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

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Raphael of Flowers

Parrot Tulips (detail) by Constance Sayas, Instructor
Hydrangea macrophylla by Kathy Cranmer

A number of BI students with their instructor display Redouté inspired Botanical art in the Connors Family Exhibit Case in the Gates Garden Court (Denver Botanic Gardens) with original Redouté pieces from the Helen Fowler Library’s collection. Student art is from the class: Drawing on Tradition: Pierre-Joseph Redouté (January 2007). Please visit and enjoy.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Stone Carving Workshops

Not only you can see the beautiful stone artwork from Zimbabwe at Denver Botanic Gardens, the Gardens and Chapungu offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study and work with Chapungu’s master stone sculptors from Zimbabwe, some of whom are considered to be among the world’s greatest living sculptors. In this workshop you will be provided with your own stone-carving tools, and will receive training from two on-site Chapungu artists who will help you create your own sculptural masterpiece. Lunch each day will be on your own, and bring your own snacks. The workshops will be held outside, either under a tent or under trees, depending on the weather and space, so dress for the weather. All workshops are held Tuesday –Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call Shirley at 720.865.3580 to register.
Today was the third day Anna Russo was working with her stone (opal) and forming it to a beautiful face.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Last week I spent three very warm days at the GNSI (Guild of Natural Science Illustrators) annual conference in Bozeman, Montana. It didn’t matter if it was a lecture, demonstration of different techniques, or a panel discussion - all parts of the program were very well organized, interesting and informative - from the early morning to the late night. I just wished that I had been able to be in two sometimes three locations at the same time and listen to the parallel sessions.
I warmly recommend the membership in the Guild.
You might also consider posting your portfolio in, where you can post 70 images for $189 / year if you are a GNSI, AMI or IAAA member. For further information about the Science-art services and membership, please click here.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Instructors' Art Show

Rosa 'Clair Renaissance' with Hydrangea by Constance Sayas

Please visit Gates Garden Court at Denver Botanic Gardens and enjoy the display of botanical illustrations and paintings by the talented BI instructors in the Gardens' certificate program. The works of our seven instructors will hang there until August 31.

(Four of the Seven)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cafe Botanique, Thursday 19th

Legs, Wings and Other Parts – How Are They Used in the Insect Taxonomy ?
By David Ruiter

Given the recent interest in insect illustration, a summary of the obvious insect parts is presented to assist the artist with both an understanding of the parts and their relationship to each other. Photos and illustrations of a variety of insect anatomy is provided.
David Ruiter has been involved in insect taxonomy, with a particular focus on the caddisflies (Insecta: Trichoptera), for over 30 years.
Denver Botanic Gardens - Gates Hall, 6:30-8p.m.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Hard to believe...

Schools are starting soon…. BI program has also several required and elective classes starting in August. Please, take an advantage from the elective offerings – e.g., there is a vide variety of heirlooms in the garden to be used as a drawing object. These vegetables are not necessarily available during the other seasons and in the supermarket.

Have you ever hear about Bacteriography – the painting with bacteria? This technique has years been practiced at the Center of Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University, Bozeman, MO.

(image source: CBE News Update, Volume 6, Issue 3-4)

A true combination of Art and Science.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Coptic binding for a Journal

One-day workshop on Friday, July 20th will introduce the BI-students to one of the earliest known, multi-sectioned, unsupported sewn structures for bookbinding. Coptic binding was developed in the 4th century A.D. in Egypt. The chain stitch used to attach signatures to each other had its roots in carpet weaving. Contemporary bookbinders often refer to any non-adhesive bookbinding in which unsupported stitching across the signatures is laced directly into the covers as a "Coptic Binding." The spine of a Coptic book is particularly attractive and you can open the book to a full 360° or lay it completely flat without risk of damage to the spine.
We will make a travel/field journal with four-needle Coptic sewn.
Because of the great demand for this workshop we increased the number of seats to 20, thus if you hurry you might be able to get your seat. For registration call 720-8653580 or register online.

Of the same reason we also increased the number of seats for “The art of Keeping a Nature Journal” to 20. This nature journaling class will be held July 21-22.

The National Guild of Bookworkers gives you more information about the book arts. In this context the link for the National Association for the Calligraphic Arts is very relevant. There is also a local Colorado Calligraphers Guild.
(In the image a book with Coptic binding designed by Susan Jon Share)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Café Botanique - Thursday, July 5

Chemical Arms Race in Colorado: Beetles Versus Bergamot

By Kenneth Keefover-Ring, MA, EBIO, University of Colorado at Boulder

Plants and insects are locked in a chemical arms race, where plants produce chemicals to protect themselves but some insects develop the ability to tolerate these compounds and take advantage of plants. Both larvae and adults of the tortoise beetle feed exclusively on wild bergamot. The tortoise beetle larvae protect themselves by maintaining a fecal shield on a fork-like structure containing plant essential oils. While experimental results show that the beetle may be winning the arms race, the plant may also be influencing the beetle's evolution. Some plant chemicals may decrease beetle performance and the increased amount of essential oil volatiles released when beetles feed may attract more pollinators and natural enemies of the beetle.

Kenneth Keefover-Ring decided to use his chemical skills and love of natural history to study chemical ecology after a thirteen-year career as a chemist in corporate America. He specializes in plant species in the mint family that produce different essential oils and how these different compounds mediate interactions between the plant and its herbivores, pollinators and even other plants.

Open for Everybody
There is no admission fee and pre-registration is not required. Refreshments will be provided!

Time and Place: Denver Botanic Gardens, Gates Hall, 6:30-8 p.m.