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

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Registration Starts on June 1st!

Registration for July - December 2009 courses starts on Monday, June 1st, 9 a.m. You can find the complete catalog here, link; or the siplified skeleton here, link. Materials lists for the second semester of the year are all updated and available here, link.
If you download the catalog into your own computert, please use username: bistudent; password: student.
For the registration, pelase use any of the five ways to register listed here below:

1. By telephone: 720-865-3580
2. By fax: 720-865-3685 (24 hours)
3. In person: Visit the education office at the gardens, 1005 York Street, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday – Friday
4. By mail: Attention: Registration Coordinator, 909 York Street, Denver, CO 80206
5. Online:

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Building Beauty - Petals, Scents and Hue -

Science for Saturday: please click here

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cindy Nelson Nold

It is with great sadness to announce that Cindy Nelson Nold passed away early Sunday morning. She was an artist of enormous talent not only with watercolors, but with everything she touched.
There will be a commemoration of Cindy's life in the tent pavilion in the All American Selection's garden just west of the amphitheatre in the heart of Denver Botanic Gardens this Thursday, May 28 at 4:00 PM. Entrance to the gardens for those who attend will be gratis.

Friday, May 22, 2009

RARE in Colorado - RARE in UK

Ten endangered plants in UK are illustrated in the new first class stamps issued by the Royal Mail on May 19th. These stamps are in the series Action for Species. 

One of the ten rare species portrayed is Cypripedioum calceolus, Lady’s Slipper Orchid.

To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew four stamps was issued on the same date. Kew has a lead role in conserving biodiversity through its scientific and conservation work.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Quantum Theories in Café Botanique!


The Science of Plant Color –

Quantum Mechanisms in Color Layering

By Patricia Koemel, Texas Tech University

Patricia Koemel presents her current research in color theory, which assists in the selection of color in the colored pencil layering process and reconstructs an accurate hue of the plant specimen in botanical illustration. This very interesting, new physiological color theory combines artistic color theory with ideas from quantum mechanics, quantum electrodynamics, biology, bio-physiology, and bio-chemistry, and finally mathematically reconstructs physiological color from primary plant pigment absorption wavelengths.

Patricia Koemel is a botanical Illustrator and currently in the Fine Arts Doctoral Program at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Her research on Quantum Color Theory has resulted in an innovative, advanced color theory that proposes a methodological process for building and layering color in order to construct realistic hues in scientific illustration.  

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. Refreshments will be provided! This lecture offers one elective credit hour in the BI-program.

Thursday, May 21, 2009, Denver Botanic Gardens – Morrison Center, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Baron Alexander von Humboldt – The Last Man Who Knew Everything

Alexander von Humboldt is widely respected as one of the founders of modern geography and biogeography. He was a great explorer and collected exhaustive data in the areas of geomagnetism, meteorology, climatology, geology, mineralogy, oceanography, zoology, botany, ethnography, physiology, and linguistics! Humboldt was the first to note the relation between the earth's magnetic intensity and the aurora borealis.

In 1799 Humboldt started his South American expedition with French botanist Aimé Bonpland and during five years documented some 4,300 species. Alexander von Humboldt had only one six-week stay in the United States during his lifetime, as a guest of President Thomas Jefferson in Washington, at the time of Lewis and Clark expedition. He documented his explorations in a massive 34 volume work that remained unfinished at his death.


Humboldt was born 1769 in Berlin, Germany – he died 1859.

To coincide with the 150th anniversary of Humboldt’s death Prestel International is publishing never-before-seen botanical masterpieces from the material collected during Alexander von Humboldt’s historic expedition to the Americas and Cuba. Internationally renowned botanist H. Walter Lack lends his expertise to a fascinating essay that discusses Humboldt’s significant contributions to the world of botany and scientific research.

'He was the greatest travelling scientist who ever lived ... I have always admired him; now I worship him.' -Charles Darwin

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Illustrator Exercises á la Renee Jorgensen

Please click the You Tube image in the right hand column or the link here to access the YouTube video and Renee's recommendations and tips for exercises. Revive and refresh your tense body: your shoulders, arms and fingers and be ready for another creative session at your drawing table. Renee Jorgensen is one of our excellent Botanical Illustration instructors.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Time for Tomatoes

(Hoefnagel, Nature Illuminated, plate 102)

Tomatoes originate in the Andes in South America, where they grow wild  in what is now Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador. They were first cultivated by the Aztecs and Incas as early as 700 AD. Following the conquest of Mexico by Hernán Cortés in 1519, tomatoes were introduced into Spain
The earliest record of the Plate de Haiti Tomatoe is a botanical drawing in Kondrad Gessner’s Historia Plantarum (1561). Joris Hoefnagel’s tomato illustration is from around 1590 and certainly also one of the earliest ones (note the similarity with the present day heiloom tomatoes). 
Tomato is short-lived perennial in tropical regions and an annual in temperate climates. There are presently over 1000 different varieties of tomatoes. 
In 1893 tomato was debated in the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Horace Gray finally stated that tomato legally was a vegetable even though botanically speaking it is a berry, link

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Preservation: Artwork, Photos and Roses

(Dog rose by Peggy Turchette)

Take a moment to check out the BI - courses starting in May, the last ones before the spring semester 2009 is over (required classes, link; electives, link). In July the BI-program takes three weeks off and re-charges prior and for the fall semester. 
Registration for the Fall Semester courses (catalog, click here) starts on June 1st, 9 a.m.
Highlights for May-June 2009: 
1. In these days when conservation molding and framing is very expensive, come to learn how to preserve and display your treasures in an archival way on our 5 hour workshop which is open for everybody. This class is not only for artwork on paper but also for photos; for more information, click here. 
2. Join us to document the heritage roses at Fairmount Cemetery; this is already the third class in the series and will prepare material for a later publication; for more information about Fairmount, click here.
(One of the heritage roses at Fairmount Cemetery, Photo: M. Hjelmroos-Koski)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Power of Color in Cafe Botanique!

The Power of Color

Charles B. Smith

Color has fascinated people for centuries and continues to do so today.  Come learn how color “controls” you, and how you can “control” color! Why do some people look healthier when they wear a blue shirt/ blouse? Are the colors of the rainbow always in the same order?  Why do flowers/plants APPEAR the color they are?  How do manufacturers get you to look at their product? What color reduces physical strength?  Who decides the colors for products in all industries ---- the “Color Mafia?”  Color is a multi-billion dollar business!  Just remember, “Color Sells, and the Right Color Sells Better.” ® 

Charles B. Smith is a long-time interior designer in Denver and a life-long color enthusiast. He is a Professional Member of the American Society of Interior Designers, and used to be president of Color marketing Croup, the premier international association for color designers. In addition to his pursuits of botanical illustration, he also loves abstract painting and is represented in the collections of Saks Fifth Avenue, American Airlines, Federal Reserve Bank and many private patrons. He enjoys lecturing about color and its impact on people as well as its influence on the success or failure of products in the market place.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009 

Denver Botanic Gardens - Gates Hall 6:30 – 8 p.m

Sunday, May 3, 2009

St. John's Bible at Regis University

(The Eye of God by Renee Jorgensen)

The 25th Annual Regis Open celebrates the new hand lettered and illuminated St. John's Bible at RegisUniversity in Denver. Renee Jorgensen and members of the The Colorado Calligraphy Guild have samples of calligraphy and illumination on display at the Dayton Memorial Library on campus through May 23, 2009.
The modern St. John's Bible has taken 11 years to complete,
see more about the techniques here, link. Regis is celebrating the arrival on campus of the first two volumes of the deluxe full-size facsimile of the Bible. This is a wonderful example of modern calligraphy and illumination at its best!