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

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Botanical Illustration Certificate as Distance Learning!

In addition to our traditional on-site Botanical Illustration curriculum the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program at Denver Botanic Gardens now offers an on-site/off-site program which combines classroom participation with remote online learning opportunities. The students accepted into this distance learning program must reside more than 150 miles away from Denver Botanic Gardens. The work for five of the required 13 courses is completed entirely in the classroom.  The remaining courses consist of a two day concentrated classroom instruction followed by three weekly Internet sessions. The successful completion of a final artwork (plate) within one month (30 days) after the conclusion of the on-site session is the culmination of each of the distance learning courses.
For more information and to download the distance learning program for spring 2011 please click here or the image above (or on the right hand column). Online registration for classes (look for distance learning - Pencil II, etc).
(Anacardium occidentale by Kaye Hurtt)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

The gifted graphic artist and painter, Rudolf Koivu (1890-1946), is one of Finland's most famous illustrators. Koivu is best known for his illustrations of fairy tales and other children's publications. Koivu's Christmas cards and cover pictures for Christmas magazines have had a strong influence on the Finnish image of a "real Christmas".

Rudolf Koivu Prize (10 000 euros) is awarded every second year for the best children's or youth book illustration in Finland. The Rudolf Koivu prize was first awarded in 1949 to celebrate the lifetime achievements of the artist Rudolf Koivu. The purpose of the prize is to raise the quality of artwork in children's books.

Monday, December 20, 2010


(From the Marianne North Gallery, photo MHjK)

New updates for the forthcoming arts and archives tour to London and Madrid can be see by clicking here (or clicking on the icon in the right hand column).

(Bauer brothers' color code from before 1775, later purchased and further developed by T. Haenke and pub;lished ar Systema Colorum. Archived in Royal Botanic gardens in Madrid, photo MHjK)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wild Harvest Art on-line

(Papaver rhoeas by Annie Reiser)

The juried Botanical Illustration Exhibit Wild Harvest which will explore ethnobotany, the relationship between people and their uses of plants is now on-line. You can view the originals at Denver International Airport, Concourse A, March 7 - June 3, 2011. This exhibit is also shown in the Visual and Performing Arts Gallery at Front Range Community College, Westminster, CO February 14 - March 3, 2011 (Opening reception February 17, 5 - 7 p.m.). To see the individual 32 pieces, please click here.
I'm so happy for you all - congratulations!

Monday, December 13, 2010

WILD HARVEST, March 7 - June 3, 2011 at Denver International Airport

(Lagenaria siceraria by Randy Raak)

The following artists have been juried into the Wild Harvest show at DIA: Karla Beatty, Chrystal Beckel, Jan Boyd Haring, Mary Clark, Karen Cleaver, Cathy Cridlebaugh, Sharon Eaton, Deanna Gammon, Linda Gerstle, Patricia Greenberg, Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski, Kaye Hurtt, Lynn Lee, Barbara McKee, Frank Merrem, Connie Neuber, Gordon Palmer, Randy Raak, Annie Reiser, Susan Rubin, Margaret Sjoden, Heidi Snyder, Irma Sturgell, Amy Weinstein and Patricia Whalen.  Denver Botanic Gardens' Botanical Art and Illustration Program will be represented by 32 very strong pieces at  Denver International Airport's Concourse A from March 7th through June 3rd 2011.
Congratulations to all of you! You'll all be wonderful ambassadors for our program and Denver Botanic Gardens. The selected art can be viewed in the Facebook by clicking here.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Studio Botanica

(Argemone polyanthemos, watercolor by Constance Sayas)
If you are in Loveland, CO, please stop by the Loveland Museum Gallery and visit the current Studio Botanica exhibit. The exhibiting artists are offering a selection of related techniques demonstrations in the Foote Gallery, For more information about the free workshops, please click here.
The members of Studio Botanica are: Bonnie Anthony, Jan Boyd Haring, Heather Myers, Susan Olson, Susan Rubin, Constance Sayas and Carol Till. (Taste of the exhibit is provided here.)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Artists as the new naturalists?

