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

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Passiflora treat!



Last weekend we had an extra special treat in the classroom: John Pastoriza-Pinol from Melbourne Australia instructed a 3-day workshop on fall flowers. We had the very rare opportunity to use passionflower (Passiflora 'Aphrodites Purple Nightie') as the subject matter. Please click here to see some images from the workshop 

John giving a demonstration

Each of the 12 students had a blooming specimen for the duration of the workshop

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Last watercolors for September


Maxillariella tenuifolia, watercolor by Phillip Potter

This is an update from our final session for September. We are ready for October!
For few more watercolor images, please click here.

Cyclamen (in process), watercolor by Barbara Anderson

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Tomatoes -

Tomatoes on vine, entry level graphite by Hope Broyles


Tomatoes are a common subject matter for us on the entry level graphite class, perfect to practice line, smooth application for achieving the continuous tone, and simultaneously the students learn the basics of form and light.  We often think that the tomatoes are easy to render…
The past weekend our 2018 Artist-in-Resident Asuka Hishiki from Japan taught an intermediate/advanced workshop on how to paint heirloom tomatoes. It was an intense learning experience and several new techniques were introduced to our students' toolbox.

As a bit of trivia it is always good to know that tomato was challenged in US Supreme Court in 1893. In Nix vs Hedden, 149 U.S. 304, justice Gray wrote "Botanically speaking, tomatoes are fruits on vine, just as are cucumbers, squashes, beans, and peas. But in the common language of the people ... all these are vegetables, which are grown in the kitchen gardens, and which, whether eaten cooked or raw, are, like potatoes, carrots, ... and lettuce, usually served at dinner in, with or after soup, fish or meats which constitute the principal part of the repast, and not, like fruits generally, as desert." All this only for the Tariff Act of 1883 which required a 10% tax on imported vegetables (fruits were not taxed), in response to growing international trade.

To see more tomato renderings, please click here.  (Also included few vegetables from the entry level watercolor class.)

Heirloom tomato, watercolor in process by Milvi Gill


Friday, September 21, 2018

Growing Healthier Together in Cafe Botanique October 3rd


Growing Healthier Together: Connecting Community Gardens and Cancer Prevention
Erin Decker, B.A., University of Denver

The Community Activation for Prevention study (CAPS) is an innovative cancer research partnership between several universities and institutions including The University of Colorado, Denver Urban Gardens and the American Cancer Society. Learn about the relationship between gardening and health, as well as CAPS’ innovations in cancer research.


Erin Decker, B.A., is a Research Assistant with the University of Colorado, an educator, and an artist. She enjoys being in nature and connecting people to  good food and the natural world through play.
Wednesday, Oct. 3  |  6:30-8 p.m.
Gates Hall
Reserve Your seat by clicking here

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Ice Cream from 1718

Illustration by Zara Wilkins, U.K. (winner of the illustration competition)
The House of Illustrations in London had a competition to illustrate the first ever ice cream recipe published in English. The recipe "to ice Cream"  was written by Mary Eales in 1718 and published the same year in the Mrs. Mary Eales's Receipts (second edition in 1733).


Currently the British Museum of Food has an exhibition focusing on ice cream, past and present. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Flower Power in Cafe Botanique, September 12, 6:30 p.m.

Flower Power: How Botanical Illustrations Helped to Fuel the Industrial Revolution
Dr. Terry Tickhill Terrell, Independent Researcher

Dr. Terrell explores the role of botanical illustrators in designing textiles, which comprised the majority of Britain’s exports in the mid-19th century. The talk examines the critical role of botanical illustrations from the late 1700s to the mid-1800s, a period when demand for such textiles drove the industrialization of Britain. Explore a myriad of historical botanical illustrations and the fabric motifs that were derived from them.

Terry Tickhill Terrell is a researcher with a B. S. in Botany from the Ohio State University and Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Georgia. In addition to her passion for textile design, she has 40 years of  experience applying scientific research to real-world problems.
Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 6:30-8 p.m.  |  Gates Hall

Friday, September 7, 2018

Happy September!

Rocky Mountain wildflowers by Susan Carr, watercolor

 The summer is definitely starting to be on its final stretch and we are soon starting the last quarter of this year. If you click here you can see some of the work that we have lately produced in the classroom.
Delosperma cooperi by Janet Wood, colored pencil and graphite

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Feedback Wanted!

As you might know the U.S. Copyright office has proposed fee increase in the copyright registration and other services. The Coalition of Visual Artists wants our feedback about the proposed fee increases and asks you to take a short survey.
You can access the 10-15 min survey material by clicking here.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Water Lily intense with Lucy T. Smith, Kew

 or, How the environment and lighting effects the natural color?

Nymphaea 'Rhonda Kay' in progress, watercolor by Lucy Smith

During the past week we had two 3-day intense workshops with Lucy T. Smith, both of the courses focused on water Lilies, first one with graphite and the second with Watercolor.
Water lilies are complex, but by understanding and unraveling the patterns behind their life cycles and structures, the illustration can truly reveal their inner and outer beauty. 
Water lilies have both beautiful form and unique luminosity. The students learned the importance of careful dissections and how the same structure can vary depending where in the flower it is  positioned in relation to the central axis (i.e., stamen filaments)
Painting waterlilies in color can prove to be a real challenge as the color changes from one environment to another: color observation must often be made in the original, watery environment. We did also notice how the quality of lighting affects how we see the color in our specimens.
It was a true pleasure to have Lucy with us and learn about the ephemeral forms and beauty of water lilies. One of the highlights of her 2-week visit was her talk in Café Botanique focusing on The Long Lasting Tradition of Botanist and Artist Collaboration at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Please click here to see more images from these classes.


The same specimen photographed in different environments: 1. in its natural habitat; 2. right after the flower was cut, still outside, natural daylight; 3. daylight lighting, indoors (4500 K; CRI:85); 4. Same flower in T-5 florescent light (3500 K, CRI:<75 75="" nbsp="" p="">

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Cafe Botanique with Lucy Smith, U.K.

(Victoria amazonica, watercolor by Lucy Smith)

The Long-Lasting Tradition of Botanist and Artist Collaboration at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 
Lucy T. Smith, Freelance Botanical Artist, Kew, U.K.

Award-winning artist Lucy T. Smith has been producing pen and ink and color illustrations for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew since 1999. She has recently completed 200 plates for the upcoming “Palms of New Guinea” monograph and her work is reproduced in many journals, including Kew Bulletin, Curtis’ Botanical Magazine and Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. In 2001, she spent six weeks aboard the replica of the HMS Endeavour for a BBC documentary called “The Ship,” where she followed in the footsteps of Sydney Parkinson, the artist on James Cook’s voyage of 1768-1771.
Wednesday, August 22, 2018, 6:30-8 p.m.  |  Gates Hall

Reserve your sear by clicking here