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

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An impressive achievement - Congratulations !

2009 Botanical Illustration Graduates (left to right): Nance Minnick, Frank Merrem, Edith Davis, Suzanne Strear, Terry Diesburg, Katherine McCrery, Wanda Clasen, Elizabeth Fonseca, Susan Halstedt, Katherine Lux, Michael Campbell. Missing from the picture: Teresa Burkert, Marjorie Joy, Katie Nichols, Janet Warren and Natalia Wilkins.

The May They Always Flourish 2009, a special publication about the graduates, is available for purchase here, or you can also buy one in the classroom from me.

Monday, September 28, 2009

We are heading towards South Park in Cafe Botanique

A Journey to South Park, Colorado
By Jan Boyd Haring, ASBA Grant Recipient

In 2007 Jan Boyd Haring received a grant from the American Society of Botanical Artists to record roadside wildflowers of the South Park Basin, and create a brochure free to the traveling public. This challenge piqued an on going fascination with this wonderful region in central Colorado. Hang on to your hats and toss your troubles aside, as you take an amazing journey across all corners of South Park to learn about the wildflowers, animals, old railroads, and history. Hear about trials and victories of completing an artist’s grant. Guess why these pictured railroad workers look so cheerful in the winter of 1910!

Jan Boyd Haring is a life long artist devoted to nature. Now retired from a twenty-three year career in the Information Technology industry, she has fulfilled her goal to be an artist full time.Jan received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Northern Arizona, and has attended classes at the School of the Art Institute at Chicago. She graduated from the Denver Botanic Gardens Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program in 2006. She is currently creating botanical illustrations primarily in watercolor and colored pencil. Her work is in numerous private collections and has been the recipient of several awards in juried shows.
(please, click to image to enlarge)
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Denver Botanic Gardens – Morrison Center
6:30 – 8 p.m.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Graduation Day!

(Lycopersicon esculentum by Edie Davis - graphite)

Today, September 27th 2009, sixteen Students will receive their Certificate of Completion from the Denver Botanic Gardens' Botanical Illustration Certificate Program. These individuals have fulfilled all the requirements for the Graduation, which means a minimum of 195 classroom hours of required courses and a minimum of 100 elective classroom hours (many times more than 200 hours), as well as a portfolio containing 5 pieces in four different media.

Congratulations and thank you for making our BI-program possible! To complete the Certificate Program for Botanical Art and Illustration at Denver Botanic Gardens is an impressive achievement representing so much hard work, both in and out of the classroom.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Estes Park today and tomorrow

This weekend (September 19 - 20, 2009) the public will have the opportunity to visit seven unique art studios featuring eight artists from the greater Estes Valley in the fourth annual open studio tour slated in and around Estes Park, Colorado.
The 2009 tour features the following eight artists:
Deedee Hampton Studio (Estes Park), Oil and Mixed Media Collage; Karen Dick Studio (Estes Park), Ceramics; John Lynch Woodworking Studio (3.5 miles south of Estes Park), Woodworking; Patricia Henriksen Greenberg Studio (Estes Park), Pencil; Cecy Turner Studio (Estes Park), Oil along with the work of Cydney Springer (Estes Park), Oil; Greig Steiner Studio (Estes Park), Oil and Mixed Media; Leah Simmons DeCapio Studio (9 miles north of Estes Park in Glen Haven), Pottery.

Patricia Greenberg belongs to the Botanical Illustration community and is an active participant in our classes. Her studio is on 415 Fall River Lane. (The image: Yucca rostrata by Patricia Greenberg, published 2008 in Flourish, A visionary Gardens in the West)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Color from a bug: cochineal bug, the ancient source of carmine

