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

Monday, December 28, 2009


(strong roots – strong foundation – photo: MHjK)
New Year is the time to celebrate a new beginning – for the Botanical Art and Illustration Program the year of 2010 marks several remarkable changes which I’m happy to announce:
The Botanical Art and Illustration Program moves from the DBG's Education Department into the Exhibitions, Art and Library Collections’ Department. It has now been integrated into the Denver Botanic Gardens and is managed by a full-time DBG staff employee instead of a contracted position. To guarantee the future strong growth and sustainability, the Hurtt Family Botanical Art and Illustration Endowment was created through a generous gift.
Our 2010 courses start on January 12th. The see our course offerings for January and February, please click here for the Required Classes and here for the Elective Classes. Our classes fill very fast, please register in time.
To see the entry regarding our 20-yr anniversary exhibit in 2010, please click here.
(Camellia japonica by Kaye Hurtt)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Warmest wishes for the very best Holiday Season.

If you are desperately trying to find the perfect gift to someone special, please remember the BI classes, they are really perfect gifts for all seasons. ( January – June 2010 required selection is viewable here, and elective selection here. If you are new for the program, you might like to try our introductory classes. The whole DBG' Spring semester 2010 schedule is available here and our classes in El Charco are available here).
If you like to connect with Santa Claus, the direct link to his village is here, and you can also send the last minute letter here. Just remember that Santa leaves to deliver the Christmas Presents to the Finnish and other European kids in few hours (in the Christmas Eve).
(By request: recipes for
rutabaga casserole and Glögg can be found here).
Image by Rudolf Koivu (1890-1946)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Margaret Flockton Award 2010 - deadline February 5th 2010!

(Asparagus elephantinus by Sandra Burrows, 2009 First Prize of $5000)

The Margaret Flockton Award is annually sponsored by the Maple-Brown family and the Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, who aim to promote the appreciation and understanding of contemporary scientific botanical illustration. 2010 will the seventh year the award has run and it strengthens in quality and popularity every year.
It is named after the first illustrator of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, Margaret Flockton.
Entries are to be submitted by close of business, Friday 5th Feb 2010. We invite you all to submit one or two original scientific botanical illustrations for next years’ prizes: 1st prize - $5000, 2nd prize - $2000, plus three Highly Commended awards are presented. This is not an acquisitive prize and all artworks that are unsold are returned following the exhibition closure.
The 2009 exhibition was very successful with over 1400 people viewing the exhibition which contained 39 works produced by 27 artists from all around the world.

For all enquiries please email directly by clicking here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mrs Delany and Flora Delanica

(Aesculus hippocastanum by Mrs. Delany)
Mrs. Mary Delany was born in 1700 in Wiltshire, Coulston; shortly there after she moved with her parents to London. Already at the age of eight Mary was known of little birds and flowers skillfully cut from paper. Between the ages of 72 and 82 Mary Delany made 1000 beautiful pictures from tiny pieces of paper, ‘Flora Delanica’.
Currently Mrs. Delay’s life, world and works are explored in the
Yale Center for British Art in the exhibit Mrs. Delany and her Circle (until January 3rd, 2010). The exhibit is accompanied by a extended exhibit catalogue with the same name as the exhibit. There is also another biographical publication Mrs. Delany and her life and her flowers by Ruth Hayden which can be warmly recommended.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Botanical Illustration Certificate Program turns 20 yr old in 2010!!!

(Amaryllis - watercolor by Karen Cleaver, 2007 Botanical Illustration Graduate . NOTE: The illustration is NOT a show entry)
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Botanical Art & Illustration Certificate Program at Denver Botanic Gardens a significant juried exhibit will highlight Colorado’s diverse flora (April 10 – May 16, 2010 ; Opening reception on Sunday, April 18th, 2010, 1-3 p.m.). We will also produce a companion publication which will include process information on various media and techniques, highlighting especially the elements of training the Gardens’ program contributes to the field of Botanical Art and Illustration. This extended catalogue will serve as documentation of the exhibition of illustrated native plants, and it will also provide the introduction to the discipline of botanical art and illustration as it is taught at Denver Botanic Gardens. Our jurors are
Lesley Elkan, Botanical Illustrator, Royal Botanic Gardens Trust , Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Stephanie Schrader, Ph.D. Accociate Curator of Drawings at J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA.
Susan Spackman Panjabi, Senior Research Associate, Botanist, Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Ann Swan, SBA, Botanical Artist, UK
At the moment the jurors have received all the material for all the 58 exceptional entries in order to select out the best of the best . The final list of exhibitors will be available by January 4th , 2010.

Friday, December 11, 2009

El Charco in March 2010 – Capture the Cacti

(Pediocactus knowltonii by Susan Rubin)
We have only three seats left in the Succulent! Capturing Cacti in Colored Pencil - illustration class. If you like to experience El Charco and San Miguel de Allende in the peak blooming season in March please hurry:
Succulent! Capturing Cacti in Colored Pencil -
This is the first Botanical Illustration class in our series: EXLORE THE WORLD held in El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
More information and to register, please click here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rush in BI-Registrations -

Yesterday we probably set the all-time record for the registrations of the Botanical Illustration classes.
Since we only can take a limited number of students in each class (max. 15) it is really a wise idea to register early.
By now the BI-community should be aware of that DBG is using a new registration system and you as a student need to create a new account in order to get the member rate (if you are a member). The instructions how to create a new account can be viewed by clicking here, or the link immediately under the OF NOTE heading here on the right hand column.

…to enlighten your day, I have posted some of Marjorie’s sketches from San Miguel de Allende in the BI-Facebook – become a fan and get the updates automatically into your facebook/email account.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Winter - Spring 2010 Registration Starts!

Registration for January - June 2010 Botanical Illustration classes starts tomorrow, December 7th, 9 a.m.

Final Moments with some sketches by Karla Beatty

It's our last morning in San Miguel. Marj and I are up early and go for a brisk walk around the area. I see for the first time a beautiful park and a steep widing stairway that Marj had discovered during her long morning runs. We take some more photographs and try to fix some final impressions in our minds to sustain us until we can return. At the B and B we have a last luscious breakfast and I give a few final pats and hugs to the kitties and doggies. It's hard to leave San Miguel because of all our fond memories, it's hard to return to Denver only because of the frigid weather ahead. The flights are smooth, customs is easy, but as the plane taxis in I see the tarmac is very shiny, as if it is wet. Then I realize that it is full of icy patches and that's when it sinks in that I am back into Colorado climate. I'll miss the warmth and gentle rains of San Miguel. I'll miss the colorful colonial buildings and elaborate cathedrals. I'll miss the stone buildings, cobblestone streets and ornate wooden doorways leading into intriguing courtyards. But I'll keeo my wonderful memories, visions, photos, and sketches. I can relax now, knowing I will definitely return for more of the San Miguel/El Charco serenity and magic. ~ Karla ~

(This Karla's note concludes the letters from San Miguel and El Charco del Ingenio for this time - All the sketches in this entry are by Karla Beatty)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Botanical Illustration in El Charco - Next time in March 2010

Today was the last class for this session, and students seem so sad to have it end. They repeatedly ask "when are you coming back?" and "I hope I can take the next class." We have some eager new interest in botanical art! For me, it's hard to believe that this week is over. It went so fast.

This city, San Miguel de Allende, thrives as an artist's colony. There are many galleries, two full art schools, and now our botanical illustration classes. And every where you look there is art or sculpture, even along the streets. Most people walk here in San Miguel, in spite of the cobblestones and steep hills. There are always people about and it seems so safe to walk just about anywhere. And one thing that you notice immediately is that the streets are very clean all over. Today, in one day, I saw a woman take her broom into the middle of the street to sweep a couple of pieces of paper, a man sweeping up fallen leaves on a sidewalk, a shop owner pick up some small pieces of paper in the road in front of his store, and a man scrubbing the bricks on the corner of a building. Even in the festival plazas and open markets everything is neat and clean.
Our pioneers, Karla and Marjorie are back in Colorado today. Our program in El Charco del Ingenio in San Miguel de Allende continues in 2010 and the next set of classes is held in March. If you click the image here on the left you’ll be directed to our El Charco course program. Please note that one of the classes are Denver Botanic Gardens’ BI offerings with registration through DBG. Our registrations start Monday, December 5th – please remember, that before the online registration you'll need to create a new account (instructions for that can be found following the link on the right hand column under OF NOTE or by clicking here.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thai Chi in Posada

