For nearly fifty years Angell has used Puget Sound's natural diversity as his artist's palette. In this book, he describes the living systems within the Sound and shares his observations and encounters with the species that make up the complex communities of the Sound's rivers, tidal flats, islands, and beaches: the fledging flight of a young peregrine, an otter playfully herding a small red rockfish, the grasp of a curious octopus.
Angell goes on to explain the methods he uses in his art. The shapes, movements, patterns, and even temperatures and smells that he experiences in the field are all brought to bear on his work. His drawings bring clarity to his visual and emotional memories, and his sculptures allow him to approach a memory from many directions and retain that memory in his hands. In all of his work, he lets the passion and excitement of his discoveries drive his artistic expression.
Angell augments his descriptions of the wildlife of the Puget Sound region and his working methods with two appendices listing guides and references to this and other regions by other artists and naturalists. These resources not only put wildlife viewers in touch with the times and places to view particular species, but also speak to the patience and willingness to be delighted that are necessary to increasing the understanding of our wild neighbors.
Tony Angell is an illustrator, sculptor, and author. Angell has won numerous writing and artistic awards for his work, including the prestigious Master Wildlife Artist Award of the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum and the 2006 International Victoria and Albert Museum Illustration Grant Award. His sculptural forms celebrating nature are to be found in public and private collections throughout the country. In 2002, Angell retired as Washington State Director of Environmental Education after thirty years of service. A devout conservationist, he received The Oak Leaf Award, the highest recognition given by the national office of The Nature Conservancy. He is author of Ravens, Crows, Magpies, and Jays and Owls. He lives in Seattle with his wife and two daughters.
"To encounter Tony and the plenteous generation of sculptures that have come to cold yet fiery life is literally to see a world in the making. . . . And so we have, in the mighty circle of work that Tony Angell has bestowed on us across the past four decades, an orb of double importance. An everlasting sense of the Puget South country that is nature's blessedly varied kingdom, and within that a brilliantly preserved wingdom." - From the Foreword by Ivan Doig
"A wonderful book as Angell's superlative sculpture and exquisite drawings demonstrate how fine art can build a bridge of understanding to an extraordinary and still wild area that remains an important repository of some of the natural capital we depend on." - Paul Ehrlich, President of the Center for Conservation Biology and Bing Professor of Population Studies at Stanford University
"Puget Sound is not just a description of a geography, it is a place. Tony Angell's book brings home that place in all its mystery and splendor. This is why the people who live in the Pacific Northwest love it." - William Ruckelshaus, two-time former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Chairman of Puget Sound Partnership Leadership Council, and Strategic Director of the Madrona Venture Group
"Tony Angell's sculpture is iconic. It transcends its subject matter in a way that all great works of art must do to resonate through space and time. A thousand years from now, people will still be awestruck by the power and beauty of these sculptures. Let us hope that the wildlife that inspired them will be with us as well." - Robert McCracken Peck, Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and author of A Celebration of Birds: The Life and Art of Louis Agassiz Fuertes
"In many ways, Tony Angell is Puget Sound. Through his writing, sculpture, and drawings, he artistically captures the Puget Sound environs better than anyone. If you have an interest in our region's birds, mammals, and marine life, dramatically depicted, then this is the book for you. Tony illustrates, explains, and provides a full understanding of each. This book is a 'must read' for all of us." - Ralph Munro, former Washington Secretary of State
"Less is more, and the way Tony is able to catch the character of his subjects by stylising them makes him a true artist, exceeding the genre two hundred percent!" - Ysbrand Brouwers, Director, Artists for Nature Foundation
"Finding one's own voice, one's own authenticity, is perhaps the highest goal an artist seeks. In my estimation, Tony Angell has done this through his observation skills of nuances in the natural world and transformed them into shapes removed of all excess, leaving a form in pure, silent power." - George Carlson, Sculptor
"More than a quarter of a century ago, Tony's art had already assumed a maturity that is reflected in this wonderful new publication: his pen and ink drawing had a feeling of sculpture, just as his sculpture has a feeling of drawings. In both, he captures not only the movement, but also the essence of the birds and mammals. Detail is of secondary importance. Elegance of line and a deep understanding of - and empathy with - the interaction of the animals and their environment are Angell's hallmarks." - David M. Lank, CM, Fellow of the Explorer's Club and professor, McGill University, Montreal
"Tony's subjects are living creatures far removed from basalt and marble. Life is their strength, and the challenge is to give to the stone and bronze not only a true outward likeness but an inner presence which radiates from it. This quality is there in all Tony's work, and comes from a deep knowledge of how birds and animals live, and through sharing their environment." - John Busby, Artist
"Tony Angell - Behold a gifted intellect, an eye that sees what ours do not, Under bold chisel and strong hand, stones awaken and dark metals leap." - Thomas Quinn, Artist