(after grinding the cochineal bugs and mixing the powder with water you'll get the carmine color)
In last night's Café Botanique David Pyle gave a vivid presentation about colors. We also got to see how carmine red color was extracted from the Cochineal bugs. These insects live and feed naturally on Opuntia cactus in Mesoamerica and the Andean area. The color extracted mainly from the female bugs (the bright red color comes from the wings of the female bug) was used as a dye by Aztecs and Mayans in Central America for centuries. The cochineal bug was most likely cultivated already by the Toltec period on the 10th century. This precious bug was described and Classified already by Linnaeus 1758 as Coccus cacti, later on the bug was named to Dactylopius coccus.
Read more about the bug here, or the process to extract the dye here. FDA has also recently launched new labeling rules for the cochineal bug coloring. Very recently a scientific paper was published by Chavez-Moreno et al. dealing with the historical perspective of use, interaction and distribution. You can read it by clicking here.
[Oaxaca textiles at the market in San Miguel de Allende, GTO; the red color is extracted from the cochineal bugs (Dactylopius coccus)]
(Many books about color has been published during the years, one of the best ones is COLOR - A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Closer look at El Charco del Ingenio

El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve in San Miguel de Allende, GTO Mexico was established 1990. It is specialized on flora from arid and semi-arid regions in Mexico. Besides restoring the original vegetation El Charco also keeps extensive collection primarily indigenous cacti, of which many are threatened or in danger of extinction. The preserve of El Charco del Ingenio is at the 6266 ft elevation and home for 535 taxa in addition to the large collection in the Conservatory area.

It will be a great honor to collaborate with this special garden and promote the preservation efforts through Botanical illustration.
Please check out the pictures displayed in the BI-Facebook (Click the link on the right hand column)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Colors in Cafe Botanique!

( Dan Brady)

What Every Artist Needs to Know About Paints and Colors
By David Pyle, VP/Division Publisher for Art, Jewelry and Yarn Interweave

How important are light-fastness? What determines the long-term stability of colors and how can you maximize their permanence? How do you keep mixed colors brilliant and true? What's our current understanding regaring the safe use of common art materials? Understanding the tools can help you unlock your expressive process in remarkable ways. This session includes making pigment from bugs (really!) and demonstrations from atop tables and chairs.

David Pyle is the author of What Every Artist Needs to Know About Paints and Colors (Krause, 2000), as well as more than 100 published articles about art materials and techniques. A painter, he has served as the director of technical education for a major art materials manufacturer. He now is publisher for the American Artist group, which includes American Artist, Drawing, Watercolor and Workshop magazines.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Denver Botanic Gardens – Morrison Center
6:30 – 8 p.m.

Annual Student Art Show Reception and Silent Auction

(Please click to enlarge)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Saarinen Design Tradition

This fall the College of Architecture and Planning, University of Colorado, Denver will be hosting three lectures on or by Finnish architects.

The first in the series is by Susan Saarinen, Landscape Architect (Golden) and Mark Coir, Cranbrook Educational Community, Bloomfield Hills, MI about the Saarinen legacy in Finland and USA. Come and listen, it was not only magnificent buildings but also furniture and textiles.
The lecture will be at 6:00 pm on Monday, September 14th in the MBA Suite on the ground floor of the UCD building at 1250 14thStreet.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Renaldo Kuhler’s Rocaterrania

Learn about the secret world of Renaldo Kuhler, Scientific Illustrator in the North Carolina Museum of Natural history since 1969 and about his fanatasy nation Rocaterrania.
Rocaterrania is a feature length documentary about the scientific illustrator and visionary artist Renaldo Kuhler. This is a very special and interesting documentary, and for those of us with Colorado connection: Renaldo Kuhler moved to KZ Ranch, Morrison, CO when he was 17 years old and then later attended University of Colorado before moving to Raleigh, North Carolina.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Garden Art Competition

Gardens, landscapes, and flowers have inspired some of the world's greatest art. Now Horticulture magazine would like to celebrate the centuries-long marriage of gardening and art with a brand new award honoring garden artwork in every medium, from both established and up-and-coming artists.

One overall Grand Prize winner will be selected by the panel of judges and receive $500; cash prizes will also be awarded to first- and second-place winners in the following categories:
• Plants & Flowers
• Gardens & Landscapes

For more information, please click the image: