It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Lucy Smith in Cafe Botanique, Wednesday March 4th, 6:30 p.m.

Adventures of a Botanical Artist - 18th and 21st Centuries
Lucy T. Smith, Freelancing Botanical Illustrator for Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

In 2001, Lucy Smith had the unique opportunity to experience life as a botanical illustrator onboard an 18th century sailing ship for a BBC documentary called “The Ship.” The ship was a modern-day replica of Captain Cook's Endeavour, and the journey part of Cook's 1768-1771 voyage of discovery to Australia. Smith was following in the footsteps of Sydney Parkinson, the artist on this voyage.
Lucy shares her experiences during the six-week journey and how it informed her modern-day professional botanical art practice.

Lucy T. Smith been producing pen and ink and color illustrations for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew since 1999. She has completed 200 plates for the upcoming “Palms of New Guinea” monograph, as well as hundreds of other illustrations for various other plant families. Her work is reproduced in many journals, including Kew Bulletin, Curtis’s Botanical Magazine and Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. She has received many awards for her work, including two gold medals from the Royal Horticultural Society, the Margaret Flockton Award for Excellence in Botanical Illustration and the Jill Smythies Award from the Linnean Society of London. She teaches botanical illustration at Kew Gardens, the Chelsea Physic Garden and the Chelsea School of Botanical Art, all in London.
Wednesday, March 4, 6:30-8 p.m.
Mitchell Hall
Reserve your seat!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cafe Botanique - TOMORROW February 25

Biomimicry – Sustainable Solutions Inspired by Nature
Marie Zanowick-Bourgeois, EPA and Lynne Sullivan, City of Boulder

 Biomimicry is an emerging science that guides people in discovering and creating sustainable solutions to fulfill human needs, by looking to nature for inspiration.  Join Marie Zanowick-Bourgeois, Engineer and Certified Biomimicry Professional and Lynne Sullivan, Interpretive Naturalist for the City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks Department in this exploration of the concepts of Biomimicry and the Department’s inaugural launch using this problem solving process to address challenges in the management of the Open Space and Mountain Parks System. Applying the biomimicry method, they studied the local ecosystems and species to learn what strategies have enabled their long term survival, and then used these unique strategies to guide design ideas working towards an earth-friendly, sustainable solution to our challenge.
 Marie Zanowick-Bourgeois is a Certified Biomimicry Professional and a creative environmental engineer with 25 years of experience working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the areas of pollution prevention and sustainability.

Lynne Sullivan is an interpretive naturalist with the city of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks Department. She is passionate about exploring the wonders of nature and natural processes and sharing her findings through interpretive hikes and programs. 

Wednesday, February 25, 6:30-8 p.m.

Gates Hall

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Scanned from classes #2: Carbon dust, color and composition

(cyclamen in carbon dust by Alice Pearson

 (6 students and 6 brilliant citrus fruits drawn using complementary colors )

Composing with the help of Notan (ink and colored pencil by Laura Farnsworth)

You can see more images from these classes by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Scanned from our classes #1: Watercolor and Watercolor Pencil

(entry level watercolor pencil by Mary Francis)

You can see more images from these classes by clicking here.

(Dried with Drama, watercolor by Mary McCauley)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Crows gathering by Judy Vanderbosch

There is a silver line that represents the thin silver thread that connects us all and completes the friendship between crows and the gardener.

This artist book, The Crows Gathering, is about the relationship of a gardener and a murder of crows. Each of the 15 copies are case bound and hand sewn. A thin paper separates the illustrated pages which are presented in watercolor. The inside cover papers are made with 100% cotton linters and fibers from the plants in the garden and the buds of the lavender plants. The poem is by the artist and handwritten on the pages. You can see some more images from the book by clicking here.

The artist, Judy Vanderbosch, received the Foundational Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration from our School in 2012 and is now enrolled in our Diploma Program.
The book is at Abecedarian Gallery in Denver.

Congratulations Judy!!!

Friday, February 6, 2015

FINALLY - Practice Maker Perfect is HERE

Fresh from the press - 76 whole page illustrations, 160 pages! Now the numbering begins.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Experimenting new media and different format

(Aubergine, carbon dust by Helen Smithwick)
In addition to our core media: graphite, pen and ink, colored pencil and watercolor we offer courses in other media such as carbon dust and watercolor pencil. Here are some images from recently started classes - note the images are from the 3rd session and the students are just becoming familiar with the new medium.

