A ROLL IN THE JUNIPERS- I had no idea that bears reacted to juniper like a cat reacts to catnip until I witnessed it at the Denver Zoo. I spent more than an hour with this bear as it frolicked among the branches that were tossed into his den.
BARNYARD GOSSIPS- Barnyard Gossips was inspired by my daughter’s cats, Princess and Peanut, who were seated on a split barn door looking out at three feet of snow. There was a communication of sorts going on which developed the composition into an “I told you so” moment.
"Compositions with more than one figure have always been a favorite of mine. What makes this one unique is that all eight paws are visible from one view. I am not sure if that was deliberate on my part but it certainly made it easy to title." -Dan Ostermiller
BELLA- Bella was created with the assistance of a wonderful sow that resides in Berthoud, Colorado, where my father’s family settled. On the way to my grandfather’s farm, we passed the small pen that Bella calls home. To my delight, Bella appeared, tending to her ten plus piglets.
BULLFROG- This bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) appeared one day on the bridge over the stream at my studio. He allowed me to honor him with his likeness and always obliged when I needed reference.
CLOSE QUARTERS- Close Quarters is a sculpture inspired by the domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) that I have had off and
on at my studio. I have found that the compositions that these rabbits create, through their interaction with each other, to be quite sculptural.
COPETE- Burros (Equus asinus) have long been a favorite subject in my sculpture. I call this piece Copete which is Spanish for “bangs” and a fitting title for this youngster.
DAYDREAMER- Daydreamer is a sculpture of a mature grizzly bear
(Ursus arctos horribilis). His pose is a composition that implies a reflection of repose and solitude.
"The study for this piece was created quite some time ago. I decided that it would make a much stronger statement of character if I did it larger. This bighorn, a very proud and noble creature with his whole world before him, is enjoying it while it lasts." -Dan Ostermiller
HIGH AND DRY- On a winter trip to the zoo I came upon a young Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). It was a slightly warm day and he was trying to reach a small pool of melted snow in his surrounding moat. As he stretched to reach the water his rear foot would always come off the ground.
INDIGO'S DREAM- Often in my studio, Indigo, one of my Irish
Wolfhounds, lies in this position on the cool floors. Thus, the inspiration for Indigo’s Dream.
JUGAR- The model for Jugar was a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) I photographed on a snowy day at the Denver Zoo. Jugar is Spanish for “to play.” For over an hour I watched the bear while he played with a tree branch, consequently, the title.
LOLA- Lola along with a bear sculpture called Panzon were pivotal pieces for me. Both were inspired by the beautiful work of Francisco Zuniga. His compositions of full-figured women influenced me then and still do today.
LOST BUT NOT FORGOTTEN- For me, the idea for this piece was a culmination of many losses in my life and evolved over many years. I chose the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) as opposed to the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) because I didn’t want the concept of the piece to be mistaken with a wildlife or an environmental issue.
OBLIVIOUS- An Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus) that resides at the Denver Zoo was my model for this particular composition. Although he looked precarious, he was sound asleep on his man-made perch, totally oblivious to his fans below.
THE ORPHAN- On a trip to Mana Pools in Zimbabwe, a friend and I came upon an orphaned elephant. The young calf must have lost its mother or was abandoned due to the lack of food and water. After several failed attempts to rescue him, we decided to leave him be. I will never know if he survived, but his memory stays with me to this day.
PELICAN- While photographing sea lions and whales on the Baja Peninsula, our boat was constantly accompanied by brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) looking to share our lunch. They are beautifully adapted to their environment and I couldn’t help but think that if man were meant to eat fish, he would have a built-in net too!
PREENING WHITETAIL- In the past, I have mainly used mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) as my subject matter when it came to the
deer species. I finally gave in to all the requests of
my eastern and southern patrons and produced the “other deer” (Odocoileus virginianus).
R.B.- "I love working from live models. I have an aviary and various other enclosures at my studio where I can house permanent and visiting subjects. R.B. was a rescued rabbit. He came to the studio with that name and I never knew what the initials represented. Possibilities: Real Bunny, Royal Bunny, or in this sculpture’s case – Real Big." - Dan Ostermiller
REARING ELEPHANT - "The Rearing Elephant is an Asian elephant. I put him in this position to add unique dynamics to the elephant’s composition." - Dan Ostermiller
REDONDO- Although I believe the composition of this work
speaks for itself, it is an inspiration born from abstraction and applied to the essence of a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis).
SIOUX- Even though this guy looks similar to a Sioux chief seated at a campfire, that is not where his name came from. I photographed this bear at the zoo in Sioux Falls. “Sioux” seemed to be a natural title when my daughter, looked at it and proclaimed to the tune of the Johnny Cash song, “Life ain’t easy for a bear named Sioux.”
URSUS- Ursus is one of many bears that have been inspired by
my experiences in the wilds of Alaska and Canada. A cub that I sculpted on his hind legs gave impetus to create this piece. I liked the cub’s positioning and thought it would translate well into a life-sized adult. Ursus is cast in 27 bronze sections.
"Vincenzo is a young Italian pig inspired by a good friend of mine who resides in Italy." - Dan Ostermiller
WANDA- I have always used adult pigs and piglets in my
previous swine repertoire. Wanda is a teenager!