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

Monday, September 25, 2017

Işik has started her residency at Denver Botanic Gardens

Işik Güner from Turkey has started today the second week of her 6-week artist-in-residency at the SBAI of Denver Botanic Gardens. She is focusing on Colorado native flora and currently illustrating Ratibida columnifera, the true representative of North American mixed grass prairies. In few days she will be teaching a 3-day master workshop on the Giant World on Tiny Details.
Click here to see few more pictures on her progress and process.

 "Live specimens and natural light are the two most important necessities for a successful illustration" says Işik 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Whimsy: Submissions deadline is on September 22nd, 11:59 MDT

Cockscomb (Celosia argenta), colored pencil by Susan DiMarchi

Please follow this link to the call for entries. and click this link to submit.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Inspired by Harriet Isabel Adams

(Rose of Sharon by Mary Francis, watercolor pencil and ink)

I recently blogged about Harriet Isabel Adams' work and our watercolor pencil class which got inspiration from her work. If you click here, you can see some of the plates which were developed during that class.  

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Congratulations Valerie Teska!

I Love Your Warts and All by Valerie Teska, Colored Pencil.

The Colored Pencil Society of America awarded one of the five Honorable Mentions to Valerie Teska at their 2017-2018 Annual Online Competition "ArtSpectations". You can see ArtSpectations' 359 participating works displayed here. Valerie is an active member of our community.
Congratulations Valerie!

Monday, September 4, 2017


Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists (RMSBA) will exhibit at The Museum of Natural History at University of Colorado, Boulder. The opening reception is on Thursday, September 7th and the exhibit runs through February 28, 2018.
More about this exhibit here.

Cannabis sativa by Ida Pemberton (1890-1963) CU’s Museum of Natural History collections. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Cafe Botanique, September 6, 6:30-8 p.m.: Water Quality and Abandoned Mines

(Animas River Mine Spill 2015)

Abandoned Mines Across the West: Impacts on Water Quality
Lauren Duncan, Abandoned Mine Restoration Manager, Trout Unlimited

Lauren Duncan describes the extent of abandoned mines across the west and in Colorado and talk about how they impact water quality.  She also describes Trout Unlimited’s Abandoned Mine Lands program and shares her knowledge on the progress to address the problems that are impacting the water condition. 

Founded in 1969, Colorado Trout Unlimited (TU) is the state’s leading non-profit, non-partisan organization providing a voice for Colorado’s rivers to protect, conserve and restore our waters.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Denver Botanic Gardens – Gates Hall

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

World Art Drop Day on September 5th - Please participate!

From our weekend entry level graphite class in the beginning of August. (Still in progress by Mary Chen Fowler.)

All artists, (that means students and professionals, painters and cartoonists, sculptors and illustrators, animators and fine artists, photographers and print makers; EVERYONE who creates) this September 5th* is World Art Drop Day. Wherever you find yourself that day, drop a piece of your art and tell someone where to find it. The world needs this right now. We need to feel a little more... 

If any of our readers within the BI-community like to participate and hide the art around The Gardens (remember, the hiding place needs to be accessible for the public), please email Erin Bird a photo of the work and a note about where you placed it. She will share your photos and clues to all Denver Botanic Gardens social media.

This is how one of the participating artists from previous years in Denver wrote:

Make art and hide it somewhere.
• Take a photo of either the art or the hiding spot or a combination of both.
• Post the image, the city you dropped it in, and a hint on any social media of your choice. Be sure to included the hashtag: #artdropday
• Then move on, hoping someone finds it OR hang around and meet your new friend.
That's it!

It can be a sketch, little painted canvas, fiber arts, a book and the list goes on. Please follow this link and learn more.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Solar eclipse August 21, 2017

(please click to enlarge)

Countless amazing photos were taken and at least one painting made last Monday when the total solar eclipse swept the continental USA. This was the first total solar eclipse path from west coast to east coast since 1918.

This plein air painting was done during the 2 min 30 sec total eclipse phase plus a couple of minutes afterward at the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Nebraska (Randy Raak, gouache on casein prepared art board).

Friday, August 18, 2017

Color with Pencil and Brush

Gala apple with its gamut by Deanna Gammon, colored pencil

One of our regularly repeating elective offerings is following James Gurney's book Color and Light and focusing on botanical subject matter. The students learn about limited color palettes and gamut mapping. This method is found to be effective and helpful in Botanical illustration. See more images from this class by clicking here.
During the summer we have also completed several other classes both in watercolor and colored pencil. You can see some random examples of them in the BI-Facebook album Color with Pencil and Brush.
 Watercolor by Karey Swan 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Lichens Discovered through Colored Pencils!

David Morrison's work in-progress and the subject matter to the left with some colored pencils

David Morrison is a professor of art at Herron School of Art and Design, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. We had a pleasure to enjoy his tutoring over the past weekend. The students were thrilled to learn new methods applied with colored pencils mixed with watercolor pencils.
You can see work from this workshop by clicking here.
For this work magnifiers were needed!