In the department of “Hot off the presses”, The Seattle Times just published a Pacific NW Magazine cover story about Ray and Kirk’s “Cruisin’ the Fossil Coastline” collaboration, written by Kirk Johnson himself! Read it here: The real Seattle Freeze: ‘Cruisin’ the Fossil Coastline’ explores the compelling topography of the Puget Sound landscape.
Our new book has hit the shelves and the reviews are in:
“Johnson and Troll have done it again, congratulations!”
“This book is a knockout blend of science and humor, featuring superb artwork, people, and stories about the West Coast of the US and its fascinating prehistory. This book will make you laugh while exciting you with extraordinary science. It revives that sense of childhood wonder about dinosaurs & other bizarre creatures of bygone days.”
Professor in Palaeontology at Flinders University in Australia, and author of many books, including Dawn of the Deed—The Prehistoric Origins of Sex
“…tales and images that are at once joyfully accessible and deeply informative.”
“In the long and storied history of fossil-hunting, the dynamic duo of Johnson and Troll is unique. No one else has made this grueling work look like so much fun. Once again, they’ve returned from an “epoch” road trip laden with tales and images that are at once joyfully accessible and deeply informative. And the colors! They’ll knock your eyes out.”
Author of The Tiger, The Golden Spruce and The Jaguar’s Children
“Cruisin’ the Fossil Coastline packs written and visual stories from cover to cover— all infused with a genuine passion for science and the joy of discovery.”
Author of Resurrecting the Shark
Prairie Ocean: Long Time No Sea – works by Ray Troll of Ketchikan, Alaska, and Chuck Bonner of Scott City, Kansas – through March 16, 2019.
At the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery in Lindsborg, Kansas.
Based on the upcoming book with my pal Kirk Johnson (due out in the Fall of 2018 from Fulcrum Publishing) this show includes over 30 new framed original drawings & paintings, 30 large digital artworks, fab fossils on loan from the University of Alaska Museum of the Arts. The show is currently being exhibited at the Oakland Museum of California and is up from November 10, 1918 to March 17, 2019.
Here are some photos of two recent collaborative art projects from the summer of 2010. I worked with my pal sculptor Gary Staab to design, cast and install a school of insanely detailed bronze Alaskan fish swimming into the UAF building at Lena Point in Juneau, Alaska. This was a one percent for art project via the State of Alaska.
Check out photos of the piece we’ve titled “Into the Flow”
On April 6, Kirk Johnson and Ray Troll were awarded a joint Fellowship in the Science Writing category from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to support their book project entitled, Cruisin’ the Eternal Coastline: the Best of the Fossil West from Baja to Barrow. In 2011, Guggenheim fellowships were awarded to 180 scientists, artists, and scholars (there were only two awards in the Science Writing category). The Fellowship will provide Troll and Johnson with $50,000 that will support the completion of their project.Here is a description of their project:
We propose to write and illustrate a book entitled, Cruisin’ the Eternal Coastline: The Best of the Fossil West from Baja to Barrow. This 75,000 word, full-color book will be 204 pages long and will feature 20 paintings, hand-drawn maps for each state, more than 100 small drawings, and over 100 photographs. This book will cover the West Coast, reaching from Baja, California to Barrow, Alaska with a focus on the population-rich areas of California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska. Our goal is to create a widely distributed book that is accessible to a broad range of audiences and that opens their eyes to the vast span of geologictime and evolutionary history that surrounds them.
This is a collaborative effort that combines the science writing of Kirk Johnson and the art of Ray Troll to create a popular book about the geology and paleontology of the West Coast of North America. Johnson is a geologist, paleontologist, science writer, and the Vice President of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Troll is a fine artist and musician who is widely known in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest for his iconic public art, books, t-shirts, and imagery.
Our previous collaborations have included the award-winning 2007 book, Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway: An Epoch Tale of a Scientist and an Artist on the Ultimate 5,000-mile Paleo Road Trip and its associated hand-drawn Rocky Mountain wall map, as well as museum exhibits, music, and magazine articles. Our collaborative style is colorful, fun, and engaging. We seek to make art and science work together to help our readers grasp the magnitude and significance of the biggest story of all: the evolution of life on our planet.
