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

Monday, June 30, 2008

While I'm gone...

(Brandywine tomatoes by Michael Campbell)

The Heirloom plants exhibit will open in the Conors' exhibit case at Denver Botanic Gardens.

The heirloom species have gained the attention of plant breeders because they often contain genes not found in commercial varieties that generally have a narrow genetic base. The perpetuation of heirloom seed plays a significant part in maintaining the biodiversity of our planet.The best of the heirlooms taste wonderful, look beautiful, and are easy to grow. For example there are over 1,200 varieties of heirloom tomatoes alone have been documented and preserved, and they are the jewel box of the garden.

The blog(er) will be back in a couple of weeks.

Enjoy the beautiful summer.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mother and Daughters

Maria Sibylla Merian & Daughters in J. Paul Getty Museum, LA until August 31.

Most of these masterpieces have not been previously exhibited in United States; 52 watercolors and 28 rare volumes of Merian’s published work including the
Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium are on display in four galleries. Read more about Maria Sibylla Merian & Daughters: Women of Art and Science.

Getty Museum is beautifully located and it is easy to access. There is no entrance fee (parking is $8 dollars), while checking the directions and opening hours, please note that the museum IS closed on Mondays.

(on the left: Wooly-haired Megalopygio Caterpiller from Metamorphosis)

(Please see also the earlier blog entry about this exhibit in the Netherlands)

From the exhibit catalog: With a single hair of the brush, Maria Sibylla Merian could convey the delicate wings of a butterfly, the minute bristles on a caterpillar, or a gleaming pupa with the insect just emerging. No other artist of her day could rival the brilliance and accuracy of her work (Ella Reitsma).

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Midsummer – the Magic Feast of Light

(The midsummer night with the sun high on the sky)

At midsummer, the people in the Nordic countries celebrate the lightest time of the year and the proper start of summer season. Although an ancient feast, midsummer is still an important national festival in Finland, as well as in Sweden and Norway. Read more …
Please read about the midsummer decorations, magic traditions and food. We eat herring (seven different types at least) and new potatoes with dill, and summers' first strawberries ...People do drink a lot and not just water.

(If any of you like to get the starter bacteria culture for the Finnish curd milk, please let me know – I make viili regularly and eat it every morning for breakfast).

And remember your dreams could come true by sleeping on midsummer night with seven different flowers placed under your pillow…also remember that you need to be silent after the flowers are picked, otherwise the spell is broken.

Midsummer celebration in Sweden is very similar to that in Finland.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

TBA at Ursus Books and Prints

Today’s Botanical Artists
An Exhibition of Original Botanical Works
June 9 – August 1, 2008
Ursus Books and Prints' current exhibition is featuring thirty-seven works from twenty-four of the artists featured in Schiffer Books' publication of the same title.
Ursus Books and Prints are located at: 981 Madison Avenue in the Carlyle,
New York, New York 10075

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A Close Look at Cactus

Steve Buchanan, 2007)

The Art Institute at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum will feature drawings and paintings of cactus and succulents in the Ironwood Gallery. This exhibit is in cooperation with The Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society as they host the biennial convention of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America in April 2009. Call for Entries (to download please use the Login: biprogram; password: student)

Friday, June 6, 2008

"I Do here most humbly...

...lay this small Present at Your Majesties Royal feet." That is how Richard Hooke's dedication to King Charles II begins in Micrographia (published 1665 in London).
Robert Hooke, (1635 – 1703) was an English natural philosopher who played an important role in the scientific revolution.
He is considered "the father of microscopy" because of his book Micrographia — Hooke also coined the term "cell" to describe the basic unit of life, further he is known for the Hooke’s law (law of elasticity).
As a youth, Robert Hooke was fascinated by observation and drawing, interests that would be pursued in various ways throughout his life. He learned to draw, making his own materials from coal, chalk and ruddle (a red earthy hematite used as a pigment).
(Image above: Hooke's microscope)

(Poppy seeds and seeds of Thyme, illustrated by Robert Hooke, 1665)
In this book Hooke describes minute bodies, such as point of a sharp small needle (observ. 1), different textiles (observ. 3,4,5), he studied colors (observ. 9, 10), Cork – discovery of Cells (observ. 18), moss (observ. 21), nettles (observ. 25), seeds (observ. 28-30) etc.
This is the first microscopic documentation of seeds, you can read more here... (two chapters copied from Micrographia)
You can read the whole Micrographia as an e-book published now by The Project Guttenberg. Scroll all the way to the end and you can see the fantastic illustrations. The descriptions are equally fantastic, after the first sentence you don't want to miss a word.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Café Botanique - WEDNESDAY, June 4 - Morrison Center

Celastraceae and Friends from Madagascar

By Mark P. Simmons, Ph.D., Colorado State University, Fort Collins

Mark Simmons will give a general-interest presentation on his two-month plant collecting trip to Madagascar in December 2006 - January 2007. The talk will include: geological history of Madagascar, human history of Madagascar, Madagascar today, overview of flora and fauna, capital - Antananarivo, collecting overview and vegetation in regions visited. Mark will also give a quick tour of just what it means to be stuck in the mud in Madagascar during the rainy season.

Dr. Mark Simmons is currently Associate Professor and Curator of the herbarium at CSU’s Biology Department, Fort Collins.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Denver Botanic Gardens – Morrison Center
6:30 – 8 p.m.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Registration starts on Monday June 2, 9 a.m.

Time to start planning for the second part of the summer and fall. You can find all the classes by following the links on the right hand column: BI Certificate Courses – July – December 2008.

(Click on the image to enlarge)

You can also print the catalog from several links on the right or by clicking here (place your mouse on iPaper and you’ll find the ‘print’).

(Click on the image to enlarge)

If you prefer saving the catalog in your computer, use username: biprogram and password: student.
Many of the materials lists are already linked to the course numbers and/or course titles.