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

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.)