From Karla on Friday morning, before the last day of classes:
(Posada Corazon's peaceful gardens in September '09)
This morning I put on a warm sweater and went out into the beautiful garden in the back courtyard of the Posada Corazon. I found a quiet, peaceful spot and began my morning T'ai Chi routine. Well, my new buddies, the backyard watchdogs, began wrestling all around my legs, trying to get my attention. It was a little hard to focus and I thought I would not find the calm that I needed. But then as made my first turn back, I saw a little tiny land snail on the top back of a garden bench. As I did my T'ai Chi and turned in that direction I was able to watch that snail SLOWLY make its progress down the back of the bench. It was slow, it was calm, it was peaceful. Just what I needed to focus!
My practice over, I climbed the stairs back towards my room. And when I looked up there was a full morning moon in the sky. It was a great way to start the day. Later on we saw a hummingbird hovering and the black cat came to visit in the room. There's always something lovely happening here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It is almost over - but we'll return in 2010!

Thursday, December 3rd from Marjorie in San Miguel, Guanajuato, Mexico: Our time in San Miguel is nearly over - at least for now. We've had a great group of eager students who have shared their stories of living in San Miguel with us. We've learned of the influx of Americans as a result of the GI bill after World War II, the building of a vibrant and diverse art community; the meaning of the chalk "grafitti" on each and every door; of the locations of the art store, post office, and Bellas Artes; of the best places to run; of why to have exact change for the taxi drivers; of how, as in Italy, stores and restaurants are there one day and not the next (actually it's just that they "disappear" behind closed gates and doors!" It's been quite an experience and one that I'm anxious to return to.

The community is so relaxed eventhough the traffic can be grid-locked for an entire block! How is that possible? You'll just have to come see for yourself.

Karla and I have discovered some excellent little restaurants - in fact, we like one so much we've been there twice. I'm still trying to locate her favorite coffee spot - that's my challenge after class today.
I've looked and looked; it must be one of those "disappearing" locals. I've also found a nearby "Lavenderia" so that Susan will have a place to wash her clothes during her 2 week adventure.
Tomorrow we hope to get to the Aurora galleries. Fridays are open studio night. If not, we've seen alot of the local artwork - some good, some incredible and some "so-so".
I guess now we have to start thinking about what to wear on the plane home.
It's 65 degrees here and Denver's 18 degrees isn't sounding so comfortable. I think I could get pretty used to this weather!

Hasta luego a San Miguel de Allende.

(Photos in this entry by Marjorie Leggitt)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It can be cold and rainy in San Miguel too ~

El Charco's Dome = Education building
The students here all told me that it hardly ever rains in the winter. The days have been sunny and very warm. I brought sweaters, but no summer clothes, so I was kind of too warm on some days!
The sunlight just accents the colors--so many of the buildings are painted that vibrant yellow and red colors. And even the edges of the rooftops are colorful with flowering potted plants. Many plants flower year-round here, and the bougainvillea is flourishing everywhere in three different colors--violet, red, and peachy.
But guess what? Yesterday it was cold, dark, and rainy. The students and I had to dress warm and bundle up in the classroom. And because it is a round building with lots of big windows and a skylight, without the sun it seemed dark for us. But I'm sure that weather will not last and the rest of the week is supposed to go back to warm and sunny.
Many people walk here in San Miguel, in spite of the fact that it is all steep hills, winding roads, and uneven cobblestones everywhere. In fact I feel sorry for the people who are trying to drive here. Yesterday I explored a marketplace that sold native fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Most of the tables are watched by little elderly women in traditional Mexican dress. I buy a dozen things to draw in my class, such as tamarindos, tomatillos, and jalapenos, and then some avocados for lunch. There are many kinds of shops here and many good restaurants and cafes.
Hasta luego,

(I'm practicing saying my name with the long rolling Spanish "r".)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

..Greetings from Marjorie in San Miguel de Allende:

Tuesday morning while Karla is teaching:
It's hard not to like this place - eventhough it's considered "winter" and everyone is walking around bundled up in multiple layers, I am still wearing my skort and sandals - no one can understand how it is that I am not cold when it's 70 degrees!
I took a bunch of photos for Susan to show her all the cacti - she will not be at a lose!
My class went well yesterday - most of these women are painters and are really loving the drawing component of these first 2 classes. Perspective seems a little foreign to them but I feel that by the end of the day today they'll catch on. Indeed, these students are different from the students we have at DBG.

