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About the Society Awards Past Award Winners 2004 Awardees 2004 (Lanzendorf PaleoArt Prize) Scientific Illustration - Pat Ortega
Photo courtesy of Pat M. Ortega.

As a youngster Pat Ortega often visited zoos and museums, where she enjoyed drawing what she saw. One of her favorites was Hancock Park , with its bubbling tar and old observation pit. But it was at the Natural History Museum that Pat had the opportunity to view dioramas of modern wildlife and the bones of ancient beasts, as well as their reconstructions through the art of Charles R. Knight and others. It was Pat's discovery of the Knight book 'Life through the ages," which provided a template for her future work.

Already an accomplished young artist, Pat developed a real sense for anatomy and a knack for putting flesh on the bone. For many years Ms. Ortega was known as the "Monster Girl," for her many Fantasy and Science Fiction inspired illustrations. Pat's creations were so unique and seemed to be alive, because her creatures were "born", built up, from the bones up. As her techniques became more refined, Pat worked her way back to Wildlife, Dinosaurs, and Prehistoric Mammals.

Pat Ortega's attention to detail and quiet nature have developed her into an award winning illustrator, who's artworks grace the pages of more than sixty books and publications. In recent years, Pat's reputation has earned the opportunity to be a research associate at the George C. Page Museum of La Brea Discoveries, where she has contributed her designs to many of their projects.

Ortega lives in Los Angeles , and can often be found drawing at the museum.