically researched reconstructions of Earth throughout deep time have just been released by the Planetary Habitability Laboratory of the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo.

The series of 30 time periods were produced by Zuleyka González, Sophy Jiménez, Karla Bracero, and Wilfredo Pérez. These are acknowledged on the the Planetary Habitability Laboratory site as owing heavily to the previous work of Ronald Blakey from Northern Arizona University and Christopher Scotese from University of Texas at Arlington.

Not only were these new palaeo-maps heavily researched to produce as accurate a prehistoric globe as possible (sadly at this point with our understanding considerable portions of each map are still educated guess work), but the team was granted access to NASA's Next Generation Blue Marble project to emulate as real an appearance as possible.

The Blue Marble project is a computer process by which geographic information such as topography, elevation, climate, and vegetation are entered as mathematical inputs, and the program generates a realistic colour rendition of the area. This process has been continually refined and improved by NASA mapping contemporary Earth where we have a solid cross reference. The main reason to develop such a program for modern Earth studies is that just using and compiling photographs loses detail due to the extremes in colour variation across the planets surface (ex. white glaciers to deep dark green forest. In a photograph getting the subtlies between these two is impossible). The program allows far more vivid, and ironically realistic, colorization of planetary reconstructions than just photography can provide.

It is very exciting to see this technology now applied to the Earth Sciences, and hopefully we'll get more maps to fill in the gaps of the mere 30 that are supposed to cover 750 million years!

Be sure to pop by the Visible Paleo-Earth site to check out the animation, and closer up looks at any of the 30 rendered time periods maps!

Hat tip to Bill Parker of Chinleana to alerting me to this project with his post here.


The traditional recipe for a mural requires:
  • One (1) person wealthy enough to own a big wall; and
  • one (1) person talented enough to paint on it.
Unfortunately, these two ingredients don't always mix well. 

The reason for this probably dates back to ancient Babylonia.  The cruel and powerful King Belshazzar, worshipper of gold and merchandiser of the souls of men, had conquered all his neighbors.  He had nothing left to fear from anyone.  Yet, when he held a victory feast for a thousand of his princes and warlords, Belshazzar became rattled by markings he discovered on his palace wall:

Poet Sir Osbert Sitwell beautifully described this biblical story, and what happened when the great king saw the famous writing on the wall:
And this was the writing that was written:
In that night was Belshazzar the King slain
And his kingdom divided.
Whatever the origins of the bad blood,  trouble seems to flare up regularly when artists write on the walls of the rich and powerful.  One side or the other seems to get weighed in the balance and found wanting.

British shipping magnate Frederick Leyland commissioned James Whistler to paint a mural on Leyland's wall but then refused to pay Whistler's price.  Whistler returned to Leyland's house and changed the mural to portray Leyland as a vain peacock squabbling over a bag of gold.

Whistler proudly proclaimed that he had immortalized Leyland as a peacock (and in fact most people today probably remember Leyland this way).

In 1925 the great Frank Brangwyn was commissioned to paint a mural of "the British Empire" for the House of Lords.

Brangwyn put his heart and soul into what he hoped would be a great masterpiece, but after only five of the eighteen panels were completed, Brangwyn too was weighed in the balance and found wanting. the Royal Fine Art Commission, in a stunning display of bad judgment, rejected the mural.  Among the excuses later offered was the fact that the panels, designed as “a profusion of motifs drawn from all over the world, a rich brightly-hued tapestry of allusions to Africa, India, Burma and Canada, teeming with humanity and exotic birds and beasts,” were not appropriate for the traditional staid English decor. 

Five years later, Brangwyn became enmeshed in another controversy over his murals for Rockefeller Centre in New York.  In 1934 he was selected by the fabulously wealthy Nelson Rockefeller to paint a mural  on the theme “Man at the Crossroads.” Brangwyn's mural included a picture of Jesus but the Rockefellers ordered it removed, so Brangwyn ended up repainting Jesus with his back to the viewer.  In the words of Bertram Wolfe, Brangwyn made Jesus turn his back “upon the Temple of the Money Changers.” 

But Brangwyn had it easy compared to another muralist for Rockefeller Center.  Diego Rivera's entire mural was famously destroyed by the Rockefellers because Rivera refused to paint out an image of Lenin.   

