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

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Café Botanique - Thursday, September 4 - Gates Hall

From Flowers to Total Work of Art:
Saarinen designs in textiles
By Susan Saarinen, SLA, Golden, CO

Loja Saarinen, wife of Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen, was an award winning sculptor when she met her husband. As a young woman, she had been trained in all the womanly arts of the day, cooking, sewing, weaving, dressmaking and embroidery. Upon her marriage to Eliel, at the time, one of the foremost architects in Finland, she gave up her sculpting career and devoted all her energies to furthering his. To this end she learned to design in many media, but textiles became her primary expression. She borrowed from her knowledge of traditional ryijy rug weaving and, working with her husband on designs, developed a modern expression of the old art, abstracting elements and working them into her tapestries and carpets.
Susan Saarinen, principal of Saarinen Landscape Architecture in Golden, is the daughter of architect Eero Saarinen, designer of the St. Louis Arch and grand-daughter of Eliel Saarinen. She grew up at Cranbrook, an intensely creative environment, where sculptor Carl Milles and ceramist Maija Grotell taught and where her godfather, Charles Eames, furniture designer Florence Knoll, weaver Jack Lenor-Larsen and sculptor Lily Swann, among others, met and developed their crafts. Susan is a landscape architect and an artist comfortable working in several media.

Thursday, September 4, 2008
Denver Botanic Gardens – Gates Hall
6:30 – 8 p.m.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Science as Foundation

In 2007 Botanical Art and Illustration Program contributed to a educational outreach program at NOAA (please see November 18th 2007).

The activity and poster are now available on-line. This exercise involving both illustrations and science is a part of the POET program (Protect Our Environmental Treasures) which is series of activities designed for middle and high school students.

With this contribution the Botanical Art and Illustration Program also earned the nomination for 2008 NOAA Environmental Hero Award.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Our Native Flora

(Calochortus obispoensis, Photo: MHjK)
California is home to 5,862 plant species, subspecies, and varieties of native plants. This figure is comparable to the species in all the other states combined! Of the total California plant population 2,153 species are endemic - only found in California. (In California ca 1,050 species of non-native plants can be found - most of these were introduced during the immigrations of the 18th-20th centuries.)
California Native Plant Society will organize a Conservation Conference in Sacramento in January 2009. As a part of the Conference a juried Botanical Art Competition and exhibit will be arranged. Please see the details here, and note that the first price is $750. Many of the native plants in Colorado are also native in California, check out the native plants and rare plants. Please considere participating, entry form and instruction for the entry are here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

If they were candies I would eat them all…

(Iris 'Ruth Porter Waring' by Patty McAuliffe)
The artists in the BI community made the impossible possible: in less than three months 57 artists completed their assignment and the results are just stunning. Botanical Art and Illustration project has completed the FLOURISH project and we are now waiting for the Denver Botanic Gardens’ 50 years on York street Anniversary book to be published.
Congratulations for all artists!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Deadline approaching!

(Carpinius caroliniana byKatherine McCrery)

The Annual Student Art Show - Highlights from the Botanical Art and Illustration Program - will hang from September 6 to November 4 (Call for entries and Entry form); the certificate awards ceremony and reception will be held on Sunday, October 5th 2008, 2-5 p.m. in the Gates Garden Court at Denver Botanic Gardens. Students and their families are cordially invited to attend.

Please Note that the entry form needs to be in tomorrow, August 20th! You can also email the information to the coordinator.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bring in a friend

(Yucca rostrata by Patricia Greenberg)
Recommend a friend to Pencil I and get 20% discount on one elective class in 2008. We offer two Pencil I in the fall: one in September-October and one weekend workshop in Oct 31- Nov 2. Please ask your friend to tell your name to the registrar.
(With only Pencil I, P. Greenberg produced the image above.)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Chinese Flower Painting in Denver

with Sally Yu Leung, San Francisco

The Chinese flowering chrysanthemum is a symbol of autumn and longevity -- it blooms when most flowers wither under the onslaught of frost and icy winds. Bamboo exemplifies integrity for it bends in the storm but does not break. In addition, its straight exterior and hollow culm, symbolizes humility and fidelity. In this class you learn to paint chrysanthemum and bamboo the Chinese way. You will also explore a number of Chinese characters that make up interesting sayings to go with the bamboo and chrysanthemum paintings. Writing Chinese characters not only gives insight into Chinese culture but can also be a relaxing and meditative practice for people of all ages to engage in.

