Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Alexander Marshal (c. 1620-1682) painted not to document scientific discoveries, not for publication nor for sale but for pleasure. A highly skilled, although self-taught artist, Alexander Marshal was a horticulturist and famed entomologist who believed the cultivation of plants was essential to the study of the natural world.
The Florilegium of Alexander Marshal (c.1620—82) has been part of the Royal Collection since the times of King George IV. The art is now included in the collections of the Royal Library at Windsor Castle containing 159 folios of exquisite water colors portraying more than 600 different plants, both native and exotic, together with meticulous studies of insects, birds and animals. It is the only surviving example of a flower-book painted by an English artist in the 17th century. This was also the first collection that was made for the pleasure of the eye and not for a herbal. Despite Marshal’s importance as an artist, no full-scale study of his work has ever been published.
The Florilegium of Alexander Marshal at Windsor Castle by Prudence Leith-Ross and Henrietta McBurney was published in 2000 showing the 159 folios beautifully reproduced as a full-page color plates.
Some of Marshal’s works were also included in Amazing Rare Things exhibition curated by David Attenborough. Those of us who saw that exhibit certainly noticed the fresh and bright colors in the art. Mr. Marshal experimented with different pigments extracting them from flowers, berries, roots and gums.
Quite recently the Viking Studia published a condensed version of "The Florilegium of Alexander Marshal" with the title Mr. Marshal’s Flower book containing 140 stunning illustrations and the abridged text from Prudence Leith-Ross and Henrietta McBurney book from 2000.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
James Gurney is an artist and author probably best known for his illustrated book series about Dinotopia. Dinotopia is the isolated island inhabited by shipwrecked humans and dinosaurs coexisting peacefully in the same society.
Less well-known might be the dozens of science fiction and fantasy paperback covers James Gurney has painted for works by authors such as Tim Powers and Alan Dean Foster, the background paintings he has done for the film industry, the stamps (World of Dinosaurs, released by USPS on May 1st 1997), and uncounted illustrations for "National Geographic" and other publications. Dinotopia has been translated at least into 18 languages.
James Gurney is coming to Denver Botanic Gardens on March 5th, 2009….more
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Brush with Gondwana is the first book celebrating the artistic achievements of the Botanical Artists’ Group of WA (BAG), Australia, established in 1992.
The book presents seven permanent members of the BAG: Rica Erickson, Pat Dundas, Ellen Hickman, Penny Leach, Philippa Nikulinsky, Margaret Pieroni and Katrina Syme. Each of them is given a chapter in which their ‘story’ is told and each chapter includes fourteen whole page illustrations from the respective artist. The book is undoubtedly convincing us once again of the fundamental link between botanical art and science.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Cardamom, Elettaria cardamomum, also known as Malabar or Ceylon cardamom grows wild in the Ghat Mountains of the Malabar Coast, southwestern India and on Sri Lanka. It is a perennial, up to 6 meters tall (~20 ft.) plant with flower stalk that is only a one meter high. The seedpod is a centimeter long capsule containing up to 20 seeds. The harvesting (the seedpods need to be harvested individually) and growing cardamom is very labor intense making Cardamom the second most expensive spice in the world.