Which brings us to Paul Le Page, the buffoon currently serving as Governor of the State of Maine. LePage removed a mural from the state's Department of Labor because the mural offended his "pro-business philosophy."   In what must be a new low in the history of human reaction to art, Le Page cited an anonymous fax complaining that in “communist North Korea... they use these murals to brainwash the masses.”

The artist, Judy Taylor, claimed that the mural was intended to depict milestones from the state's labor history, including Rosie the Riveter at Bath Iron Works and a famous 1937 shoe worker’s strike.  “There was never any intention to be pro-labor or anti-labor, it was a pure depiction of the facts.”

 At the time of Diego Rivera's battle with the Rockefellers, E.B. White wrote the following poem, which appeared in the New Yorker:
Said John D's grandson, Nelson.
[T]ho your art I dislike to hamper,
I owe a little to God and Gramper,

And after all,
It's my wall.....
We'll see if it is, said Rivera.
I think that White put his finger on the heart of many of these disputes.  Wall owners and muralists sometimes have different notions about who owns the wall in the more meaningful sense.  There is more than one kind of property.

Transitional ART Forms

We thought it might be time to try out our Palaeo-art roundup, Transitional ART Forms, again.

This new edition of the series will not be as ambitious as the first, and will only be featuring weekly Palaeo-art content sent to us at or that appears in my reading list (Craig. I do subscribe to a lot of the usual suspects, but to make sure your art gets a plug be sure to email the link for your piece to me!)
So without further ado here are the palaeo-art activities that caught my attention this week.

A Stegosaur and Olorotitan WIP over at Art by Angie.

James Gurney shows off some Dinotopia stuff.

The Weapon of Mass Imagination is working on a 3D Corythosaur.

Love in the time of Chasmosaur shares an old Dinosaur sticker album.

Failed Experiment- Comment Moderation Back in Effect

Just a quick update on a sadly too shortly lived experiment here on ART Evolved. During the whole Gregory Paul Email discussions there were many non-members who complained their comments were being delayed by our moderation. As this was a valid complaint we decided to try delaying comment moderation for a couple days... Sadly a mere two weeks after we launched this delay trial, we have already received some X rated spam. So unfortunately that spells an end to this experiment. So once again we aplogize to our non-member readers for possible delays in your contributions to our discussions, but we hope you understand.

An ODE to CONTRAST (verse 6)

Because contrast is a game of extremes, it gives an artist license to cast aside nuance and embrace all kinds of lurid and gorgeous combinations of color and form.

Frank Tenney Johnson

George Innes

Carl Spitzweig

Still, it's not true that the farther apart the elements, the greater the contrast.  On the contrary, contrast has to remain confined by a common set of rules or it becomes less effective.  Contrast between elements of equivalent weigh tends to create tension, while contrast between elements of unequal weight tends to create movement.  Either of these relationships can be powerful, but they require the elements to be tethered together if we want to create the illusion of greatest distance between them. 

If you just try to place elements as far apart as possible, without a common set of assumptions, you run the risk of punching a hole in your picture, through which all of the integrity of the image will simply drain out onto the floor:

Two New Blogs enter the Paleoblogoshere!

A HUGE welcome to the paleoblogsphere goes out to two new blogs:

Xanthopan morganii praedicta by Jacqueline Dillard

Xanthopan by Jacqueline Dillard

Come see biologist Jacqueline's goregeous art each post, accompanied by the science behind the featured creature!

Read her first post on Xanthopan morganii praedicta, also known as Darwin’s Hawk Moth.

Manidens condorensis by Nobu Tamura

Paleoexhibit by Nobu Tamura

Check out paleontologist Nobu new blog, featuring his wonderful paleoart!

Read his first post on Manidens condorensis, the new Patagonian Heterodontosaur from the Middle Jurassic!

Be sure to check them out and follow them both!

