Monday, June 2, 2014

HELP US GET TO MONTANA IN JULY: Buy quality prints of our Cretaceous-themed artwork

HELP US GET TO MONTANA. Tony Martin and I need travel funds to get to Montana for his research in July. Exciting things will be taking place on the Egg Mountain dinosaur-nest site near Choteau. His colleague from Montana State University, David Varricchio, will be there with a barrage of other scientists, students, and volunteers. I would like to join Tony after I finish my Life Practice Program with InterPlay mid-July. Tony often pays for his own research travel, and because I am in a career transition right now, we want to support this trip by selling giclée prints of our artwork. Up until now, we have been too shy to market these prints. Will you purchase our Cretaceous-themed art?
You can help support fossil research and science-communication outreach by buying one or both of these prints: “Mother Earth, Mother Dinosaur,” by Ruth Schowalter and Parasitoid: In Rocks, No One Can Hear You Scream,” by Anthony Martin. Both of these artworks relate to Tony’s fossil discoveries from Cretaceous Period rocks in Montana. The sales of these prints will be used to support travel expenses for Tony and Ruth to go to Montana and work at the Egg Mountain dinosaur-nest site near Choteau, Montana, this July (2014). Tony will be working as an ichnologist with David Varricchio (Montana State University) and a group of other scientists and university volunteers. Ruth will document some of the science happenings at the site through photographs and blogging, and will be looking for inspirations for future art projects.

Each signed giclée print is $200 individually, but both purchased together are $350 plus $10 for shipping and handling. The word, “giclée,” is a fine art term which describes a printing process to reproduce an original piece of art work. Printed on high-quality watercolor paper, these giclée reproductions are made with fade-resistant archival inks, which will last 200 years (but not as long as the dinosaur bones and insect cocoons). Contact us via Facebook (Tony or Ruth) in a private message if you are interested in purchasing these colorful interpretations about the Cretaceous.
MOTHER EARTH, MOTHER DINOSAUR, by RuthTruth, aka Hallelujah Truth, Ruth Schowalter

About “Mother Earth, Mother Dinosaur”: This image has appeared in international paleontological presentations, having been printed on commemorative t-shirts for the 2008 “Dinosaur Dreaming” dig-season in Victoria, Australia, and published in the 2010 book, Dinosaur Dreaming: Exploring the Bass Coast of Victoria. “Mother Earth, Mother Dinosaur” also graced the front cover of a book published in Spain, A Burrowing Dinosaur, a bilingual text published by Fundacion Conjunto Paleotologico de Teruel- Dinopolis. In 2011, it was exhibited in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, at Fernbank Museum of Natural History and was selected for and shown at the Science Online 2012 conference at Duke University, North Carolina.

“Mother Earth, Mother Dinosaur” reflects Ruth Schowalter’s interpretation of a new species of dinosaur reported in the March 2007 Proceedingsof the Royal Society of London B. An adult dinosaur was found with two juveniles in their burrow, where they had remained for 95 million years. Scientists had thought that some dinosaurs should have burrowed in the Cretaceous; however, until Oryctodromeus cubicularis (which means "digging runner of the lair")the scientific name assigned to this burrowing “mother” dinosaur—no evidence had been found to support that hypothesis.

As a painter, she was given special insights into this animal and its burrow with young because her husband, Anthony Martin of Emory University, was a co-discoverer of the new species with David Varricchio of Montana State University and Yoshihiro Katsura of the Gifu Prefecture Museum of Japan. Interpreting behavior from the fossil record is challenging, yet these findings indicate that mothers stayed with their young and maintained some kind of family structure. The findings also show evidence that mammals and insects co-existed with the dinosaurs. Small structures suggesting insect burrows and a small mammal burrow were found off the main burrow of the digging runner’s.

In painting this image of “Mother Earth, Mother Dinosaur,” Ruth wanted to convey both a “womb,” where the dinosaurs were more than likely born, and a “tomb,” where they died when it appears the burrow was flooded. She also wanted to give the feeling of the “mother earth” holding these creatures for all this time to be given a new birth during our life times.

This giclée reproduction of “Mother Earth, Mother Dinosaur” is smaller (15” x 17.5”) than the original painting (18” x 22”)The original “Mother Earth, Mother Dinosaur” was done in acrylic on wood. These
reproductions, which are printed on high-quality watercolor paper, are signed and dated by artist RuthTruth (aka Ruth Schowalter) and her husband, paleontologist Anthony Martin (one of the three co-discoverers of Oryctodromeus cubicularis).

Parasitoid: In Rocks, No One Can Hear You Scream,  by Anthony Martin, author of Dinosaurs Without Bones.

About “Parasitoid: In Rocks, No One Can Hear You Scream,” by Anthony Martin. Darwin once said, “I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars.” With that quotation in mind, this artwork is inspired by fossil insect cocoons from 75-million-year-old rocks in Montana (USA) associated with dinosaur nests that hold evidence of parasitoid behavior. This behavior is typically expressed by a smaller insect – such as a wasp – preying on the egg, larvae, pupae, or adults of another species of insect. The figures depicted in this artwork show the stages of parasitoid behavior represented by the fossils (from left to right): pupa --> exit hole --> exit burrow in a larger host pupa. These fossils thus give us insights into how long ago this behavior had evolved in insects.

The artwork and title are meant to evoke memories of the Alien movies, which featured an antagonist creature that used a parasitoid-like strategy to prey on its human victims. The artwork and the science behind it are also meant to echo Darwin’s struggle to reconcile his spiritual beliefs with the factual basis of natural selection.

The giclée print of “Parasitoid: In Rocks, No One Can Hear You Scream,” is 14.5” x 19,” based on the original size of 18” x 24”, which was drawn on black construction paper using watercolor crayon and colored pencil.

MISTAKEN POINT, NEWFOUNDLAND 2012. Looking at Ediacaran fossils on a foggy day made it difficult to see these amazing life forms from so many millions of years ago. Here Tony Martin (with Paleontologist Barbie in his pocket) and Ruth Schowalter (aka RuthTruth, Hallelujah Truth) stop for a photo while international ichnologists clamor overhead to discuss their findings. Ruth writes about her experiences on an ichnology field trip in these blogs: here, here, and here. These blog entries serve as an example of what sort of blogs might come out of the Montana trip.


  1. Dear Ruth and Tony...I would love to purchase a print of each to hang on my walls but retirement budget will not allow anything so lovely and original and by artists I actually know...even if it is a virtual friendship...I wish you both so much luck in your artistic marketing endeavor...I know it will happen...Just have faith...many hugs to both

  2. Hey y'all, I'm like Darlene, getting by on social security poverty. If I had $200 I'd buy some groceries. The second $200 I'd pay bills with that I'm falling behind in. To send you $360, which I'd love to do, I couldn't buy groceries for the next two months, couldn't buy gas to drive the car, couldn't keep my Ethiopian coffee fix going. Were it not for these limitations, plus I could never afford to frame them either and would have to thumbtack the corners to the wall if I were to choose to go on hunger strike for sixty days. As I'm not sure I could make it through two months without eating, there's not much point in having them. I would like to be able to help support your trip, but am not of the means it takes. Y'all are now the Christo and Jean-Claude of Atlanta.

    1. TJ, I truly understand your situation. I am trusting in the universe and practicing asking for what I need. Tony and I appreciate your thoughts of support. They mean a lot to us.

  3. Thank you so much for your wishes for our success in raising enough money to go to Montana Darlene! They mean a lot to both Tony and me.