I've run now for 2 days and have seen some incredible sites - each little street takes you to a new surprize. Today I discovered a spectacular institute who's history goes back to 1760.
As Karla said in the blog, the doors, private gardens, and street vendors are so wonderful. But what I am also taking notice of is the extreme cleanliness of this town - everyone takes such pride in whatever they are doing and there is always someone sweep or scrubbing. In fact, in the park this morning, eventhough the men were on evey walkway brushing the fallen leaves into piles, they are there again today - sweeping up all the newly fallen leaves.
Also, the sounds of the town are beautiful - very harmonious with what else is around. Each morning the roosters crow ( a sound I haven't heard for years!!) starting around 6am if not earlier. The swish of the natural twig or homemade palm brooms. Drivers are very polite and I have yet to hear a horn honk. It is a town of calm and peace.
Everyone is friendly and helpful AND honest. Very refreshing.

Best, Marj
(Please, see the photos in BI-Facebook)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Greetings from San Miguel and El Charco - Karla's travel log

After the first day of classes, Monday November 30th:

Today's first class went really well. Eleven students, with the classroom arranged in a circle so we all can face each other.
The gardens at El Charco del Ingenio are a unique, high-desert environment. With a canyon, an old dammed reservoir, and the ruins of an old watermill, there is much to look at and enjoy in addition to the desert flora and fauna. Cacti and succulents are common here. And there are still wildflowers in blossom on the grounds and in the neighboring areas. There is a special place honoring the Dalai Lama's visit, during which he declared the Jardin Botanica El Charco a place of peace. And it is true that the "feel" of the grounds is peaceful and calm.
For tomorrow's class, I scoured the vegetable marketplace and bought local stock from a tiny, wrinkled old Mexican woman. I have tamarindos, tomatillos, and jalapenos for my class to have some fun with tomorrow. Pencils ready....more drawing ahead.

Saturday Night, November 28th after being in San Miguel for 6-8 hours:

We're here and it is so beautiful! We just came back from getting some dinner and walking around the area. Every street we walk down is fantastic, colorful old buildings, wooden doorways opening into intriguing courtyards, plants lining the tops of many of the buildings, and art work in unexpected places. It is a warm night, like summer, there are mariachi bands everywhere. There's a craft market around the jardin and many people out walking and enjoying the night. Posada Corazon is incredible. I could just spend all my time in their gardens and never leave the place. They are setting up for breakfast tonight and I look forward to tasting their food. I'll take your recommendations, but I might have to print it out so that I remember to ask for the latin names of the breakfast plants! So far I have met only one cat, big and friendly.

We'll be going up to Charco tomorrow morning to set up the classroom and collect some specimens for our classes to draw. At some point I plan to hike some of the trails there. Both Marj and I are planning to do sketching and painting while we're here in San Miguel. There are inspiring subjects every way you look.

(Please see the BI-Facebook pictures from San Miguel de Allende by clicking here, Posada Corazon by clicking here and El Charco photos by clicking here, pictures were taken in September 2009).

Beatrix Potter in V&A Museum, London

If you are in London, please visit the V&A Museum in South Kensington (Cromwell RoadLondon SW7 2RL, +44 (0)20 7942 2000). Right now they are hosting a charming exhibition that provides an insight of the world of Beatrix Potter, one of the greatest illustrators of the Victorian time.
'Gardens neatly razed': The Art of the Flopsy Bunnies is a collection of sketches and illustrations by Beatrix Potter for her story The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies. The exhibit includes scenes of the garden of Beartix’s uncle in Denbingshire, which she visited as a young woman and illustrations from the fictional garden belonging to Mr. McGregor.
The exhibit will be up in the Leighton, Room 102 until December 17th, 2009, admission is free.
Besides the exhibit the V&A Museum has an extensive collection of Beatrix Potters other works.
(In the image Sketch of flower borders by Beatrix Potter)

(Potted Fuchsia by Beatrix Potter 1903, Fredrick Warne & Co.)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to the BI-community!

(Illustration by Nance Minnick)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Botanical Illustration on Ebay

Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program has decided to sell art on EBAY. This is an interesting trial which might be the way to go in the future. You'll find the current listing here by clicking this link, or the link on the right hand column under OF NOTE.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The California Legacy of Albert R. Valentien

(Matilija Poppies, Albert Valentien (1862-1925) gouache and watercolor on paper, 24x19 ½ inches, Private Collection)

The Cincinnati-born Albert R. Valentien (1862-1925) was one one of the leading American art pottery decorators of his day. Albert was also awarded a Gold Medal for his decorations at the prestigious Universal Exposition in Paris (1900). In order to relax he started painting wildflowers and this passion for floral painting later led to a second career and much critical acclaim as a painter. In the spring of 1903 Albert produced a series of 130 detailed studies of the local flora in San Diego, CA. These studies are now part of the collection of the Cincinnati Art Museum.

In 1908 Albert accepted a commission from noted philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps to paint the entire California flora, which he estimated to be about 1,000 different plants. The Scripps commission would occupy ten years of Albert and Anna Valentien's lives, from 1908 to 1918. Anna, Albert’s wife collected and Albert painted every specimen of California plants and wildflowers they found. In the end, the series numbered just under 1,200 paintings, all produced on sheets of light grey-green 14” x 20” paper. The Valentien paintings of California flora are in the collection of the San Diego Natural History Museum.

Albert died in his home at 3905 Georgia Street, in San Diego, on August 5, 1925. Anna Marie Valentien who was a renowned pottery artist survived him by more than twenty years and died in San Diego on August 25, 1947, at the age of 85. Both Albert and Anna were prominent in the American Arts and Crafts movement.

[Plant Portraits, the California Legacy of A.R. Valentien by Margaret N. Dykens et al. (2003) is avalibale through the Irvine Museum].

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Only one more day of 2009 Miniature Show and Sale –

(Kaye Hurtt: Pink Vanda)

Even though we have sold a lot, there are still many, many outstanding pieces left for you to choose from.

(Frank Merrem: Ivy)

Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program gratefully acknowledges the following artists who have donated art for the 2009 Holiday Miniature Sale and Show:
Karla Beatty, Mary Clark, Bev Coogan,
Kathy Cranmer, Estelle DeRitter, Julie Fletcher,

Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski, Kaye Hurtt, Libby Kyer,
Frank Merrem, Wendy Peterson, Constance Sayas,
Sue Shoaff, Gai Swanson, Annie Reiser,
Cynthia Rothbard, Susan Rubin, Terese Trapani

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

From Pollo alla Cacciatora to Eggplant Parmesan

Michael Champbell's illustration for the Pollo alla Cacciatora recipe, the recipe text is still missing.

From time to time I post images from our Botanical Illustration classes. In the Illustrated recipe – class instructed by Marjorie Leggitt composition is a key to create an attractive, artistic recipe card.

Eggplant Parmesan recipe illlustration in process (by Judy Judy)
(Please click the images to enlarge)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Holiday Miniature Sale and Show

(Pink Vanda by Kaye Hurtt)

at Denver Botanic Gardens

November 19 - 20, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Mitchell Hall

Teachers and students of Denver Botanic Gardens’ Botanical Art and Illustration (B.I.) Program have donated work for this sale. All original art pieces (max 12”x12”) and Giclee prints are matted, and some are framed. Unique art cards, note cards and holiday cards made by our artists are also available.
All proceeds benefit the Botanical Illustration Program. Public support helps the Certificate Program to offer first-rate education for students in our program by allowing us to purchase needed teaching equipment. The funding will also enable us to invite overseas master illustrators to enrich our illustration program at the Gardens.
Reception and Pre-Sale
Wednesday, Nov. 18 , 5 – 7 p.m.
(Light refreshments served)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

WINTER - SPRING 2010 Course Catalogue is OUT!

A Botanical Illustration Certificate class is a perfect and long-lasting Holiday gift. We have 63 course offerings between January and June - there is something for everybody.
Some of the highlights for the Winter-Spring program include Ann Swan’s Colored Pencil guest workshop in March and our new series: Explore the World: you will be travelling to the beautiful and exciting San Miguel de Allende in Mexico for a colored pencil workshop at El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Gardens focusing in Succulents.
You can wiev, print or download the new catalogue by clicking teh image in the righ hand column or here (to download, please use the username: biprogram and password: student).
Registration for all classes in the new catalogue starts December 7th, 9 a.m.

Denver Botanic Gardens' Botanical Art and Illustration Program has partnered with the El Charco del Ingenio nature reserve and Botanical Garden in San Miguel de Allende to launch a new BI-program in El Charco. Illustration courses at El Charco qualify for credits in the Botanical Illustration Certificate program at Denver Botanic Gardens. You can wiev, print or download the 2009 - 2010 course program by clicking here (to download, please use the username: biprogram and password: student). You can also click on the El Charco logo in the right hand column.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Holiday Festival of Trees 2009 in Boulder

(Holiday ornament decorated by Linda Gersle)

The Botanical Illustration Program is participating in Festival of Trees 2009 in Boulder. BI-artists are painting Holiday themed glass ornaments to decorate our own Holiday Tree for the Annual Fundraising Event at the Stadium Club on the CU Boulder campus. This auction is a premiere community event in the Boulder area hosted by Meal on Wheals of Boulder and the Flatirons Rotary Club. All the proceeds benefit programs sponsored by these two organizations.
We still have few ornaments left in the Classroom C and waiting to be decorated . Please take the opportunity and participate in this fundraiser for an important cause. We need to get all the decorations done by December 1st. For questions, please contact Mervi.

(We use acrylic paint on the glass - Christmas cactus by Linda Gersle)

For more information about the event and to get advance tickets, please click here, link.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Small Works in Square Deal

Two artists from our program is participating in this show:
Frank Merrem and Susan Rubin
Opening Reception on November 13th 5 - 9 p.m.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Beauty and Bounty

(please, click the image to enlarge)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Only Five more Days Left for the Student and Instructor Show

(Image by Nance Minnick, 2009-graduate)
If you have not yet seen the Botanical Art and Illustration Student show in the Gates Garden Court please visit and enjoy. These 67 exceptional works are on display only for five more days.

The instructor show in El Pomar gallery will also be taken down on November 9th. (Image: Cecropia palmata by Constance Sayas)

Artists, please pick up your work on November 9th from the Exhibitions and Art Collections Department during the business hours.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Golden Age of Ornamental Penmanship in America

Golden Age of Ornamental Penmanship in America
by Dr. Joseph Vitolo
Friday, November 6th at Colorado College, Gates Common Room, Palmer Hall, 7 p.m.
(Reception to follow)

Dr. Joseph M. Vitolo is both a penmanship historian & a Calligrapher. He has spent extensive time and effort to rediscover and document the almost forgotten history and contributions of American Penmen/Calligraphers from ‘The Golden Age of Ornamental Penmanship’. Dr. Vitolo will explore this rich history as well as the remarkable men and women that contributed to it. In addition, a selection of remarkable original specimens dating from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s will be available for viewing.
Dr. Vitolo is the owner/webmaster for both, a site focusing on the history of this art form. An active member of The International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting (IAMPETH) he has published more than sixty articles on penmanship/script writing and lectures extensively around the country on topics ranging from science to dentistry to calligraphy. Dr. Vitolo is currently the director of both the Advanced Care Clinic and the Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency program at Marquette University Dental School in Milwaukee, WI.
The talk is free and open for public, it is organized by Summit Scribes Calligraphy Guild.
(Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program annually offers classes in Calligraphy, please see the preliminary Winter Spring 2010 program.)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Botanica Magnifica in Denver!

(Victoria Amazonica photograhed by Jonathan Singer, Botanica Magnifica, 2009)
Botanica Magnifica features two hundred and fifty stunning photographs by Hasselblad Laureate Award winner Jonathan Singer.
The original edition of Botanica Magnifica was limited to ten copies, the first of which was donated to the Smithsonian Institution and is kept in the Cullman Rare Book Room at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries. The original volume is hand bound in goatskin, hand sown by Kerstin Tini Miura, German master bookbinder who now has ateliers both in California and Japan.
The extra-large “double-elephant” format of this first edition was chosen in honor to the famous double-elephant folio of The Birds of America by Audubon. The original is said to be worth $2.5 million.
The trade edition, baby-elephant folio of Botanica Magnifica was recently released by Abbeville Press. The volume is, like the original, organized into five alphabetically arranged sections. Each pictured plant is accompanied by a clear description of its botany, geography, folklore, history, and conservation. The species included are rare plants, historically significant flowers, gold medal winners, newly discovered plants, and plants that are just beautiful.
Dr. Singer, a podioatrist by profession, is photographing all his specimens with Hasselblad camera on black background, in low light and he only takes one single shot for each entry. Dr. Singer was named a Hasselblad Laureate Award winner (May 2008) based on his contribution to fine art photography and to “our perception and appreciation of the botanical world”.
The authors for the book are John Kress, the Curator of Botany and Research Scientist at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution and Marc Hachadourian, the Acting Manager of the Nolen Greenhouses for the New York Botanical Garden.
Flowers Writ Large by Smithsonian Magazine, May 21, 2009

Denver Botanic Gardens is hosting a Botanica Magnifica presentation and book signing on November 7th, 10 a.m. – noon with Jonathan Singer and W. John Kress. The baby-elephant, presented in a collectors slipcase will sell at this event for pre-publication price of $135. The event is FREE for General Public. More detailed information, please click here.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fibonacci in Cafe Botanique

The Nature of Fibonacci Numbers

By Richard Yeatts, Ph.D., Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO
The sequence of numbers 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,..., wherein each number is the sum of the preceding two, is credited to Leonardo of Pisa (a.k.a. Fibonacci). The remarkable properties of these numbers and their progeny, the "golden" ratios, find application in nearly every field of human endeavor including art, music, economics, and geometry. In the life sciences, the numbers relate to such diverse subjects such as human anatomy, snail shells and the architecture of plants.

F. R. (Dick) Yeatts is a Professor Emeritus in Physics at the Colorado School of Mines. While employed, his research was mostly in geophysics. Since retiring, his interest is in mathematics and physics of plants.

Café Botanique is a part of the Botanical Art and Illustration Program and is open to everybody. The 30-40 minute talk starts at 6:30 p.m. and is followed by a discussion. Café Botanique meets every first and third Thursday of the month, each time with a different topic relating to Denver Botanic Gardens exhibits and Botanical Illustration classes. There is no admission fee and pre-registration is not required. This lecture offers one elective credit hour in the BI-program.

Thursday, November 5, 2009
Denver Botanic Gardens – Morrison Center
6:30 – 8 p.m.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

If you are in London go North

(photo: MHjK)

If you are in London, please visit the Kew Gardens. The Marianne North Gallery reopened October 8th after an extensive renovation. Marianne North Gallery is one of Britain’s most important galleries for botanical art containing 832 paintings produced by Marianne North during 13 years of travel around the world. Her painting style was quite unique: after a rough sketch with pen and ink she applied the pigment squeezed directly from the tubes. Apart from the gallery building itself also many of North’s paintings have been restored.
You can access the digital gallery of the 832 paintings here.
(Photo: MHjK)

SNOW HOTLINE 720-865-3620!

(DBG's conservatory February 3, 2007, photo: MHjK)
We are expecting our first major snow-event tonight, please call 720-865-3620 for the status of current classes at the Gardens.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Interesting Teaching Tools

(Maple Fan by Karla Beatty)

During the portfolio sharing at the recent ASBA meeting in Phoenix this Maple Fan was a source of interest and discussion.
Few of us had realized how easily we can create intriguing teaching tools. Having a Maple Fan as a value finder is certaily much more fun than the traditional boxes:
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Carolyn Crawford presents

Milkweeds Native to Colorado and Adjacent Areas
at Quintuple Day, the annual fall symposium for Rocky Mountain Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society
When: October 24, 10:30 – 11:30 p.m.
Where: Denver Botanic gardens, Gates Hall

Carolyn Crawford has managed to find, photograph, and illustrate all the native milkweeds of Colorado, plus a number of others from the West. Carolyn has illustrated the original descriptions of two new species of milkweed native to Mexico, described by Mark Fishbein and Mark Fishbein & Steve Lynch, and contributed the treatment for the milkweed family for the San Juan Basin Flora.
For the detailed Quintuple Day Program, please click here.

(Image: Cosmos by Carolyn Crawford)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Evolutionary Play in Cafe Botanique

An Evolutionary Play in the Ecological Theatre:Influences of Landscape and Climate Change on the Clan of the Parry primrose
By Tass Kelso, PhD, Colorado Collage, Colorado Springs, CO

The Parry primrose clan encompasses a group of species endemic to western North America from Colorado to Idaho and south into the Sierra Madre of Mexico. This talk will examine the diverse genetic and ecological perspectives we now have on the group, and how these support models of speciation on different time and geographic scales. Paleoecological, landscape and climate data show changes in the Rocky Mountain/Great Basin region since the Cretaceous that probably enhanced speciation through separation of populations on increasingly isolated alpine habitats. However, regional climatic and vegetation models for the future indicate that concerns about habitat loss, diminishing populations, and poor reproduction are warranted for many members of the clan.
Tass Kelso is a professor of biology at Colorado College, where she has been teaching botany since 1987. Her research specialties are the evolution, diversity and biogeography of the western flora, especially the Primulaceae.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Denver Botanic Gardens – GATES HALL
6:30 – 8 p.m.