Dinotopia: The Fantastical Art of James Gurney

February 6, 2010 - May 16, 2010

 



 

Art object labels from the exhibition

 
 
Will and Bix, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
An engineer by trade, James Gurney's father often spent evenings inventing things in his workshop, and encouraged his son to join in. Each new invention began with a drawing that brought new ideas to life. "My father always told me that anything is possible in a drawing and that everything begins with a drawing," from a car to a concept for a book.
 
Fast friends on the island of Dinotopia, Will and Bix are among James Gurney's primary story characters. A parrot-beaked Protoceratops, Bix acts as translator and speaks a wide range of languages. In reality, though, she would not have been equipped for speech. Scientists have few clues as to what kinds of sounds dinosaurs made.
 
 
 
Dinotopia Map, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
Though the exact location of the lost island of Dinotopia has not been charted, this "Dinosaur Utopia" is geographically diverse. Roughly 200 miles wide, it is divided in the center by the Forbidden Mountains, with wet jungles to the west and arid canyons and deserts to the east.
 
 
 
Discovering the Book, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
The story of Dinotopia begins in a grand university library where Arthur Denison's leather-bound sketchbook is first discovered by artist James Gurney, who pictures himself there. A fictional explorer, Denison reveals his fantastical experiences through a series of journal entries that begin on November 10, 1862, shortly after he and his son Will were shipwrecked on the lost island.
 
"The drawings showed people and dinosaurs living side by side. But this was an impossibility," Gurney observed after paging through Denison's book. "Dinosaurs had disappeared from the earth nearly 65 million years ago, long before mankind evolved."
 
 
 
Portrait of Will and Arthur, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
James Gurney strives to create a sense of believability in his art, making the world of Dinotopia real for his readers. "Ever since my parents first set me in a sandbox, it has been my dream to create a whole world, complete in every detail," he has said. Here, the artist has captured his protagonists, Arthur and Will Denison, in what appears to be a worn and water-logged photograph that has fallen out of the mysterious journal.
 
 
 
Stormy Seas, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
As a boy, James Gurney loved adventure stories and the illustrated classics that were filled with dynamic imagery by America's Golden Age illustrators, such as Howard Pyle (1853-1911) and N. C. Wyeth (1882-1945). The grandfather of American illustration, Pyle was also a renowned teacher who advised his students to step through the picture plane to imagine every part of the scene portrayed-from the details of its setting and costume to its mood, weather, and time of day.
 
James Gurney has taken the advice of the masters to heart. In this dramatic work, we are plunged into a churning sea with Arthur and Will Denison when their schooner Venturer is struck by the sudden fury of a typhoon that would bring them to Dinotopia.
 
 
 
Outside the Hatchery (Warming the Eggs), 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
In Dinotopia, most dinosaurs are born in the Hatchery, where females travel to lay their eggs in indoor nests. Ironically, the artist has placed Oviraptors in charge of the Hatchery. When Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time was published, Oviraptors were thought to be egg stealers because their bones were found with eggs believed to be from another kind of dinosaur. Two years later, scientists changed their view of these creatures after finding evidence that the Oviraptors were simply guarding the eggs of their own young. Though they never deserved their reputation, they are stuck with a name that means "egg thief." Their powerful toothless beaks may have been used for crushing shellfish.
 
In this image, an Oviraptor gently cradles a dinosaur egg that must be kept warm while in transit. To portray the appearance and the mannerisms of dinosaurs convincingly, James Gurney carefully observes the behavior of living creatures -- from human beings to his own parakeet.
 
 
 
Hatchling Helper, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
Baby dinosaurs, like baby birds, become attached to whoever they meet and have to be acquainted with their own kin. Here, a Maiasaura hatchling is lifted up to meet a visiting aunt in a painting inspired by the work of scientist Jack Horner, who discovered a famous dinosaur nesting site. Maiasaura means "good mother lizard." Dinosaur and human facial expressions reflect the close companionship that island residents share.
 
 
 
Dinosaur Nanny, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
This Troodon nanny is giving human parents a helping hand for the day. Trust and friendship between dinosaurs and humans is an important part of life in Dinotopia.
 
For James Gurney, dinosaurs are creatures that live between worlds of fantasy and reality. Though their existence has been established through skeletal remains and fossils, it takes imagination to create a believable image of these prehistoric animals. Each dinosaur is given a physical appearance consistent with the most current scientific research and endowed with a personality of the artist's own design.
 
