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

Monday, August 13, 2018

Visit to the Land of the Ancients


 Anasazi Heritage Center, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument Visitor Center,  Headquarters and Museum


This year part of our focus has been on learning about the Native American population in Colorado and their culture and relationship to the nature.

The Ute people are the oldest permanent residents of Colorado. Today they live in two reservations in southwestern Colorado: Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian reservation. We visited both of them and the adjacent Canyons of the Ancients National Monument during a 3-day, 2-night trip to the Four Corners area in Colorado.   
Please click here for more photos from our trip.

Our group with our tour guide, Dr. J. Jefferson in front of the Southern Ute Museum established in 1971. The museum building is designed by Jones & Jones Architects ( also designed the National Museum of American Indian of Smithsonian)

Friday, August 10, 2018

Colorado Mycoflora-Project

Coprinus sp. by Elizabeth Virdin, watercolor

The collections of Sam Mitchel Herbarium of Fungi at Denver Botanic Gardens includes at the moment around 18 200 specimens from 2300 species. This herbarium is one of the most diverse and actively curated fungal collection in the region. It has now launched Colorado Mycoflora project to address the question how many species of macrofungi we have in the Southern Rocky Mountain Region. 
The aim is also to DNA barcode 1000 species of Colorado macrofungi over the next 5 years and provide a vouchered collections of DNA sequenced specimens to the research community.
You can find more information about this project by clicking here

Thursday, August 2, 2018

From historical trees to Ethnobotany and entry level Pencil

Aesculus glabra, graphite by Christine Hubbell

Fifty years ago landscape designer Al Rollinger undertook a huge effort of doing a street-by-street survey in Denver, documenting the location, diameter and height of over 1100 trees of 46 species. Denver Botanic  Gardens is surveying these trees to determine their health and which one still are alive.
By clicking the link here you'll get see some pictures from the finished/in progress work from our classroom.

Colored Pencil II, - By Milvi Gill; Onsite/On-line teaching model

Monday, July 30, 2018

Oak Spring Garden Library

Oak Spring Garden Library, Upperville, VA 

One Saturday in July I had the privilege to visit the library of Oak Spring Estate in Upperville, Virginia. The estate includes 700 acres protected by philanthropists Paul and Bunny Lambert Mellon as part of a conservation easement and exemplifying sustainable land management practices for agriculture, arboriculture and horticulture.

The Oak Spring Garden Foundation is dedicated to sharing the gifts and ideas of Rachel "Bunny" Mellon. The Library was built in 1981 as a gift from Bunny’s husband Paul Mellon and was expanded in 1997 to contain her growing collection of books, manuscripts and art on plants, gardens, and landscapes. Today it contains a collection of over 16,000 objects, including rare books, manuscripts, and works of art dating back to the 14th century. The collection mainly relates to horticulture, landscape design, botany, natural history and exploration; a part is also devoted to architecture, decorative arts, and classical literature. A large part of the library collection is digitally available for the general public.

For a Washington Post article about the Oak Spring Garden, please click here. The following images are among those taken during my visit.

Magnolia grandiflora by Georg Dionysius Ehret, 1737 - watercolor on velum skin 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

if you are in Washington D.C. ~

Charlotte Ricker: Pelican Plunge, 2018, colored pencil on film

If you are visiting Washington D.C. during the summer, please take the opportunity and visit the AAAS headquarters (the American Association for Advanced Science) and enjoy the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators 50th anniversary exhibit Visualize: Art Revealing Science, an exhibit with one hundred outstanding art pieces from the GNSI community around the world.  Four artists from Colorado were included, two of them our instructors. The exhibit is up until October 15th.



 Heidi Snyder: Pollinator Meadow, 2017, colored pencil on film

At the United States Botanic Garden we can see Botanical Art Worldwide: America's Flora also incorporating several Colorado botanical artist, one of them our 'own' Constance Sayas. This exhibit will also close on October 15, 2018

Constance Sayas: Yucca harrimaniae, 2017, watercolor

To see few more photos, please click here


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Lizars and Butterflies

Drawing on Tradition: Butterflies of William H. Lizars, ink and colored pencil by Mary McCauley 

William H. Lizars (1788-1859) is best known for his colored insect and bird illustrations on monochromatic habitat backgrounds. He was born in Edinburgh and an established portrait and genre painter who later went to work in the book trade and created plates for British Butterflies and J.J. Audubon's "The Birds of America" Our students were learning abut him and his techniques in our series of Drawing on Tradition. Please see more plates from that class and some entry level color classes by clicking here

Entry level watercolor by Yoshiko Metz

Friday, July 6, 2018

Our Kickstarter Project is Closing in 6 hours!

(Guzmania X by Karey Swan, watercolor)

We have six hours are remaining of our Kickstarter project, we have secured the publication of this book plus three artist-in-resident positions. At the moment we have only 25 books left - this is the last opportunity to get this book. Pledge now

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Happy 4th of July!


Etrog (Citrus medica),  advanced ink by Joanna Webster

The past month we have not only been fundraising, but we do work in the classroom also. We have little more than 60 hours left of our successful Kickstarter project  (closing on July 6th). Thank you all who have supported - we do have some volumes of the limited edition left for you to pledge for you who like to do it in the last minute!
See more work completed during June by clicking here.

Mary Crabtree, entry level ink (online with on-site component)

Friday, June 29, 2018

Second Stretch Goal reached - third one?

(click to enlarge)
Ta-Da!!! We reached the second stretch goal and Dr. M got her painting finished - and no, Doctor M. was not painting the Amorphophallus, she was painting the second Artist-in-Resident in action! (cartoon by David Clarke).

Thank you all for your support! We have 6 days and few hours left of this drive - tell your friends, it is time to pledge now while the numbered limited edition books are still available!  - Can we get the third Artist-in-Resident position?

(by Eileen Richardson, watercolor and ink)
Pico de Gallo for the summer table, an excellent salsa recipe by Chef Eileen!