(Populus tremuloides by Jan Boyd Haring)

Please, enjoy Carey K. Bagdassarians article published in Conservation Biology (23:1639-1640; 2009): Naturalists, Artists, and Language - something to think about for us scientists, and as much to think about for us artists. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Colorado Gives Day - December 8th

(Datura wrightii - Sacred datura by Magaret Sjoden)

Colorado Gives Day is an inaugural program of the Community First Foundation, which is an organization devoted to raising money for non-profit groups and institutions. The foundation is partnering in the effort with FirstBank which with the Colorado Gives Day Incentive Fund provides matching funds for the individual donations made on December 8th.
Denver Botanic Gardens as a non-profit organization is participating in Colorado Gives Day. You can get some more detailed information about this 24-hour collaborative effort by clicking here (9News article). Make your day better and give a gift to Denver Botanic Gardens - by clicking here you can safely donate online and you can designate your donation to the program of your preference (e.g., Children's Garden, Botanical illustration designated fund, BI-scholarship fund, BI endowment etc.). Every donation makes a difference!

Monday, December 6, 2010


(please click the image to enlarge)

Studio Botanica is exhibiting at Loveland Museum, Loveland CO November 27 through January 20, 2011.
Studio Botanica artists are all trained in traditional Botanical Illustration but are now interpreting the plant material  slightly different ways. 
Opening Reception is on Friday, December 10, 6 - 8 p.m. 
In connection to this exhibit Loveland Museum is offering several free artists' demonstrations, please see here for more detailed information.

For the location and driving directions to the Loveland Museum, please click here.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Deadline for the nominations is December 3rd:

Since 1986, the Mayor's Awards for Excellence in the Arts annually recognize individuals and organizations that have made significant and lasting contributions to the arts in the City and County of Denver. 

Today is the deadline for nominations of  the  Mayor's Award for Excellence in the Arts - Award.  Educators and educational institutions such as the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program at Denver Botanic Gardens can be nominated. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Art Nouveau Reunion

(Morning glory - Ipomea sp. in an Art Nouveau setting, by Michelle Miller)

The students from Art Nouveau class had a "reunion" to review their progress and to get some lateral interaction.  Please see more images in the BI-Facebook by clicking here.
At this gathering we also discussed the possibility to establish a BI-critique group which would meet about once a month in Hibiscus and would basically function as  Open Studio. More about that idea later.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Registration for January - June 2011 BI-classes starts tomorrow!

Registration for the 2011 Winter and Spring Botanical Illustration classes at Denver Botanic Gardens is opened tomorrow, December 1st.
You can register online by clicking here, or by phone (720-865-3580), by fax (720-865-3685), in person (Registrar, 1007 York Street, 9a.m. - 4 p.m.), or by mail (Registration Coordinator, 909 York Street, Denver, CO 80206).Our course catalog can be downloaded here (please use the username: biprogram and the password: student).
The maximum number of students per each class is 12 - Please register early to avoid disappointment, the classes fill very fast.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Insects of Surinam by Maria Sibylla Merian

Maria Sibylla Merian's Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium, originally published in 1705 included 60 copperplate engravings illustrating the stages of insect development. The insects were arranged around the cultivated and wild plants Maria Sibylla came across on her travels in Surinam 1699-1701. 
These plates have now been republished as Insects of Surinam with commentaries by Dr. Katharina Schmidt-Loske. This recent publication also includes Schmidt-Loske's introduction about Maria Sibylla Merian: Maria Sibylla Merian's "extremely costly" journey to nature's treasure house, a thorough historical sketch of the artist's life. The plates are TASCHEN's reprint of a hand-colored first edition copy currently archived in the Library of Basel, Switzerland and many of them have not been published before. 
This beautiful and informative book can certainly be recommended for every nature illustrator, botanist and entomologist. It is very conveniently written in English, German and France.
(Plate #34: Vitis vinifera and Eumorpha labruscae - please click the image to enlarge)

The author, Katharina Schmidt-Loske earned her doctorate in biology at the University of Bonn with the dissertation titled Die Tierwelt der Maria Sibylla Merian. She is now the director of the Biohistoricum at the Museum Koenig in Bonn. 

