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

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"To preserve and protect the history, heritage and horticulture..."

Rosa alba (Graphite) by Trudy Sauter

Denver Botanic gardens BI-program is supporting the mission of the Fairmount Heritage Foundation by documenting the historical roses in Denver’s oldest cemetery. Last summer’s class will produce a poster to benefit both the Fairmount Heritage Foundation and the BI program. The roses for the poster are illustrated by Melissa Martin and Trudy Sauter. We will continue documenting the roses in June 2008. Congratulations Melissa and Trudy! The winners also got a one year free membership in the Heritage Rose Foundation.

'Alice Flores' Purple Hyprid China' (Colored Pencil) by Melissa L. Martin

An Extra Day

(Rosa damscena by Caroline Hanna)

Use the leap day wisely and study the BI courses starting in March: Required selection and Electives. Please do not forget about the Open Studio every Thursday (registration in class).
Judging of the artwork for
American Rose Society Spring National Convention and Rose Show poster as well as for the Fairmont Heritage Foundation poster will happen during this week!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

You wanted to do this but didn’t know how

There’s more to winter than snow!
Field sketching and specimen drawing in a studio setting are different skills. Bring the freedom of field sketching to the winter environment and enjoy drawing with techniques that let you see the composition in the landscape and translate it to paper with speed and confidence.

This is a weekend class, Friday through Sunday (February 29 - March 2, 2008).
Secure your seat in the Winter Sketching class (#08WBI500) by calling 720-865-3580. You can also register online.
(Sketches by Marjorie Leggitt)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Café Botanique - Power of Desire

Did you realize how much the spices have formed our society –

The Power of Desire: A Short History of Asian Spices
By Thomas J. Lemieux

Fortunes were made and lost on Asian spices, notably cinnamon and nutmeg. Manhattan Island (New Amsterdam), perhaps now one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in the world, was traded away by the Dutch in a spice deal. Venezia became rich on Asian spices, notably black pepper. The condiments which now so commonly flavor our many basic and ethnic dishes were once rare enough that many were willing to risk their lives and livelihoods for a piece of the fortune.
Tom Lemieux is manager of the greenhouses for the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at CU Boulder. Tom used to teach courses in horticulture and in economic botany but now spends his time trying to grow strange and wonderful members of the plant kingdom.

Thursday, February 21, 2008
Denver Botanic Gardens – Morrison Center
6:30 – 8 p.m.
(No pre-registration needed)

13 months later….

The Botanical illustration blog is now 13 months old, viewed by over 12’000 visitors from 81 different countries. 385 of you have returned 201 + times, and 517 of you between 100 and 201 times.

The numbers are very encouraging. It is rewarding to see how the image of our program is spreading worldwide. Denver Botanic Gardens and its educational programs are truly unique in many ways.

Denver Botanic Gardens has also launched its own blog: or that you are welcome to visit.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New Graduates!

(Summer's delight by Ann Reiser)

Join me in congratulating the new graduates from the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program:
Eleanor von Bargen, Charlotte Bucher, Beth Lovold, Stephanie Mokris, Ann Reiser, Peggy Turchette and Leaan Williams.
All the instructors are impressed with the level of your competence, and Denver Botanic Gardens is very proud of you.
I hope that you continue participating in our program and wish you all the luck and success in the future.
(Please check the link “
2008 Graduates” on the right column for the online gallery.)


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Index Seminum Cover Art Competition 2008

Fallugia paradoxia by Colleen Hillmeyer
The entries for the competition were many and the quality of art was outstanding.

…the unanimous winner was Colleen Hillmeyer – CONGRATULATIONS!
graduated from our BI-certificate program in 2007.

We also agreed to place three other entries inside the Denver Botanic Gardens' Index Seminum 2008 (please click here).

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Painted over 400 years ago...

BI students carefully studied the beautiful colors and the exquisite technique in the flower paintings which Merian created in the late 1600’s.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Café Botanique - Thursday, February 7

From Field to The Studio
By Mark Klingler

Mark A. Klingler is an award-winning scientific illustrator at Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, PA, where his job involves bringing fossil animals to life in vibrant reconstructions. His ability to recreate lifelike environments for long-extinct creatures comes from his passion for (modern) wildlife and nature conservation. From Field to Studio is an entertaining tour through some of Mark's favorite projects - whether the critters are extinct or still with us - as he shows how his love for wild spaces is channeled into lively works of art. Mark will also share images from the highly popular Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City, for which he created over 130 watercolor illustrations of plant and animal species commonly found in New York City.
A Book signing will follow the lecture.

Thursday, February 7, 2008
Denver Botanic Gardens – Morrison Center
6:30 – 8 p.m.

Spices and Culture

Spices have played a dramatic role in the development of Western civilization. Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, UCLA had a beautiful exhibit Spices – exotic flavors and medicines for some years ago (beautiful site and lots of information).
Denver Botanic Gardens’ Botanical Art and Illustration Program offers special course on spice plants Dangerous Tastes to illustrate a publication (course start on February 11). Some seats are still available. To guarantee your spot please call 720-865-380 or register online.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Names and money

Six plants, nine butterflies and two beetles got their names after Maria Sibylla Merian (1647 – 1717).
When she was 22, she published her first book: Wonderful Metamorphosis and Special Nourishment of Caterpillars on silk-spinning caterpillars. Two years later, she published a second book -- A Study of New Flowers. Her
Metamorphosis insectorum surinamensium (1705) was the first publication on tropical butterflies and also the first description of the fauna and flora in Surinam (Dutch Guiana).
Arader Gallery is presenting some of her original paintings (from late 1600’s) in our classroom on Friday, February 8, 10 a.m. To see them you need to register for the workshop (#420) :)

(500 Deutsche Mark bill with Maria Sibylla Merian's portrait )