 (Two tomatillos, watercolor pencil by Pam O'Hara)

In the very end of last year we also had a workshop for miniatures in which the students learned how to scale down the subject matter to a small format. The paper size for these miniature masterpieces was at the most 4.5" x 4.5". More images from these ongoing and past workshops you can find by clicking here.

(Five miniatures in different media, individual paper size 4.5" x 4.5", by Cyndy Calkins)

Monday, January 26, 2015

KUNC writes about us!

(Constance Sayas and Elizabeth Lafemina)
Our school got featured at KUNC's (91.5FM) web-site. Please click here to read the article. 
KUNC is the Community Radio for Northern Colorado and a part of the npr-digital network. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

2015 Illustrator/Artist in Residence Program

(Prunus sp. by Nels Broste, watercolor)

This is an exciting opportunity for up to three illustrators/artists to get involved in the daily happenings at Denver Botanic Gardens. Residents will document the day-to-day progress and changes in the Rocky Mountain plant world, interpreting the botanic gardens’ purpose as a place of preservation, conservation, education and diversity into images or works which bring others enjoyment and a deeper understanding of the environment some may never visit. The works completed under this residency contribute to the public understanding and appreciation of our gardens, and offer an opportunity to see our activities through the eyes of the contributing residents.

The resident is expected to contribute fully to the life of Denver Botanic Gardens. This contribution will be negotiated and tailored to the artist’s own personal interests. The residency could involve participation in any of the following:
·         Online blog about the Gardens (WordPress or similar)
·         Participation in Open Studios and presenting work in progress
·         Compiling work produced during the residency
·         Educational workshops
·         Demonstrations for the public

The illustrator/artist is expected to spend five days/week on site although this can vary from week to week depending on other professional commitments by prior agreement. The residency may involve presence during evenings and weekends.
The resident must provide their own supplies, equipment, and logistics for their activities during the residency.

Outdoor studio space, access to the Gardens’ library, herbaria, classroom and Science Pyramid.
This call for illustrators offers three residency opportunities, each for a period of six weeks:
1. April 20 – May 29
2. June 15 – July 24
3. August 10 – September 18

The residency provides a stipend of $3,000 for each selected illustrator/artist to be used for both housing and materials. 

One completed original work from each selected illustrator/artist will become property of Denver Botanic Gardens.

The resident holds the copyright and maintains intellectual property of the produced illustrations, but will give written permission to Denver Botanic Gardens to use or print images for publicity, publication, or retail product development with proper artist credit. When the resident reproduces artwork for their own purposes, publication information will include the language: “This artwork was produced under the Artist-In-Residence Program at Denver Botanic Gardens.”

The residencies are open to all illustrators/artists who have completed a certificate program in scientific illustration, botanical art and illustration, nature illustration or equivalent. Artists working in all media, including three dimensional applications, will be considered. The instructors of Denver Botanic Gardens School of Botanical Art and Illustration are not eligible for the residency.

APPLICATION (Application Form)
The application should include:
·         A description of how you will respond to the opportunity and how this opportunity will develop your practice (not more than 500 words in length, typed and double spaced).
·         CV with two references
·         Link to your website and/or blog
·         5 examples of recent work in a low resolution format (not to exceed 2MB per image)
·         Your preference for the residency time period

Please email your application to with Illustrator in Residency 2015 in the subject line.

Closing date for submissions: March 16, 2015
Selection completed by March 30, 2015

(sketchbook page by Colleen Henderson)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Xylem - Botanical Art Exhibit

(please click the image to enlarge)
Loveland Museum and Gallery will present a botanical group exhibit of 14 artists between January 10 and March 15.
"This group exhibit of 14 artists shows a wide range of botanicals as a subject of art, from the classic to the conceptual. This exhibition links the tenets of botanical art with artists who work in a method outside the structure of classical botanical illustration. Seen together, these two approaches represent disorder within a highly ordered framework, and mirror the beauty of stability and chaos in the natural world."
The Techniques Showcase event on March 7th (noon - 3 p.m.) is warmly recommended!