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

Friday, August 26, 2016

August Activities

(Five Pyrus communis cultivars, watercolor by Susan Willis)

You can get a little glimpse of what has happened in our classroom during August by clicking here.

 From the Gardens succulent selection, graphite by Charlotte Ricker (in progress)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

7th Annual Arts and Archives Tour, April 18 - May 1, 2017

Quercus petraea, sessile oakPlate #2667 from Flora Danica, published between 1761 and 1883. It was aimed for popular education in the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, and the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. Read more about it here

This time we are exploring the arts, design and archives of Copenhagen (Denmark) and Berlin (Germany) with surroundings. The detailed daily program and special, for this group designed tours are under final development, however you can expect the following be included:
1. April 18-24 Copenhagen (Accommodation at Hotel Vesterbro, a superior first class hotel)
- Glyptoteque and Tracking the Colour Project
- Fredriksberg's Castle, the largest Renaissance Castle in Scandinavia. It also since 1878 has housed the Museum of Natural History
- National Museum of Natural History of Denmark (The Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum & Library, and the Zoological Museum)
- National Gallery of Denmark and Cotterfer Codex, the conservator and the Royal Collection (one of the oldest collections of its kind)
- We'll visit Odense where Hand Christian Andersen's Museum is and Roskilde, Denmarks first capital
We spend one day in Sweden visiting University of Lund Archives  and Swedish Agricultural University in Alnarp


A patent of nobility from 1629, granted by Charles I of England to the brothers Jacob and Patrik Forbus. From the De la Gardie collection, University Library, University of Lund.

  


 From the Örtengren Collection which is a collection of books, mainly in the field of pomology, fruit growing, and related subjects, once owned by the business man Sven Helmer Örtengren (1852-1922).
- we'll see also the Wooden Library, xylothek 

Train Transport to Berlin (First class, express)

2. April 24 - May 1 Berlin (Accomodation in Maritim Hotel, a superior first class hotel)
- Natural History Museum and Collections (Botanical and geological departments with libraries)
- Brothers Grimm
- Botanic Gardens Herbarium and Collections
- Humbolt University and  Brothers Grimm
- Checkpoint Charlie
- We'll visit Potsdam and Fredrick the Great's Palaces
(From Flora Danica)

The Price: $2830* (double occupancy)
The above package includes breakfast, internet access, tax and service fee in hotels; first class rail ticket, local transportation to destinations; entry fees, tour fees and basic no-trip cost travel insurance (upgraded policies available for an additional cost).  

The trip is limited to 12 people only and it is sold out. If you are interested please let me know and I'll add your name to the waiting list. In 2018 we travel to Southern Spain (Grenada, Seville etc.) and Morocco - you can already put your name on the list if you plan to come with!

The Royal Palace, Potsdam

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Edible: Botanical Art & Illustration

(Aubergine, Constance Sayas, watercolor)

 CALL FOR ENTRIES

EDIBLE: BOTANICAL ART & ILLUSTRATION
You are cordially invited to submit work to the jurying process for the annual botanical illustration exhibition, this year featuring edible plants. Your dedication to mastering the skills of this art form and illustration makes us extremely proud, and we would like to showcase your success in a public venue.

November 20, 2016—February 12, 2017
Venue: Denver Botanic Gardens, Gates Garden Court Gallery
Reception: November 20, 2–3 p.m. 
Eligibility:
We welcome artists who have participated in courses at Denver Botanic Gardens’ School of Botanical Art and Illustration between June 2014 and July 2016 or are an active participant in the Botanical Illustration community. Artworks of all levels and in any media taught in the school are welcome.

Subject:
As the title suggests, illustrations will feature plants that are edible. This may include plants used directly for consumption – vegetables, fruits, seeds, mushrooms, etc. – as well plants used as components of foods, including spices, plants used for flavorings or food colors, and infusions. Less conventionally edible plants, for example plants traditionally considered weeds, or those that are not commonly known to be edible, are also welcome. Plants that are consumed for non-food purposes, such as plants used as poisons or for their psychoactive properties, will not be considered for this exhibition. Please note that this call extends to plants that can specifically be eaten by humans – plants for animal consumption are not included in the scope of this exhibition. 
We welcome all submissions whether traditionally based or contemporary, and we are eager to see edible plants that have been eaten in a variety of cultures. Please refer all questions to Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski.

Media:
All media taught in the Denver Botanic Gardens’ School of Botanical Art and Illustration are accepted. All artwork must be original. No photography or digitally generated work will be accepted. No giclée prints or offset lithographs considered.

Scale:
If scale is included on the plate, only metric units are allowed.

Submission Method and format:
Each artist may submit three two-dimensional entries for juror consideration. Digital files only. Entries must be submitted digitally via CallforEntry.org™, also known as CaFÉ™. CaFÉ™ is a web-based service that has detailed on-line submission instructions and a team of professionals available to address your tech support needs. A complete submission includes a completed entry form and digital image for each entry. Images must be submitted as JPG files only, minimum of 1920 pixels on the longest side and 5.0 MB maximum with artist’s last name and title of artwork as the file name (e.g., Smith_Planta communis).

Submissions accepted:
August 22nd — September 5th, 2016

Submission Deadline:
11:59pm, September 5th, 2016, Mountain Daylight Time.

Jurors:
The jury will consist of Denver Botanic Gardens’ curatorial staff. The work will be judged according to the standards of the media (typically composition, technical skills, and botanical accuracy), along with thematic relevance.

Presentation, Size and Format:           
Upon acceptance to the exhibition, artists will submit matted artwork only; no frame. Mats must be 4- or 8-ply white rag (no cream or off-white mats), fitting exactly into a 16” x 20” frame (interior measurement). Pieces must be matted with both a backing board and a face mat and must be appropriately and securely attached within the matting—hinging and photo corners are both acceptable. Please do not submit matting with any loose elements, i.e. backing board or face mat not attached or piece not secured inside the matting.

