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

Monday, November 24, 2014

Plant Select

(Echium amoenum - Red feathers by Marj Hopkins)

Plant Select® is a well-established, unique collaborative venture between Denver Botanic Gardens, Colorado State University and Green Industries of Colorado. Its main aim is to identify and distribute the best plants for gardens from the High Plains to the intermountain regions. The first publication, “Durable Plants for the Garden,” published in 2009, featured 75 plants with beautiful illustrations to accompany the text and photographs. Since then, many new plants have been included in the Plant Select® program. The second publication is in planning and we have participated this time too and will provide some illustrations of the new plants. Please see more of them by clicking here

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The New Sylva


When John Evelyn's Sylva was published in 1664 it was the world's first comprehensive study of trees. It was published by the Royal Society and didn't include any illustrations because it was understood that everybody at that time knew how the common trees looked like.
Siverologist Gabriel Hemery and artist Sarah Simblet have recently published an inspirational contemporary version called The New Sylva. It offers a deep and enriching  understanding of our forests and orchards. Its over 200 absolutely exquisite ink drawings include not only trees and details of them but also landscapes and the fauna connected to these plants. Please click here to listen to the interview with Sarah Simblet in which she tells about her work with the book.
The New Sylva is warmly recommended both for the text and for the magnificent illustrations.


(Redwoods, page 92; and Picea, page 60 both by Sarah Simblet)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Looking into 2015!!!

Our Winter/Spring 2015 catalog is published. You can view, print and save it into your computer by clicking the image above,  in the right hand column, or clicking here. We offer over 90 courses during during the first six months of 2015. We have the pleasure to host two overseas visiting instructors: Lucy Smith from U.K. and Damolar Lal Gurjar from India.
Registrations starts on December 9th, 9 a.m. either per phone (720-865-3580), on-line or in person.
Enjoy!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Drafting with Tradition



The history of movable and pop-up construction begins within the walls of a medieval monastery and the Benedictine monk Matthew Paris (1200 – 1259) is said to have applied the first wheel for educational purposes.  From 16th century onward pop-up books became rabidly more popular along the advances in printing. The visually complex structures often related to medicine, mathematics and technology were superb teaching tools making learning more effective, interactive and memorable.
More about pop-ups and their history, please click here.
Last weekend an enthusiastic group of 12 students engineered 12 different structures (vegetables and critters) under Shawn Sheehy's instruction and guidance.  This was already the third time Shawn was visiting our school and this time the topic was vegetables and critters. To see a few more images from our workshop, please click here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Autumn Colours - Fall Colors

(Nels Broste, watercolor)
This fall is going to go to the history as the time of overwhelmingly rich fall coloration. Some of the colors got beautifully captured on our Autumn Leaves class, for more images, please click here.
If you like to know more about Nature's Palette, please click here.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Exploring Ecology with Pop-Up Books in Cafe Botanique, November 5th

Spoonfull of Honey: Exploring Ecology with Pop-Up Books
Shawn Sheehy, Chicago
While teaching ecology to children at the YMCA in the early '90s, Shawn Sheehy felt his interest in the topic solidify into a life-long pursuit. Now he uses the allure of pop-up books to explore environmental principles with a new generation, both children and adults.

Shawn Sheehy's interest in paper engineering is a result of study in sculpture, graphic design and book arts. His interest in the natural world stems from his years living in rural Indiana and teaching environmental studies. Shawn creates limited-edition pop-up books, contributes on the occasional commercial pop-up project and teaches paper engineering workshops. If he's not in the studio, you can find him in the garden.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Denver Botanic Gardens – Gates Hall
6:30 – 8 p.m.
(to reserve your seat, please click here)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween in black and white

(Ink, Meredith Feniak)
Appropriately right before the Halloween we completed some of the black and white-media classes. Graphite and ink both expressive and beautiful media. Please see more images by clicking here.

(Graphite, Susan Willis)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Two Additional Days of Mushrooms -

(by Shanelle Deater)
A new group and two additional successful days - you'll see more pictures if you click here! 
(by Alice Pearson)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mushroom Portraits


(bolete by Susan Curnutte)

We have had the pleasure to host Alexander Viazmensky from St. Petersburg (Russia) and learn about his techniques. He just completed a 3-day intense watercolor workshop and inspired our BI-students to paint mushrooms, and other workshop is in process. Sasha's teaching is filled with individual attention and one-on-one demonstrations. To see some images from the first workshop, please click here.
 (Sasha Viazmensky with his students at Denver Botanic Gardens)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mr. William H. Lizars



Callidryas eubule and Terias mexicana by William H. Lizars, circa 1858

 William H. Lizars (1788-1859) of Edinburgh was an established portrait and genre painter who went to work in the book trade and created plates for “British Butterflies” and J.J. Audubon’s "The Birds of America" Lizars experimented with new techniques and is perhaps best known for his colored insect and bird illustrations on monochromatic habitat backgrounds.
In our series of Drawing on Tradition the students worked in the scientific style of Lizars using ink and a color media – please click here to see some some examples of their work.
Ink and watercolor by Helen Smithwick