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

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Time for New Techniques

 (Fine details with watercolor, Chris Ruch)

The students have gained confidence with many new techniques during the past month from dry brush techniques in watercolor to paper sculpting. 
Nature in Paper, Algae by Mary McCauley

 Conifer cones with Carbon Dust; Pseudotsuga by Stephanie Bures

Advanced graphite classes are always popular and carbon dust easily becomes one of the most favorite medium for many students. The same can be said about Pen and Ink, to learn to master the stipple, clean line and the quill is a positive surprise and source for inspiration for the students. 
Phalaenopsis cv. by Cynthia Cano, Pen and Ink

Please click here to see more works from the classroom.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

School of Botanical Art and Illustration Artist-in-Residence 2017

Gunnera tinctoria by Işık Güner, watercolor

We are pleased to announce the recipients of our 2017 Artist-in-Residences at Denver Botanic Gardens’ School of Botanical Art and Illustration: Işık Güner from Istanbul, Turkey and Katherine Rudebush, Orinda, California

We are very excited to host them and keen to see the striking work and inspiring projects that they create while staying with us.
Sedum praealtum by Katherine Rudebusch, watercolor

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Group exhibits at RHS - what is it all about?

The most excellent teaching faculty of the School of Botanical Art and Illustration at Denver Botanic Gardens! (please, click to enlarge)

Katherine Tyrrell summarizes the challenges of a group exhibit here -

I'd like to add one very important detail that was forgotten in the excitement of the moment: The important role of the students: their constructive feedback is continuously influencing our teaching methods/techniques and always improving them.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Girls in Science 2017

(please click the images to enlarge)
Last Saturday Denver Botanic Gardens participated in the Girls in Science event at Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
Thousands of girls explored different science venues and met with women who are scientists in related careers. This was the third year the Girls in Science was organized and the third time for School of Botanical Art and Illustration to participate. In our clubhouse the girls learned about the roll of fungi in the ecosystem, and at the same time talked to representatives of mycology, herbaria, plant sciences, ecology, geosciences and scientific illustration who were all present in our clubhouse, Wonderful World of Fungi

 Our clubhouse before the doors were opened in Saturday morning 
 We were busy in explaining and answering questions.
 The young girls were very happy to illustrate the various mushrooms that we had on display. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Katherine Tyrrell reviews the recent RHS 2017 art show

From RHS London Botanical Art Show 2017, photo by Katherine Tyrrell

Katherine Tyrrell's excellent review from this year's RHS's exhibit continues here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Rocky Mountains: Plants and Fungi with Altitude

(please click the image to enlarge)

The complete exhibit: Rocky Mountains: Plants and Fungi with Altitude with its interpretation is now on-line. You can access it by clicking here or follow the link on the right hand column under Of Note. 


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Royal Horticultural Society's 2017 Botanical Art Show - Final Day

Bridget Gillespie was awarded a Gold Medal for her exhibit Root Vegetables Life Cycle and her plate Beetroot Beta vulgaris was selected to the best botanical painting in this RHS show.

Our final day was hectic, the Lindley Hall had a constant stream of visitors of all ages and we were busy answering questions regarding the techniques and topics we teach and materials we use in our artwork. There was lot of discussion about mylar, which is not readily available in the U.K.  We also got many questions about egg tempera. More about them here below:
Mylar® is used in our School for a variety of media: colored pencils, pen and ink (technical pen and quill), ink washes and polycarbonate pencil (plastic pencil). Mylar is a polyester film and one of the brand names for stretched polyethylene terephthalate (PET).  The true Mylar® is a registered trademark owned by DuPont Tejin Films. Since Mylar® polyester film was invented in the early 1950s, it has been used in a variety of applications that add value to products in virtually all segments of the world. Its excellent balance of properties and extraordinary range of performance capabilities make Mylar® ideal for a broad array of applications in the electrical, electronics, magnetic media, industrial specialty, imaging and graphics, and packaging markets (cooking bags are also mylar). Mylar® is available in a variety of finishes and gauges. We typically use double frosted Mylar® for colored pencil, ink and plastic pencil, we like the 5 mil thickness best. The inquiries were to find the best supplies for you can addressed to Grafix Plastics.



 (Frasera speciosa by Annie Reiser - colored pencil on mylar)

Egg tempera was first discovered in Egypt and was the main method of painting through the Byzantine period into the Renaissance. This method is also commonly used in icon painting. The natural pigments are mixed with egg yolk (sometimes also with egg white) and painted on wooden panels surfaced by gesso (gypsym mixed with animal glue to a paste). You can read more about egg tempera history and method here.


 (Aquilegia caerulea by Laurence Pierson, egg tempera) 

Please click here to see more mages from the last day at the RHS 2017 Botanical Art Exhibit. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Quality Work from a QualityTeam

(please click to enlarge)
 The core of nine teachers provides regular instruction at the Denver Botanic Gardens School of Botanical Art and Illustration (Susan DiMarchi, Renee Jorgensen, Marjorie Leggitt, Laurence Pierson, Randall Raak, Charlotte Ricker, Susan Rubin, Constane Sayas and Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski). The quality of their work (including two school alumni, Libby Kyer and Annie Reiser) as a group was validated yesterday with a Gold medal from the Royal Horticultural Society in London. 
Please click here to see the plates included in "Rocky Mountains - Plants and Fungi with Altitude"


(please click to enlarge)

Royal Horticultural Society's 2017 Botanical Art Show: Gold Medal for SBAI!

Denver Botanic Gardens' School of Botanical Art and Illustration was awarded a gold medal at the 2017 Royal Horticultural Society's Botanical Art Show. We'll learn tomorrow about the details of the 8-people judging  team's opinion about our teacher's work.
Mariko Ikeda from Japan was given the Best Botanical Art Exhibit award with the Gold Medal for her outstanding exhibit of Pandanus  (photo below)You can see few more images by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Royal Horticultural Society's 2017 Botanical Art Show; Installation



The teaching faculty of Denver Botanic Gardens School of Botanical Art and Illustration is participating this year in the RHS Botanical Art show with a 10-piece group presentation: Rocky Mountains - Plants and Fungi with Altitude. We are displaying a selection of representatives from the different Colorado life zones from the foothills shrublands (1 700 m altitude) to the alpine tundra (3 200 m altitude). The media used for our presentation are the ones taught in the school: graphite, ink, colored pencil, watercolor, egg tempera and watercolor pencil.To see few more images from our installation please click here.