(Plate #23: Musa paradisiaca, Caligo teucer and Cnemidophorus lemniscatus - please click the image to enlarge) 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Annie Reiser in Vienna ...

(Annie's sketch book and original work by Hoefnagel from the end of 1500. Please click the image to enlarge)

I'm just back from a fabulous trip to Germany and Austria. The highlight spending nearly three days in the archives of the famous Viennese art museum, the Albertina. Thanks to Mervi’s connections, I was allowed entrance to the “Studiensaal” and access to Joris Hoefnagel’s original artwork that is in the museum’s collections. Needless to say, this was a dream come true for me. I sat for hours pouring over the invaluable copperplates and original watercolors of one of my favorite artists. I was able to bring in pencils and did some studies of certain details of the renderings.  Get the full story of my unique experience in my class in the upcoming semester. - Annie Reiser

This is an example of our teacher's commitment to enrich our Botanical Illustration program with important scientific and historical perspective. Drawing on Tradition: Hoefnagel and the Cabinet of Curiosities will be offered in February 2011, the registration for this class starts on December 3rd.  
The original matted pieces are preserved in this leather bound 'hollow' book, here shown by Herr Lotmannsberger, the manager of the Studiensaal. 

 From Annie's sketchbook.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cafe Botanique, November 18, 6:30 p.m. - Moved to Mitchell Hall

The woods of 18th & 19th Century Chinese Furniture
By Carol Goldstein, Ph.D

The Qing dynasty (1644-1911) was the last imperial dynasty and the one from which the vast majority of furniture still available originates. However, the study of Chinese furniture and therefore the material from which it was made, is relatively recent. The materials used were not well documented and there is widespread variance in much of the information available. To say that opinions differ among botanists and connoisseurs regarding the identification of these woods is a gross understatement. The materials used for constructing furniture in today’s China and their current classification will be included in the presentation.

Dr. Carol Goldstein was born and raised in New York City, she moved to Denver in 1972 to earn a Masters degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado. In 1988, Carol and her husband moved to Hong Kong where they lived, worked, traveled and most importantly, engaged in serious collecting of antique Chinese furniture and accessories for 10 years. Her home is filled with various collections ranging from antique Caucasian rugs, Neolithic pottery and antique Chinese furniture to contemporary art. In addition to her academic teaching activities, Carol has been active with the Asian Art Association of the DAM since returning from Hong Kong and currently serves as the Association’s immediate past president.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

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

Fundamental Graphite Techniques by Katie Lee

Katie Lee's recently published book "Fundamental Graphite Techniques" is a necessity the beginning graphite artists as well as for art teachers. The book contains 33 worksheets for learning graphite techniques and pencil control for realistic drawing. You get guided step-by-step while you are improving your techniques and inspired by Katie Lee's beautiful drawings of plants, wildlife and birds.
Katie is a botanical illustrator, wildlife artist and instructor. The exercises in this spiral-bound book took several years to develop. These fundamental techniques can also be applied to colored pencil and other media.
You can get this book through the author and the publisher, Starbooks Publishing. We have also made it available for purchase to the BI-community in our classroom  ($35). 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


(Lavender by Jan Boyd Haring)

Sponsored by Susan Kathleen Black Foundation the Blossom II - Art of Flowers juried art competition attracted this year 1350 artists from 35 different countries and 2300 entries were submitted for the jurors' selection.  Around 100 entries were selected and will be featured in the premiere exhibition at the Naples Museum of Art, Naples, Florida (February 5 - April 10). The exhibit will also tour in other venues during 2011. Selected artworks will be participating in on-line virtual exhibit during 2011. You can enjoy the previous Blossom virtual show by clicking here
Jan Boyd Haring from our BI-community received a Honorable Mention with her Lavender illustration in this show and will be featured in the virtual show. Congratulations!!! 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Come and visit us at the DBG' 2010 Holiday Sale

Original Art on paper and Giclee prints donated by teachers and students of Denver Botanic Gardens’ Botanical Art and Illustration Program. Unique art cards, note cards, holiday cards and Christmas ornaments made by our artists are also available.

