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

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Congratulations - You earned it!

(Gouache plate by Terry Diesburg)
Join me to congratulate the six new graduates from the Botanical Illustration Program. Each of them has completed all the 13 required BI courses and have attended at least in 100 elective class hours. Yesterday, January 30th their portfolios were reviewed and Teresa Burkert, Wanda Clasen, Terry Diesburg, Kathy Lux, Katie Nichols and Janet Warren have earned the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate of Completion. Please follow the link to se the image gallery with selected works from the new graduates.
We are truly impressed with the level of competence, and we instructors as well as Denver Botanic Gardens are proud of you.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Title and Cover Revealed

Click here to view and print the article published in Rocky Mountain News on Monday, January 19, 2009 (to download the article use username: biprogram, password: student).

Café Botanique - Thursday, February 5th - Morrison Center

How Local is Local?
Adaptation, Speciation and Conservation
By John McKay, Ph.D., Colorado State University
In plant conservation, restoration (the augmentation or re-establishment of an extinct population) is a valuable tool to mitigate the loss of habitat. However, restoration efforts can result in the introduction of novel genes and genotypes into populations when plant materials used are not of local origin. The study of adaptation and speciation in plants will be reviewed, and how this can inform conservation efforts will be discussed.

Dr. McKay is currently an assistant professor of Plant Evolutionary Genetics at Colorado State University. His research uses genomic approaches to elucidate evolutionary and molecular mechanisms underlying plant adaptation and acclimation, including traits relevant to Colorado agriculture. His dissertation work focused on the conservation of adaptive genetic variation.

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

Monday, January 26, 2009

While the days are getting longer...

(Yucca harrimaniae by Heidi Snyder)

It is time to look closer at the the BI programs course offerings for February and March. Please register in time – the classes are filling up fast.
On February 29th we are celebrating 50 Years at York Street and our invaluable contribution to the Garden’s forthcoming publication, Flourish: A Visionary Garden in the American West (Gates Garden Court, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.) Please view the art included in the publication here:
Graphite plates, Pen and Ink plates and Color plates. The Flourish exhibit will be up through March 1st.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Three Buds

Constance, Julie and Carol are all graduates of the Botanical Art and Illustration program at Denver Botanic gardens. Constance Sayas is one of our outstanding instructors.

Natural Resolutions -

Patricia Branstead is the owner of KOZO Fine Art Materials in Denver.
Kozo Fine Art materials (10 E. Ellsworth Ave, Denver) has a 20% discount for Botanical Illustration Program participants with proof of registration. Bring your registration confirmation letter from the Botanic Gardens.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Aristocrats of the wild plants –

Orchids belong to the largest plant family on the earth with at least 880 genera and ~22,000 species (Kew Gardens). Rumphius (1627-1702) was the founder of Indonesian botanical exploration and the first to describe tropical orchids in a western language in his Ambonese Herbal. In Rumphius’ Orchids these thirty six detailed descriptions have been translated in English.
In the nineteenth century Orchid fever, orchidelirium, began in Europe. This phenomen was comparable with the Dutch tulipomania.

Smithsonian Natural Museum of Natural History will display orchids in their next exhibit commemorating Charles Darwing’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of “On the origin of Species” (January 24 - April 26).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Flourish - 'A Testament to a Magical Moment...'

Denver Botanic Gardens is celebrating its 50th anniversary at the York Street location by publishing a book , FLOURISH, that highlights plants and people which are important to the history of the Gardens.

Twenty-five original illustrations from the forthcoming publication entitled Flourish (edited by Panayoti Kelaidis) are presented with excerpts from the book and related photographs. (Read more about the project and the exhibit by clicking here.)
This exhibit beautifully demonstrates Denver Botanic Gardens' educational, aesthetical and informational roll in the community

(Illustration by Jill Moring)

(Illustration by Constance Sayas)
(Gates Garden Court, Denver Botanic Gardens through March 1.)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

May I introduce Bivi, the HerBivore…

For a number of years ago Botanical illustration program offered a class "Painting the Botanical Mural”. With Libby Kyer’s professional instruction the students learned how to make models, how to research for appropriate plants, how to simplify the botanical illustration for a mural and how to work on fiberglass. After hundreds of hours (13 students x 15 hours, plus over two weeks additional painting time) stegosaurus Bivi was ready to spend 6 months in the Children’s Garden at Denver Botanic Gardens. She was then moved to Dinosaur Ridge in Morrison, CO close to her ancestors.
At that time Bivi was not properly mounted to withstand the high winds at Dinosaur Ridge and she got badly damaged in one of Colorado’s ‘tropical’ storms. Once again Libby and her students worked on Bivi and repaired her after her 200 ft flight and jump over the museum building.

I met Bivi for a couple of days ago; she is now well anchored and with her 5 other Stegosaurus friends she welcomes the visitors to Dinosaur Ridge that is named Morrison Fossil Area National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service.

Bivi has lost some of her beautiful paint during these six years, but she is still absolutely striking.
(Bivi was created as a joint project between Denver Botanic Gardens BI-Program, Dinosaur Ridge, and with a personal grant awarded to Libby Kyer.)
(Please click the images to enlarge them)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Capture and convey the beauty…

[Encyclia mariae by Annie Reiser; the image (please click to enlarge) does not have anything to do with the Orchids' article referred below.]
Orchids, the Magazine of the American Orchid Society typically has an article about Botanical Illustration or Botanical Art in each of its 12 yearly issues. A couple of years ago David Horak, the curator of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s orchid collection published an extensive article An Eye for Detail about how orchid art show is selected and evaluated.
Read more by clicking here. [The article (17 pages, 12.3 MB) can be downloaded or printed by using the username: biprogram and password: student]

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Diversity of the Colorado Plains in Café Botanique

Thoughts of Plains Plants in Colorado
By Roy Roath, Ph.D., Colorado State University

The plains of Colorado are often overlooked in terms of their richness and variety of plants that all play important roles in prairie ecosystems.
Each area of the state of Eastern Colorado and each soil type within those areas have unique plants and plant communities. The base concept is that the soils and the climate will determine the potential plants and communities. The conditions in these Ecological Sites will determine the kinds and diversity of plants present. The relationships among plants and why grasses, forbs and shrubs are all part of the prairie ecosystem is also discussed.
Dynamics are critical to the prairie function. What has happened recently and how has it affected the prairie?

Dr. Roy Roath is an Extension Range Specialist at Colorado State University. He has published over 200 research and management articles. Dr Roath is directly involved with 15 Coordinated Resource Managements (CRM) across Colorado. He is also actively involved in Colorado Open Space resource planning.

Thursday, January 15, 2009
Denver Botanic Gardens – Morrison Center
6:30 – 8 p.m.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Seeing into the future …

In the New Years Eve we all like to review the past year and also would like to foretell the future. In Finland the most popular magic trick for this is the casting of the tin.

This time the tin really could tell what we will see in a few months – dinosaurs: Next year’s feature exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens will be the Jurassic Gardens: Evolution & Extinction. –

Happy, Productive New Year 2009.

Take a moment and browse through the Botanical Art and Illustration course offerings for January and February: Both the required and elective courses give you a wide variety of choices, not only during the daytime, but also in the evening slots for those who are working during the regular office hours. Please register in time – the seats are going fast.

Also keep in mind the Annual Idex Seminum competition - entries are due in the end of January (more information).
Next portfolio review for graduation in 2009 is on January 30th. Portfolios must be turned in by January 26th.