Piece description from the artist
The platypus is one of the strangest of all mammals. It is so strange, in fact, that many European naturalists dismissed it as a fraud at first. Not only does it have a duck bill, but it also lays eggs instead of giving birth to live young (making it a monotreme, a class of egg laying mammals). It is one of only a few venomous mammals, the males being able to deliver it through a spur on their hind legs. The venom is not fatal, but can cause incapacitating pain. They are found only in Australia and Tasmania. Platypuses were once hunted for their fur but not anymore.
Daniel is a forty-something living in the Metro-Atlanta area, and he is one of the few people who was actually born and raised there. He is also married and has two sons and a daughter. By day, he works as software engineer at a small company. By night he is an artist producing realist works depicting scenes of American wildlife, farm animals, fantasy scenes, extinct animals, and images of the "American Wild West":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Frontier.
Daniel has dual degrees in computer science and fine art from the University of Georgia. Given his education, it would seem only natural for him to combine the two by producing art using a computer. Daniel practices a new form of art called "3D Rendering":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_rendering, a form of virtual sculpting with a computer. This form of art is utilized by film studios for special effects as well as animated movies, but it can be used to make stills as well. "Check out this video of Daniel creating a 3D rendering!":http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvoSvRhYPr4
Daniel’s interest in art began when he was young. As a fan of science fiction and fantasy novels, he became particularly interested in the works of the illustrators that appeared on the covers, such as "Frank Frazetta":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Frazetta and "Michael Whelan":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Whelan. In college, he discovered the work of the "French Realists":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realism_(arts), the "Pre-Raphaelites":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Raphaelite_Brotherhood, and the "Hudson River School":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudson_River_School, which further influenced him and put his work on a course where nature was the dominant theme.