Any housing submitted with artwork must have your name clearly written on it—we cannot guarantee the return of housing without a label. Artists juried into the exhibition will receive detailed information and requirements upon notification.

Delivery and Insurance:
Delivery requirements will be detailed with acceptance notices. While on site, artwork is insured by Denver Botanic Gardens. For insurance purposes, a valuation of your piece MUST be on file. Please complete this portion of the entry form accurately upon submission.

Publicity and Catalog:
Images submitted for this exhibition may be used in a catalog or publicity in print or electronic form for the exhibition and may be used for promoting the exhibition before, during and after its run without further permission being sought.

Contact MerviHj@botanicgardens.org with questions.
Please direct all technical questions about submitting your work to CallforEntry.org.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Amorphophallus titanum at Denver Botanic Gardens

Amorphophallus titanum on August 5th, at 10:20 p.m. after starting to slowly open earlier in the afternoon (5:20 p.m.)

If you are in the Denver area during this weekend (August 6-7) stop by Denver Botanic Gardens and see the blooming corpse flower - Amorphophallus titanum. Peek in Marnie's Pavilion and you can see and smell it. Last night at 10:20 p.m. the smell was already very strong.
Earlier (1 p.m.) on August 5th we did the daily measurements: the spadix had only grown 1/2" since yesterday, the total height was now almost 64" (click to enlarge)

The spathe was truly beautiful and had started to loosen slightly (1 p.m., Aug 5)

What about our Stinky, Amorphophallus titanum that bloomed last year? It has rested one year and now entering the leaf state. The leaflets are starting to separate. It is tall, strong and monumental.
(Please click to enlarge)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Summer Symphony!

Wildflowers from the high country, SBAI 2016 Chronicles, page #21. Rebecca Swain, colored pencils. (please, click to enlarge)

Colorado’s High Country Summer Symphony. Rebecca Swain’s goal is to document all the different wildflowers from her property in Evergreen, CO. Here is a fraction of the vast variety of plants blooming in the end of July at the 8250 ft (2500 m) elevation. Lupine, Mariposa lily (Calochortus) and columbine (Aquilegia) on the left had already passed the blooming by the end of Rebecca’s sketchbook week and the high summer composites: blanket flowers (Gaillardia), sunflowers (Rudbeckia) and coneflowers (Ratibida) had taken over the landscape - bluebells (Campanula) continue blooming until the snow arrives in September.
If you have not followed our 2016 sketchbook project during the past five months on the SBAI Facebook site, please click here to see the 21 pages/spreads completed thus far.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Beatrix Potter, July 28, 1866 - Dec 22, 1943

Beatrix Potter, Watercolor (Victoria and Albert Museum, London)

We are celebrating today the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter (July 28, 1866). Great Britain has celebrated her life this year in many different ways including The Royal Mint Collection  and today, July 28th, the UK post office will be releasing a set of postal stamps honoring her. Victoria and Albert Museum is currently displaying newly identified illustrations made by Potter. 
The National Trust celebrates her life throughout the year at the Lake District. Read mere about this beloved children books illustrator by clicking here.  
On November 2, 6:30 p.m. SBAI has a Cafe Botanique lecture about Beatrix Potter presented by Connie Ryle Neuman, a member of the  Beatrix Potter Society. You can reserve your seat for this lecture by clicking here.
"Beatrix Potter wrote and illustrated a total of 28 books, including the 23 Tales, the 'little books' that have been translated into more than 35 languages and sold over 100 million copies."

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Jeanne Baré - Pioneer Botanist

Jeanne Baré (or Baret) was born on July 27, 1740 was the first woman known to have circumnavigated the globe and refused to accept the gender related and social limits placen on women in the society. Read more here...

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Observation and Documentation


Clematis texensis, entry level watercolor, Mary Burns

Botanical Illustration as any other scientific illustration field is based on observation and documentation. In July we had a class which started with a field trip to Chatfield Farms, our 750-acre native plant refuge and working farm in southern Jefferson County.  Denver Botanic Gardens' research department works also with an extensive conservation project on this site. The BI-students learned the whole process of documentation, from collecting and pressing the plant to reconstruction and completing a final scientific pen and ink plate. You can see works from this class in addition to some other works from our other June classes by clicking here.
 Prunus virginianapen and ink, Carla Pawlewicz

Friday, June 24, 2016

Potions, Poisons and Panaceas - open for submissions!

(Psilocybe zapotecorum by Martha Narey. This mushroom was named for the Zapotec indians and its Zapotec name badao zoo translates as "drunken mushroom")

We are now accepting entries for our September 8 - October 28, 2016 juried exhibition of contemporary botanical illustrations: Potions, Poisons and Panaceas, featuring plants and fungi with medicinal properties. Submission deadline is July 10, 2016 (11:59 p.m. MDT).
We are looking forward to your work!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Miniatures and more at Midsummer times


Pen and ink by Joanna Webster
The summer solstice with the strawberry moon was few days ago, the length of the daylight time in the northern hemisphere has culminated and the wildflowers are flourishing. Tomorrow is the Midsummer Eve which is traditionally linked to many magical and supernatural aspects especially in Northern Europe (Finland and Sweden).
In spite of the summer and vacation times our teaching schedule continues in the Hibiscus-classroom. Please keep in mind the availability of the spectacular specimens during the summer for your botanical drawings and browse our summer/fall catalog for suitable classes. The online registration can be found by clicking here.
You can see more works from our current classes by clicking here

Miniature study by Beth Bradford, ink applied with quill.