All proceeds benefit the Botanical Illustration Certificate Program. This funding helps the Certificate Program to offer first-rate education for students in our program and will also enable us to invite overseas master illustrators to enrich our illustration program at the Gardens.
See also here.
Our January-June course catalog can be viewed here.
Information about our arts and archives Europe tour 2011, click here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Plants and Places by Angie Lewin

I focus on insignificant plants that are often considered to be weeds. Their structure is as interesting as that of exotic specimens in a botanic gardens. ...My inspiration has and always will come from the seemingly infinite variety of plants and an intimate knowledge of how they grow together. (Angie Lewin)

The artist Angie Lewin is renowned for her distinctive vision of the natural world. In her recently published work Plants and Places her over 80 hugely popular prints , together with collages, textile designs, drawings and paintings from her sketchbooks are brought together for the very first time.Angie Lewis mostly works in lithography, wood engraving and screenpainting. She discusses her artistic inspirations and describes how she creates her exquisite work in this unique book. Even though this book is not about traditional botanical illustration I can warmly recommend it for all botanical art and illustration enthusiasts. The book is published by Merell Publishers Limited.
You can also follow Angie Lewin in her work watching a video here.

(Moonlit Loch)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Winter/Spring 2011 Course Catalog is HERE!

The Winter and Spring 2011 catalog is out! You can browse through 73 courses including 3 guest workshops, 37 elective courses and the 'regular' required courses. We do get to enjoy the possibility to learn how the women painted the furniture in the beginning of 1800 - completely forgotten art form until Betsy Krieg Salm started to refresh the archives. It will also be a special pleasure to get Trudy Nicholson here to teach the scratchboard. Her work is unforgettable and seen in many publications. The selection of our electives give a full range of possibilities not only for botanical illustrator but also mane other art forms. I can guarantee that there is something for everybody, both for you who already graduated and likes to be challenged, and for you who just found out about the program and know nothing about illustration but is fascinated of the absolutely beautiful results.
You can find the complete catalog here, if you wish to look at the simplified list of classes we are offering, you can see them here.  To download the documents from Scribd, please use the username: biprogram and password: student. The instructor pages will be updated shortly. Material lists will be available on-line by December 1st. Registration starts December 1st 2010, 9 a.m.
 (Trudy Nicholson, Scratchboard)

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Science of the Arts

(click the image for the conference program with the presentation of the speakers, or click here)

Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute sponsored this conference on The Science of the Arts October 20-21, 2010. The conference was focusing on how the brain processes, creates and responds to art. The conference was a collaborative effort by scientist and artist together with the goal of understanding better the converging fields of perceptual brain science and aesthetics through new questions and approaches. The collaboration between artists and scientists is beneficial for the greater understanding of neurobiological functions relating art and aesthetics which consequently leads to advancements in education and medicine.
William Stoehr from Boulder, Co participated in this conference and he spoke during the first day. Several of his art pieces were also included in the conference program. You can access the video of the two first hour of the conference by clicking here, William Stoehr's talk is at 58 minutes. The session is called Visual Art/Color.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Annual Student Show is closing on November 7th

During her ultra short visit to Denver Ann Swan had time to check out the Highlights from the Gardens' Botanical Illustration Program exhibit before it will be closed.Thank you for all the exhibiting students!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

More about Art Nouveau

( By Crystal Beckel)

Please see more art works from this Botanical Illustration course by clicking  here.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Margaret Flocton Award and Exhibit 2011 - Call for Entries

(1st prize in Margaret Flockton Award 2010: Vellozia sp nov by Rogerio Lupo)

Illustrators are invited to submit one or two original scientific botanical illustrations in black and white by close of business Friday 4th Feb 2011.
Prize money - 1st prize - $AUD5000, 2nd prize - $AUD2000, plus three Highly Commended awards will be presented upon the opening of the exhibition on Thursday 31st March 2011.