In late July and early August I spent a week ‘funkifying’ the Kenai Fair grounds in Ninilchik Alaska in preparation for the first annual Salmonstock festival. Three days of fish, fun and music in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. Check out our salmon-inspired work by clicking right here.
February 12, 2009 is Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, so get out there and embrace your inner fish folks! 2009 also marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s evolutionary, revolutionary ‘On the Origin of Species’. So it’s a big year for science geeks around the world.
To get into the swim of things I wrote a song and recorded it last year with friends at Narrows Perch Studios here in Ketchikan. As usual the musicians took it to a whole new place. Enjoy the MP3 by clicking here.
And as you gather round the dinner table on Darwin Day don’t forget to recite ‘The Evolutionist’s Prayer”! Visit the Hairy Museum of Natural History to download a copy: http://www.hmnh.org/galleries/ichtheology/evoprayer.html
Hey Fishface… written by Ray Troll, 2008
“Just another vertebrate” phrase was how Marion Bonner, renowned Kansas fossil hunter, referred to himself.
Shauna Lee: vocals
Alejandro Chavarria: vocals
Ray Troll: extra vocals
Patrick Troll : guitar
Craig Koch : harmonica, bongos
Recording, mastering: Stron Softi
I know who you are
You ain’t no superstar
Did you forget who you are?
You’re a lobefin just like me
Just another vertebrate
getting in the way
Just another vertebrate
with nothin’ to say
Just another vertebrate
getting’ through the day
You’re a lobefin just like me
Big brained monkey
you do it all wrong
Keep mucking up this place
It won’t take long
Your time on this earth
will be gone gone gone…
After three years of planning, design and production we’ve finished and installed a 4oo foot long mural for NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center located in beautiful Pacific Grove, California. Working with scientists at the lab we came up with a theme based on the changing critters of the California current. I designed and drew the 32 panels that surround the building. Roberto Salas and the fastest brush in the west, Guillermo ( AKA Memo) Jauregui, painted each six by eight foot panel down in San Diego. They used acrylic paints on unwoven fabric that was later adhered to the concrete walls of the lab.
Check out the o-fish-al NOAA website about the mural at http://swfsc.noaa.gov/pg-mural.aspx. NOAA plans to produce a lot more educational outreach material so stay tuned for more developments.
In May of 2006 I was part of an art crew that painted two 100 ft. long “wild fish” murals on a cold storage building. in Sitka, Alaska. I worked with fellow artists Roberto Salas, Tlingit master carver Will Burkhart, and Guillermo (Memo) Jauregui to create this gigantic work. We were assisted by a couple of talented High Schoolers Lisa Teas and Cory Welsh. We finished the project in about a month’s time.
Many Sitkans worked countless hours raising money for the murals and in helping out with the execution of the project. Lisa Busch kicked things off a few years ago when she won the Volvo for Life award for her volunteer work around Sitka and put her award money toward the mural.
The Rasmuson Foundation also contributed substantially, paying for most of the materials and paint. John Straley (Alaska’s writer laureate!)worked as a volunteer project manager and did wonders in raising money in the community. His son Finn Straley worked many hours along with carpenter extraordinaire Pat Hughes during the installation and hanging. Megan Pasternak worked many hours helping us with the execution of the piece. Russell’s Store for Men kicked in with a rather nice donation. Barth and Mary Alice Hamberg put me up in their lovely abode and fed me many a fine meal. The Sitka Arts Council spearheaded the whole thing. Jamie Autry acted as our official host at the University of Alaska Sitka campus, where we painted the panels in an old aircraft hanger. Artist Nick Galanin spent time working with his Uncle Will Burkhart.
It really takes a community to paint a mural on this scale. Thank you Sitka!
Here’s a photo of the credit panel we painted for the debut party we had in mid-June:
Here are some snapshots of the mural: