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

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Inspired by Mackintosh

(by Lynn Williamson)

 In our series Drawing in Tradition this spring we studied the works by Charles Rennie Mackintosh  (1868-1928) who was best known for his architectural renderings and designs. In addition to that he also focused on floral subjects using simple contours and thin watercolor washes. The students were working mostly with live cut specimens and practiced the art of sketching and design.
To see more works from this class, inspired by the life and artistic approach of Mackintosh please click here.
(by Jane Smith)

Friday, May 10, 2019

True to Form - Call for Entries

(Cynthia Zyzda, Colored Pencil)


November 15 – 16, 2019
Mitchell Hall

The theme of this art salon is the complex visual language of the natural world, showcasing its incredible variety of shapes, colors and textures. From the subtle contours of flower petals to the vibrant hues of a butterfly’s wings, this exhibit explores the visual feast offered by flora and fauna. 
True to Form features 6 specific thematic categories: Hairy, Spiky, Shiny, Striped, Spotted, and Multicolored
True to Form will be a two-day, salon-style exhibition installed in Denver Botanic Gardens’ Mitchell Hall.  Artists will hang their own matted work on freestanding panel walls, provide and hang the accompanying label, and remove their work at the closing of the exhibition on Saturday the 16th. Artists must be available to hang and remove their own artworks at the opening and closing of the salon. Each artist may submit up to three artworks for consideration. Entries must be submitted digitally via Google Documents (Google account required) located at this link. 
Read the complete call for entries by clicking here.



Constance Sayas, watercolor

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Charcoal - as Old as Humankind


Bearded Iris by Kathleen Seeley

From Paleolithic cave paintings to Durer, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso and Henri Matisse – most painters and illustrators through the ages have illustrated with charcoal which is as old as humankind for a painting medium. 
We introduced charcoal to our course offerings this spring and the result were convincing. The students were working at standing easels and mostly outside.  Please see here images from that class.
Joan Tidwell  giving finishing touches for her oriental lily

Inspired by Patrick Dougherty’s One Fell Swoop we are arranging another charcoal drawing class scheduled to start on May 13th, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. please see the previous posting about that.
For registration and more information please click here.

From our current sculpture exhibit: Kendra Fleichman's Trust by Michelle Miller

Friday, May 3, 2019

Inspired by One Fell Swoop -

 If you visit our Chatfield location you can see Patrick Douherty's site specific installation "One Fell Swoop."

Inspired by the opportunity we have added  two new drawing classes into the selection of our May-June course offerings:

1. One Fell Swoop with Charcoal  May 13 and 20, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. , Chatfield Farms
During this course you will have the opportunity to interpret Patrick Dougherty's installation "One Fell Swoop" in willow charcoal, which is made from the same species as the site-specific sculpture. Learn how to use this expressive medium to create form through loose gestural drawings and intensive studies. Working alongside (or in) Dougherty's installation will provide many compositional opportunities: focus on its position in the landscape, the details of the entwined willow, or its monumental abstract forms. Willow charcoal's ease and flexibility might surprise you as you work at standing easels onsite.
Open to All, Preregistration is required as the class size is limited.
For more information and to register, please click here

2. Zoom In and Out, June 3, 10, 17, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Chatfield Farms 
Study the form and light on Patrick Dougherty’s larger-than-life installation “One Fell Swoop”. Work either at the macro or micro scale and learn about techniques for seeing and depicting perspective accurately. You draw either inside the sculpture or alongside it and refine your skills to show light and volume in simple or complex shapes. You learn to see the shadows correctly and bring your drawing to life. You work with graphite and/or color media of your choice and create a lasting documentation of this site specific art installation.
Open to All, Preregistration is required as the class size is limited.
For more information and to register, please click here
(Zooming in, Graphite by Randy Raak)

(Photo L. Eldred)


Saturday, April 27, 2019

2019 SBAI Summer and Fall Course Catalog is Published!

Our 2019 Summer/Fall Course catalog is out. Registration for these classes starts on June 11, 9 a.m. (MST), 2019.
You can view and download the catalog by clicking here, or the icon on the right hand column, if you are on the web version (if viewing form your mobile device, scroll all the way to the bottom to find the "View web version link"), and you'll see the right hand column.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Yellows and Birds

(Leslie Hancock, watercolor)
On our biennial 'Mysterious Yellows' class we explore the range of yellows from soft to striking bright. The students learn to create the best color mixes to convey shading while keeping yellows bright and clean without muddiness.
Our always so popular bird class teaches challenging perspective and getting the proportions right.
Please click here to see more images from both classes:   

(Great Blue Heron, graphite by Sue Carr)

Friday, April 19, 2019

Pelargoniums - did you know about the 17000 cultivars?


(graphite and watercolor by Laurence Pierson)

We have about 280 different documented Pelargonium species within the genus which was first described and illustrated by Dillenius, a German botanist, in 1732. All the 17000+ pelargonium cultivars are derived only from few species.
Most of the pelargoniums originate in South Africa, the common hardy one is native to Europe.

Join our watercolor illustration class and learn more about pelargoniums and how to paint their intricate flowers and drought tolerant leaves. For more information about this workshop, please click here.
Illustration by Johann Jacob Dillen Dillenius, 1732 (Hortus Elthamensis)

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Memories of an Iconic building

In connection of our 2014 Arts and Archives tour to France and Switzerland we visited Notre Dame Cathedral and saw the majestic interior, now only saved in our memories. At the time of our visit there was a service.


A view from the Pont Saint Louis: The 19th century spire is now gone and the oak roof from the 13th century completely destroyed 

Here part of the south Rose Window.
(please click the images to enlarge)

You can see more pictures by clicking here

The Public Domain Review published an interesting review about The Notre-Dame Cathedral in Art (1460_1921)

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Refined Hatching Techniques with Rogerio Lupo

Parallel lines, clouds and trees - practice sheet by Rogerio Lopu, ink

We have completed 6 days of intense ink work, two full 3-day workshops with 12 students in each. RogerioLupo started the classes with a thorough review of pen nibs and their care, the students learned how to analyze the nibs performance, and how to refurbish a faulty nib.

The students concentrated on refining their parallel lines and hatching technique. New skills were learned through practical exercises, demonstrations and individual instruction.
Rogerio’s teaching in Denver will be remembered as a true marathon through new techniques. His newly completed guidebooks in graphite and pen nib were successfully tested in the classes and will be used in the future to guide our new students. 
This was Rogerio’s first visit to the U.S.A and Colorado, we will happily welcome him back in the future.
To see more pictures from his classes, please click here
Rogerio demonstrating under the camera

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Rethinking Roadsides in Cafe Botanique, April 17th


Rethinking Roadsides: Exploring Rights-of-Way as Habitat
Haley Stratton, Environmental Scientist

Roadsides across the country add up to more than 17 million acres of area that could provide much needed habitat for birds, small mammals and pollinators. Simple changes in management of rights-of-way are can provide ecological, economic and aesthetic benefits.

Haley Stratton is an Environmental Scientist at Felsburg Holt & Ullevig (FHU), specializing in transportation engineering, planning, and sciences. Her favorite part of the job is combining ecology with transportation services for innovative solutions to the negative effects of transportation projects.

Cafe Botanique
April 17, 6:30-8 p.m.
Gates Hall