 
 
Dinosaur Care, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
James Gurney's tale emphasizes the importance of caring for all the members of one's community. In this image, specialists groom dinosaurs with a special measure of trust-especially during a particular Camarasaurus' dental checkup.
 
 
 
Blacksmith Shop, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
In the industrial town of Volcaneum, chief craftsman Tok Timbu forges metal implements that are needed by the residents of Dinotopia. His team of craftsman includes a powerful Rutiodon, who pumps the bellows that keeps the fire burning.
 
James Gurney's studio in New York's Hudson River Valley is filled with model dinosaurs of all kinds, which he has purchased or sculpted by hand. These provide invaluable reference for his paintings when viewed at different angles or in different lighting conditions. Friends and family members also act as models for the artist, who follows many of Norman Rockwell's own techniques for making a picture-from creating a thumbnail sketch to establishing just the right characters and setting.
 
 
 
Footprint Alphabet, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
On the lost island, dinosaurs have languages of their own that are often unintelligible to humans. They communicate effectively in written form, however, through the use of a footprint alphabet. These calligraphic imprints have evolved from earlier times when messages left in the form of tracks on muddy riverbanks conveyed secret messages.
 
 
 
Sandbox Scribes, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
Three-toed dinosaurs such as the Ornithomimus serve as scribes in Dinotopia, since they are "fine dancers with good, clear footprints."
 
Early wisdom was recorded on ancient scrolls, but gossip, ideas, and anecdotes are generally written out in a sandbox, where they can be easily erased.
 
The artist establishes a sense of scale in this image by surrounding Arthur, Will, Bix, and the librarian Nallab with several curious readers. Clockwise from the left, these include the enormous Stegosaurus, Chasmosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus, and Saltasaurus.
 
 
 
Archway Scene: Waterfall City, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
In the heart of Waterfall City, a powerful Ankylosaurus pulls a tour boat along the Pliosaur Canal. Arthur Denison reports that he has "wandered past canals and fountains, monuments and schools, gardens and observatories, kiosks and theaters -- all woven into a watery labyrinth of stone that would shame even Venice."
 
 
 
Habitat Partners, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
Immersed in his epic tale, James Gurney has carefully considered everything from island terrain to the costumes, roles, and demeanors of his characters. In this painting, human and dinosaur representatives from each biological region on the island are portrayed as habitat partners, who spend their lives monitoring the conditions within their territories. Their findings are presented and commented upon annually at a Dinotopian conference.
 
 
 
Sleeping Barns, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
Moonlight illuminates a barn filled with giant Brachiosaurs who sleep indoors for protection from stray Carnosaurs. The heavy shifting of feet and the rumble of rocks in their bellies, which help to grind their food, kept their young visitor awake for much of the night.
 
 
 
Skyhopping, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
In this popular Dinotopian sport, giraffe-necked Brachiosaurs pick humans up and fling them high into the air before they splash down into the water. A Brachiosaurus could stand 39 feet high and weigh an incredible 78 tons-as much as 12 African elephants. Its long neck could reach the tasty young leaves at the tops of the tallest trees.
 
 
 
Dream Canyon, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
Canyon City is carved into the sandstone walls of the Amu River, where young pilots train to fly on gigantic winged pterosaurs. The artist's sketching trips to the Grand Canyon and other sites in America's Southwest inspire the design of the canyons in Dinotopia.
 
 
 
Ring Riders, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on canvas mounted to birch plywood
Collection of the artist
 
James Gurney's collection of unique costumes and hats came in handy when composing Ring Riders, which depicts the crowing contest in Dinotopia's Olympic Games. The object of the event is to capture the greatest number of rings of the proper color. Banners strung across the track represent each of the island's four quadrants. On the lower right, a small Dimorphodon flies ahead of the racers to set their pace.
 
 
 
Ancient Canyon Monuments, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
When creating fantasy destinations, James Gurney visits actual places that have a similar look and feel to those he would like to portray. When designing Canyon City, the setting for these ancient monuments, he traveled to the American Southwest. There, he studied rock formations and painted on location to capture dazzling visual effects, such as the play of light on water and stone.
 
 
 
Ancient Mountain Mammals, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
Dinotopia's Forbidden Mountains are home to many Ice Age mammals like the Moropus and Brontotherium pictured here. Most dinosaurs cannot retain enough body heat to venture into this frozen realm.
 
 
 
Skybax Ryder, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
The winged Quetzalcoatlus was the largest creature ever to fly above the earth. Known as "skybax" in Dinotopia, these enormous pterosaurs carry young pilots high into the air. Like all of the creatures in James Gurney's series, they are based upon accurate scientific fossil evidence.
 