Sally Yu Leung is an independent curator of Chinese decorative arts, collector, practicing calligrapher, and also a Commissioner at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. She has been a teacher of Chinese calligraphy and brush-painting at Pixar Studios for some years now. Last year she also presented in Café Botanique.
Only couple of seats left, for more information and to register...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mushrooms in Mitchell Hall

(Amanita by Alexander Viazmensky)
Mitchell Hall on Sunday, August 17 from 11 am to 5 pm.
Freshly collected mushrooms of amazing colors and shapes are brought in to the Fair where they are identified, admired, and put out for display. Edible, poisonous, and ecologically important mushrooms are found in all parts of Colorado, from the prairies to the tundra. Additionally there are booths featuring natural displays, cultivation of mushrooms, books, artwork, paper making, etc. Admission into Mitchell Hall is free once you are in the Gardens.
Re: Mushrooms, the Botanical Art and Illustration Program will have a master watercolor workshop on Mushrooms with Alexander Viazmensky from St. Petersburg, Russia in November 7-9, 2008. More information...
While visiting the Botanical Illustration Program Viazmensky will also talk about Russian mushroom hunting in Cafe Botanique.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Café Botanique with Betsy Neely

Arkansas Valley evening primrose by Susan Panjabi Colorado Natural Heritage Program

Colorado Rare Plant Conservation Initiative: Saving Colorado's Wildflowers
Betsy Neely, Senior Conservation Planner, The Nature Conservancy

The goal of the Rare Plant Conservation Initiative is to conserve Colorado’s most imperiled native plant species and their habitats through a collaborative partnership effort. Fifteen public and private partners have come together to take the conservation of native rare plants in Colorado to a new level by developing a statewide plant conservation strategy, prioritizing species, sites and conservation needs, securing on-the-ground protection for plant species and their habitats, and seeking state recognition and long-term funding for plants.
This project is funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, with additional support and match from the Colorado Native Plant Society, Colorado Natural Areas Program, Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Denver Botanic Gardens, and the Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust.

Betsy Neely is working on statewide conservation initiatives and regional scale conservation planning. She is facilitating the RPCI, working closely with the Colorado Natural Heritage Program and other partners.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Denver Botanic Gardens – Waring House
6:30 – 8 p.m.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Nature as Art – Art as Nature

[Karl Bossfeldt: Equisetum hiemale (magnified 12 times), E. maximum (magnified 4 times), E. hiemale (magnified 18 times). Photogravure, printed in 1928].
“The plant is to be seen as a wholly artistic-architectonic structure”
Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932) was one of the most significant photographers of the early 20th century. I’m sharing the general opinion that his work still has a key position in 21st century photography. He was a German sculptor, photographer and professor at the Academy of the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Berlin teaching “Live Plant Modelling”.
He used a home-made plate camera that he designed himself. This camera allowed him to greatly magnify the objects he was capturing, to up to 30 times their actual size. His photos were originally intended to be teaching material for his class and he devoted his life entirely for plants and the plant world. By 1932 he had made over 6000 photographs, most of them set up in the same way: an extreme close-up of a single plant.
Some of Karl Blossfeldt’s beautiful photo studies were published in Urformen der Kunst (Art Forms in Nature) 1928.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

One more chance in Denver ...

...for those who do not yet have

Today's Botanical Artist
Book Signing with Both Authors, Saturday 9 August, 2008 At the Willow Room, 1223 South Pearl Street, Denver, CO.
Meet Cora Marcus and LibbyKyer, authors of Today's Botanical Artists, see original art from the book, and purchase your own book for autograph at the Willow Room gallery during the South Pearl First Saturday celebration on the 9th. The authors will be there from 3 to 5 PM to talk to you about botanical art and share their passion for the genre with you.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Summer is almost over

Hard to believe that the summer has culminated for a month ago and schools are resuming in a week or two. Our classes at Denver Botanic Gardens are now on in the full force. Please note the required and electives course selection that we are offering, e.g., the Composition class starting this week is the only daytime composition class before Christmas. All the Material lists can be found on-line, and all the supplies found in KOZO, where you can get 20% discount if you are BI student.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Nine New Graduates!

(Assorted branches by Cynthia Rothbard)

Join me to congratulate the nine new graduates from the Botanical Art and Illustration Program: Mary Clark, Julie Fletcher, Barbara Flowers, Marlene Haviland, John Maske, Cynthia Rothbard, Joan Sommerfeld, Gai Swanson and Julie Ann Terry. Please follow the link to se the image gallery with selected works from the new graduates. We are impressed with the level of competence, and we instructors as well as Denver Botanic Gardens are thoroughly proud of you.

The Annual Student Art Show - Highlights from the Botanical Art and Illustration Program - will hang from September 6 to November 4 (Call for entries and Entry form); the certificate awards ceremony and reception will be held on Sunday, October 5th 2008, 2-5 p.m. in the Gates Garden Court at Denver Botanic Gardens. Students and their families are cordially invited to attend!