Portrait of an Artist at the Mountains of Madness
Artist and production designer, William Stout will give a presentation on how Antarctica, his career, and H.P. Lovecraft all fit together in a fascinating package.
William Stout was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on the way to Los Angeles in 1949. At seventeen he won a full California State Scholarship to the Chouinard Art Institute (California Institute of the Arts) where he obtained his Bachelor's Degree. He began his professional career in 1968 with the cover for the first issue of Coven 13. While he is known mainly for his realist illustrations of dinosaurs (Michael Crichton acknowledged Stout's work as an inspiration for his book Jurassic Park), Stout's professional credits are numerious and varied, ranging from production design in film (he is slated to work on del Toro's At The Mountains of Madness), to fine art books, video games, magazines, and murals.
Perhaps most interesting to the Lovecraft fans in the room is Stout's journey to Antarctica and Patagonia in January of 1989. The profound spectacle of the "last continent" changed his life, leading to a 45 painting one man show "Dinosaurs, Penguins and Whales-The Wildlife of Antarctica." This effort by Stout to alert and inform the public consciousness as to the complex beauty of Antarctica and its past and present denizens, and to work as part of the international effort to make Antarctica the first World Park evolved into his book project, LOST CONTINENT-Modern and Prehistoric Life in Antarctica, the first visual overview of life in Antarctica. For his pioneering work in this field, William Stout was doubly honored in August of 1991. He was the chosen guest banquet speaker at the International Conference on the Role of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica in Global Change (Marine Science Institute, UCSB ). Stout also received a grant from the National Science Foundation to participate in their Antarctic Artists and Writers Program during the 1992-1993 austral summer.
For three months Stout was based at McMurdo Station and Palmer Station. He made several dives beneath the ice, climbed the active volcano Mt. Erebus, camped in the dry valleys and produced over 100 painted studies as he carefully observed the white continent's rich abundance of life. Upon his return he drove over 1000 miles through central southern Chile, documenting the rare prehistoric forests there for his book on Antarctic life. In May, 1993, at the invitation of the National Science Foundation, Stout participated in the Boulder, Colorado gathering of all of the previous recipients of the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, the first such gathering in history.
William Stout resides in Pasadena, California with his perfect wife; they are occasionally visited by their two brilliant sons.