 
 
Storyboard, 1993, studies for Dinotopia: The World Beneath
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Marker on paper mounted to board
Collection of the Artist
 
Like a director planning an animated or live-action film, James Gurney maps out the action in his books by creating a storyboard. This visual script helps him think about how a story will unfold from page to page before final paintings are even begun. The artist takes time to consider when and how each character will enter a scene, what mood to establish, and what perspectives would be most interesting-from bird's eye to ant's eye views.
 
James Gurney's storyboards are completed before finished text because pictures come first in his artistic process. "What I love about Dinotopia," he said, "is that it allows for all sorts of pictures, from landscapes to portraits and still lifes, including quick sketches and elaborately finished paintings."
 
 
 
Steep Street, 1995, illustration for Dinotopia: The World Beneath
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
Streets are narrow in Waterfall City and they are steep enough to require steps -- large ones for dinosaurs and small ones for people. Heavily trafficked, this scene includes an eighty-foot-long Apatosaurus carrying Will and Arthur Denison and a trio of musicians. A sturdy Chasmosaurus transports a passenger, and all along the narrow lane, shop signs advertise their wares in Dinotopia's footprint alphabet.
 
 
 
Underway Undersea, 1995, illustration for Dinotopia: The World Beneath
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
In this luminous underwater scene, filtered light from the ocean's surface allows us to glimpse an immense marine Kronosaurus, which tows the Remora to the ocean's depths. An airtight submersible, the Remora will bring Arthur Denison and his companions to The World Beneath, a cavernous underground world that contains clues to a lost Dinotopian civilization.
 
 
 
The Excursion, 1995, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on canvas mounted to plywood
Collection of the artist
 
In this bucolic scene, a long-necked Camarasaurus leads a picnic party into the quiet Slumberbund Valley. Compared with the sprightly Orintomimus walking alongside, his gait is smooth and stately.
 
Before painting the Camarasaurus, James Gurney built a scale model and placed it outdoors to study the effect of light and shadow on its form. He and his son then posed for photographs as the dinosaur's human riders. The scene's backdrop was based upon field studies created in New York's Hudson River Valley, where the artist frequently paints on location.
 
 
Small Wonder, 1995, illustration for Dinotopia: The World Beneath
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
Small Wonder portrays two children at a springtime festival. The boy's costume represents the plant kingdom and the girl carries a Triceratops hatchling. When creating this painting, James Gurney reflected upon his feelings about the importance of nurturing the young, and his enjoyment of companionship, music, and the outdoors.
 
 
 
Garden of Hope, 1995, illustration for Dinotopia: The World Beneath
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on canvas mounted to plywood
Collection of the artist
 
In a twilight ceremony, one woman raises a lamp symbolizing the promise of tomorrow's dawn while another carries a basket of flowers -- a reminder of the abundance of life. Their dinosaur escort, through this woodland garden where roses, lilacs, and lilies grow abundantly, is an Oviraptor.
 
 
 
Convoy Surrounded, 1995, illustration for Dinotopia: The World Beneath
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
In Dinotopia, it is unsafe to travel through Tyrannosaurus territory, for these meat-eaters do not live peaceably with their neighbors. In this image, a custom-designed suit of armor protects a Brachiosaur bus, which is escorted by two Styracosaurs with spiked frills. The artist's limited palette of deep warm tones, accented with a few touches of red, emphasizes a sense of drama and danger in the scene.
 
 
 
Birthday Pageant, 1995, illustration for Dinotopia: The World Beneath
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on canvas mounted to plywood
Collection of the artist
 
Humans and dinosaurs enjoy very long lives in Dinotopia -- sometimes up to 250 years. Birthdays, which are also called "hatchdays," are celebrated in grand style. An adult and a young Triceratops lead this parade with a pink Protoceratops. They are followed by a grand Parasaurolophus, who could stay in touch with other members of the herd by forcing air from its mouth up into its hollow crest and out through its nostrils.
 
To obtain reference for this painting, James Gurney invited friends and neighbors to gather in his backyard, where they tried on costumes and enacted a celebratory procession of their own.
 
 
 
Arthur Denison's Journal, 2005, model for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Mixed media
Collection of the artist
 
Though it appears to be old and weathered, this contemporary model of Arthur Denison's Chandara sketchbook was created by James Gurney to lend a sense of authenticity to his work. He constructed this three-dimensional journal by using an old book as a base upon which to apply modeling compounds, paint, distressed brass corners, and an antiqued chain and lock. Pressed ferns, which protrude from its pages, remind us that Professor Denison was on expedition, collecting plant specimens along the way.
 
This artist-made artifact even boasts three deep scratches where a raptor may have swiped it with its talons.
 
 
 
Journal in Bookshop, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
"Some years ago in a university library," James Gurney wrote, "I stumbled across a sketchbook by a little-known explorer named Arthur Denison. Like many other travelers in the Victorian age, he documented the landscapes, the people, and animals that he encountered as he journeyed to the remote frontiers of the globe. I have been searching for a long time to find out more about Mr. Denison."
 
In this painting, light emanates from the window of a rare-book shop, where Arthur Denison's journal is displayed among other dusty volumes of travel and adventure. The artist portrays himself peering in to examine it more closely.
 
 
 
Arthur Denison's Journal, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
This detailed depiction of Arthur Denison's Chandara sketchbook was painted only after James Gurney constructed a three-dimensional model of the fictional volume. Also on view in this exhibition, the model served as an important reference for his artwork.
 
 
 
Waterfall City: Afternoon Light, 2001, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on canvas
Collection of the artist
 
Majestic Waterfall City is Dinotopia's center of learning, a place the James Gurney envisioned long before his books took form. Its canals, fountains, and waterslides surround the harbor where visitors arrive by boat. Riders on giant pterosaurs known as skybax catch the updraft in the center of the gorge as they fly around the city. The city's architectural wonders include the One-Earth Globe, which depicts the world as it looked 120 million years ago.
 
When creating Waterfall City, James Gurney traveled to Venice, Italy, and Niagara Falls in upstate New York for inspiration and information. Studies created on location helped him capture the power of the falls and create spectacular lighting effects.
 
 
 
Waterfall City: Afternoon Light, 1994
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Mixed media
Collection of the artist
 
Before creating his paintings, James Gurney often builds three-dimensional models of dinosaurs and architectural elements the he intends to include. This enables him to view his subject from different angles and to understand how light and shadows fall. Cardboard, modeling paste, foam core, styrofoam, and wire are among the materials he uses.
 
 
 
Canal Rescue, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
Arthur Denison hangs precariously from the tail of an Apatosaurus as he tries to rescue a scroll carrying an important message that has fallen into the canal. It must be retrieved before it is swept over the edge of the falls and disappears forever. Color studies created in Salamanca, Spain, inspired the painting's architectural details.
 
 
 
Bilgewater, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
Inhabitants of Dinotopia are all descended from shipwrecked sailors who have chanced upon the uncharted island. This peaceful landscape offers a view of Bilgewater, a village constructed from shipwrecks that have been dragged in from shore and tipped up on end. As a child, James Gurney loved sailing and imagined what it would be like to live in a house made from and old vessel.
 
 
 
Goldsworthy Marlinspike, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
The Mayor of Bilgewater, Goldsworthy Marlinspike is a Dinotopian innovator. A former sea captain, he devised a plan for rescuing sunken ships, carrying them overland with the assistance of dinosaurs to create housing for the city's residents. Also a celestial navigator, he displays astronomical and navigational instruments in his cabin. These include a binnacle (or ship's compass), an armillary sphere, and an ancient astrological chart.
 
The character's name was inspired by Goldsworthy Gurney, the artist's paternal uncle, several generations removed, who was also an inventor. He developed a steam carriage in England in the 1830s and drove his own steam-driven car in the 1840s.
 
 
 
Bilgewater Cutaway, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
This cutaway painting provides an inside look at a Bilgewater dwelling from top to bottom. Old decks have become walls that divide the ship's spaces, which include a dancing room on the ground floor, a workshop, and a library and sleeping cabins on the upper levels. A playful slide expedites travel from the higher reaches and a helpful Brachiosaurus brings residents right to their doors.
 
 
 
The Chorus, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
The Code of Dinotopia encourages visitors and residents to "sing every day," and a rich musical language has developed over time. On the island, sauropod dinosaurs use notes to communicate with each other and humans. This quintet from Bilgewater includes a high-pitched Pterosaur and the Protoceratops Bix yodeling in the foreground.
 
"A Song of Dinotopia" was inspired by "Break Forth in Joy," an old Episcopal hymn that James Gurney wrote new lyrics for:
 
Come forth in joy to greet the morn
Ye shipwrecked trav'lers on our shores reborn
Look up to see the rosy banners rise,
The dawn's new promise writ across the skies.
 
 
 
Sauropolis Gate, 2005 illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
Built under the direction of Roman architects, Sauropolis features broad streets and arches that allow frequent parades by dinosaurs on the island. This splendid city boasts the largest buildings and monuments in Dinotopia, and its busy port handles local shipping traffic along the Polongo River.
 
 
 
School Bus, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
Transportation in Dinotopia can be slow, but it can also be exhilarating. Dinosaurs often oblige travelers by offering to carry them in exchange for a song. In this image, children are transported to school by way of a gentle giant, and a young student prepares to climb the ladder to take his seat in one of the Apatosaurus' two carriages. Meanwhile, officials used red-tasseled poles to stop oncoming traffic.
 
 
 
Tuggle, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
A game of agility and balance, Tuggle is played on Interdependence Day in the village of Jorotongo. The object of the game is to pull your opponent off the stump, but if you both remain standing, the one who gets the whole length of rope wins. When considering new games for inclusion in his books, James Gurney invites his family, friends, and neighbors to try them out and offer suggestions for the rules of play.
 
 
 
Irish Elk, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
The Irish elk, with its 13-foot-antlers, was related to the contemporary fallow deer. Based on fossils found in Irish bogs, this grand creature became extinct in the Ice Age, but was well known to early humans. In fact, this painting shows the brown shoulder hump that clearly appears in cave paintings made by prehistoric artists. In Dinotopia, they are gentle guardians of the high mountains.
 
 
 
Thermala: Alpine Hideaway, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
The city of Thermala is located in Dinotopia's Forbidden Mountains, warmed by geothermal heat from deep inside the earth. Dinosaurs rarely venture there, but it is home to many giant Ice Age mammals and the location of spectacular mid-winter festivals.
 
 
 
Ring Riders, 1992, model for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Mixed media
Collection of the artist
 
Whether purchased or constructed from scratch, models of dinosaurs and figures help James Gurney to create a sense of realism in his art. These three-dimensional forms can be lit to dramatic effect and drawn from many points of view.
 
 
 
Niagara Falls from Goat Island, 2005, study for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
Many of James Gurney's fantastical settings are inspired by the sights and sounds of the world around him. The drama of Niagara Falls in northern New York provided inspiration for Waterfall City, Dinotopia's western center of culture and learning. While visiting the falls, Gurney captured the power of this natural wonder by painting "en plein air," or out of doors.
 
 
 
Mountain Tribesman, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
Along the largely unsettled western edge of Chadara, the explorers come face to face with Nibor Dooh, riding on his Styracosaurus Sacul and brandishing a sabertooth halberd.
 
 
 
Salamanca, 2005, study for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
The city of Salamanca in Western Spain is one Gurney's many sources of visual inspiration for Dinotopian architecture.
 
 
 
Blackfish Tavern, 1995 illustration for Dinotopia: The World Beneath
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
Lee Crabb, the Denisons' irascible escort to the watery caves beneath Dinotopia, comments on this sinister scene: "Black Fish Tavern. Flotsam and jetsam. Scalawags and scavengers."
 
 
 
The Old Conductor, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
On the way to Chandara, Arthur Denison encounters Cornelius Mazurka, who tells him about the history of music on Dinotopia.
 
 
 
Camouflage, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
Shortly after Arthur Denison has camouflaged himself in the woods, a tiger-striped Allosaurus strikes out at him: "My journal, clutched instinctively to my chest, took the blow, and to this day bears the scars of the encounter."
 
 
 
Up High, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
Near the city of Sauropolis in Chandara, children celebrate their "hatchday" by riding with a trumpet herald, here on a Brachiosaurus.
 
 
 
Mammoth in Snowy Village, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
Trekking through the Forbidden Mountains, Will Denison and his Dinotopian friend Sylvia Romano encounter "a fine sympathetic mammoth (who) offered to carry us as far as he could, being familiar with the terrain."
 
 
 
Edge of the Forest, 1992, illustration for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
 
 
The Old Conductor, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
 
 
Chasing Shadows, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on canvas mounted to board
Collection of the artist
 
 
 
Map of Dinotopia, 1992, study for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Marker, pen, and pencil on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
 
Clean Teeth, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
 
 
Sauropod Barns, 1995, illustration for Dinotopia: The World Beneath
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
 
 
Tyrannosaurus Rex at Watering Hole, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
 
 
Chasing Shadows, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on canvas mounted to board
Collection of the artist
 
 
 
Thermala Cutaway, 2005, illustration for Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist
 
 
 
Rumble and Mist, 1995, illustration for Dinotopia: The World Beneath
James Gurney (born 1958)
 
Oil on board
Collection of the artist

 

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