Quick Reminders

There certainly has been a lot going on here on ART Evolved and the greater Palaeo-art world this past month. Between lots of new members added to our roster and a bunch of inflammatory emails by a certain celebrity Palaeo-artist it is not surprising we've been busy lately. Amongst all the hustle and bustle we thought a quick reminder would be good, as there are a few things coming up real soon on the ART Evolved agenda. The most urgent (in that it has a deadline) is the Hadrosaur gallery at the end of the month. Please try to throw together a Duckbill Dinosaur of some sort for May. 1st. We accept any and all submissions. Just fire them off to us at Secondly we just wanted to remind people that we are still looking for submissions for our team up with Ask a Biologist. They are looking for promotional material to help spread the word about their site. We here at ART Evolved think this is a fantastic web based initiative and it needs our help. So please consider creating something they can use to advertise their site!
See our latest collection of lamps and lighting on

An ODE to CONTRAST (verse 5)

Contrast is like those bad boys your mother warned you to stay away from but you just couldn't help yourself.

When you first encounter a picture, your eye is irresistibly drawn to the points of greatest contrast.    Other parts of the picture-- the largest shape, the prettiest color, the darkest or lightest form-- may strive for your attention but there's something about contrast that always catches our eye first.

In this painting by Motherwell, our eyes pass over the huge black shape and go right to the tiny corner with the contrast.

Milk contrasted against the shadows in N.C. Wyeth's lovely painting

Arthur Mitchell
This doesn't mean that contrast is the best or the most important part of a picture.  To the contrary, pictures contain many other fine, respectable elements.  As your mother told you, once you get past first impressions you may learn to appreciate subtle details and other less glamorous virtues.  All it takes is patience and time.

Harvey Dunn
You can go on to enjoy a long, satisfying relationship with the less flashy components of a picture.   But it seems that a mature relationship must wait its turn, until we get beyond our initial fascination with contrasts-- that rough, vulgar but sexy feature that first catches our eye.

An ODE to CONTRAST (verse 4)

When Alex Raymond drew the comic strip Flash Gordon, he often used  smooth, tapered lines that flowed seamlessly from light to heavy, from narrow to wide.

They were dazzling.  However, as he matured as an artist, Raymond no longer worried so much about blending the two extremes.  Instead, by the time he drew the strip Rip Kirby years later, he would contrast light, airy pen strokes with thick, choppy brush strokes, leaving them to co-exist on the page in sharp juxtaposition to each other.

Compare the subtlety and precision of Raymond's lacy lines forming the 
head and hands with the raw brush marks on the man's shoulder

Compare the strength of the chiseled effect on the man's overalls with the more refined, mellow lines in Flash Gordon (above)
A fine, diverse assortment of line. 
I promise you, this change in Raymond's approach was not because he forgot how to make smooth gradations in line.

Paleo Art or Scientific Illustration?

This is a truncated version of the latest post on my blog Paleo Illustrata, which has been suggested  might be of interest to Art Evolved readers. The full version is available over there if you want to read more.

One of the most interesting issues I've come across in the paleoart blogsphere is the question of whether pictures of dinosaurs are art or science, and whether it's reasonable to illustrate dinosaurs in any way apart from using the latest science. Of course, accessing the latest science has become a bit of a hot topic recently and anyone following the lively and passionate discussions that followed Greg Paul's announcement that he wanted people to stop using his skeletal reconstructions will understand many people hold the subject of paleoart very close to their hearts.

But what about the actual function of palaeoart; purely scientific representation or could it be entertainment too? Could it go deeper than simply illustrating past life (not that this is actually a simple task) and illuminate some of the less quantifiable aspects of being a living being on our planet?

An ODE to CONTRAST (verse 3)

Artists have experimented for centuries with visual techniques for contrasting opposites.  However, it is difficult to think of an example which has benefited from so much enthusiastic experimentation as the contrast of something small, pretty and vulnerable with something big, mean and scary:

Let's see if we can tiptoe around some of the murky reasons people enjoy pictures of women in peril and focus instead on the interesting contrast at the heart of this popular genre.

 The pulp magazine covers of the 1930s and 40s merely continued a tradition that stretched back to medieval paintings of St. George & The Dragon (where a helpless virgin was chained to a rock, to be gobbled up by a fierce monster) or silent movies (where a helpless girl was tied to railroad tracks, to be run over by a fierce steam engine).  No mere gun or knife would do; it was the enormity of the disparity that makes these works successful.

As Frazetta shows us, sometimes it heightens the excitement and dread if the pretty girl lacks even a thin layer of clothing to shield her. 

But not every example uses nudity to heighten the contrast.  Some heighten the contrast employing  light vs. shadow, or vertical vs. supine compositions, or male lower class vs. female upper class.

Some artists believe they get more mileage from a threat that is a disembodied shadow, or by throwing a child into the mix:

Putting aside the politics of these scenarios, and regardless of whether the damsel is saved by a knight in shining armor or rescues herself, the contrast between these two extremes seems to capture the imagination.

We're moving

The Google AdSense Team has sent me an email warning me that one of my other blogs, Old Paint, has pornography and/or adult content. As an example, they referred me to the 1932 label, in which one may find these two paintings:

I was told that unless I remove those images they can not continue to allow me to display ads on that or indeed on any other of my blogs that also contain images of nudity - which is perfectly possible, seeing as I love art.

I would have liked to contact whoever is the decider in the AdSense team, to inform him/her that neither Tamara de Lempicka nor François-Emile Barrauda were pornographers, nor did they produce anything other than quality content (not to say there is no quality porn) - but the same mind that could not tolerate the sight of these works of art understandably will also not tolerate to be contacted. They appear to be spooked by many things with no rational motive.

In this the AdSense team is not alone. For example, the team in charge of supervising the content of blogs has become sadly known for its tendency to feel upset over gay sites (including those that, like mine, are not pornographic) deleting them without justifying so to their authors - which makes perfect sense for, in truth, how does one justify a morally indefensible aversion? How does one justify a prejudice?

Seeing as it's not possible to talk to these people, nor would they understand me if I did, and they'd just get emotionally stressed for nothing; and seeing as I would not wish to cause any more emotional distress to people who already worry themselves so much over things that don't matter, I thought it best to simply transfer all my blogs to Tumblr, something which was very easy to do and not a bother at all.

The new address is Art Deco and there I will continue to do much the same that I've been doing here. So if you've liked it so far, just follow the link.

I'd like to thank Blogger for having served me so well throughout these years and I hope those responsible for these reprehensible decisions keep taking the pills. See you soon! :)

Dinosaur modeling influenced by paleoart?

For decades, the dinosaur toys was source of great profits for who sell them, because they are the first dinosaurs with the kids can interact. But... who design this models?
In general, every kind of toys born from a sketch, an idea conceived from a designer. When the toy refers to a movie or a cartoon, the designer have the justification to project a product very similar to the movie/cartoon carachter.
For example, in the 90's the designers of Kenner toys had complete creativity freedom to design the Jurassic Park toys basing their work on the dinosaurs of the movie. Kenner had the license for that.
But... we are sure that everyone else do the same?
The first series of Papo dinosaurs, for example, are fully insipired by the dinosaurs of all the three JP movies. They are very cool and the value for money is very convenient. Even, they are more similar than the original Jurassic Park toys, from Kenner and Hasbro.
But Papo doesn't have the Universal license, so their toys doesn't report the brand of Jurassic Park...

The first Papo toys, insipired to the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park movies.

But what about paleoartists influence on the dinosaur toys industry?
Looking at many images of dinosaur toys, i realized they are copied from a lot of popular (and not) paleontological illustrations.
I assembled a few pictures to show you what mean:

Allosaurus by Brett Booth (image from and Papo Allosaurus.

Oviraptor by Julius T. Csotonyi (image from Csotonyi's website) and Papo Oviraptor.

Ampelosaurus by Dmitry Bogdanov and CollectA Ampelosaurus (image from The Dinosaur toy Blog).

Kaprosuchus by Todd Marshall (from National Geographic) and Safari LTD Kaprosuchus (image from The Dinosaur toy Blog).

Oviraptor by Luis V. Rey (from Rey's website) and Oviraptor by Safari LTD.

These are just some examples, there are many others.
Now, from what i know, no one of these artists was been contacted before the production of the relative model. Maybe, this toys companies think that is sufficient modify some detail (like the colors, or the pose of a single arm) to make the model "original". This have a negative impact to the work of the paleoartist, because their illustrations do an unpaid job.
What you think about this problem?
Maybe is the moment to create real work possibilities between the paleoartists and the modeling companies and to say stop to these "stolen reconstructions".

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