This unique Award is now in its eighth year. In 2010 the exhibition was very well received with over 1900 people viewing the 39 works produced by 24 artists from all around the world. Past winners of the Award also exhibited current work within the exhibition. For complete information for 2011 and to view 2010 winning works, please click here.
The Margaret Flockton Award for Scientific Botanical Illustration is annually sponsored by the Maple-Brown family and the Friends of the Botanic Gardens, who aim to promote the appreciation and understanding of contemporary scientific botanical illustration.
The Award and Exhibition are named after the first illustrator of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, Margaret Flockton. For more information about Margaret Flockton please click here and for a more general background to the Margaret Flockton Award please click here.
We very much look forward to seeing many beautiful entries once again in February next year. 
For all enquiries please email directly Catherine Wardrop at Botanic Gardens Trust, National Herbarium of NSW, Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Art and Archives tour to London and Madrid, March 31 - April 11, 2011

Denver Botanic Gardens’ Botanical Art and Illustration Program is arranging an exciting and informative art and archives tour to London and Madrid. In London, we will start with Hampton Court Palace and see the Botanical Archives and also get a special tour of the Royal School of Needlework on their Floral Treasures through the history. We then explore Kew’s art collections and visit Shirley Sherwood Gallery; Lindley Library in London and Wisley (Royal Horticultural Society); the English Gardening School in Chelsea; Collections of Botanical Documentation at the Natural History Museum and the Linnean Society. The tour includes a day trip out of London to visit prominent artist and teacher, Ann Swan, at her studio in Wiltshire. Stonehenge will round out the day trip. We round up in London with the press preview of the SBA (Society of Botanical Artists) 2011 exhibit before taking off for Madrid. 

In Madrid, we will delve into the vast botanical art collections at the Royal Botanical Gardens, National Library, and National Archives. We’ll also visit Museo del Prado, La Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza. A visit to the Royal Palace and related collections is included in the program.

There will be time for shopping and explorations on your own. 

The trip runs March 31 - April 11, 2011. There is an option to stay longer if you so wish.
Price without the airfare is $2,775US (includes hotel accommodation with breakfast daily, London Travel pass, Madrid Travel pass, Private Day excursion to Wiltshire, Group Travel Insurance, Entry tickets where applicable).

Hotel: Royal Gardens Hotel in London and Agumar Hotel in Madrid.

The tour is limited to 13 participants only and at the moment we have 11 confirmed travelling art enthusiasts  leaving two places open. For more information, please call 720-865-3653 or send and an e-mail.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Art Nouveau in Hibiscus

(Alex Cisney's design draft and the final piece in process)
Art Nouveau class is an offering in our Drawing on Tradition series. It takes influences especially from Alphons Mucha, the Czech artist from the late 1800s. I cannot wait to see how the final, completed plates look like. Please, click here to see some of the works from the classroom - Note that this is only a taste of the selection from the students. We will be posting more pictures from this course next week. The instructor for this Colored Pencil elective is Susan Rubin.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

From Penstemons to Pines is back home

Our travelling anniversary exhibit From Penstemon to Pines has returned from St. George Art Museum, UT back to Denver. The 32 portraits of Rocky Mountain native plants were gone for three months. The exhibit was very well received at the art museum and there often commented as a welcomed, unusual choice for a show. The art is now being unpacked and the after show condition reporting is in process. See also here.  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mayor's Awards for Excellence in the Arts

Mayor John W. Hickenlooper, the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs and the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs continue tradition of the Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts, recognizing individuals and organizations that have made significant and lasting contributions to the arts in the City and County of Denver. 
Nominations may be for Individual artists, educators and educational institutions, service and/or support to the arts or arts organizations. 
Would you like to nominate the Denver Botanic Gardens' Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program?

To nominate an organization or individual, please download the nomination form here
Nomination deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday December 3, 2010.

Special Collections Library at CU Boulder

The material can be investicated with magnifyers (provided by the library, if you forgot yours home)
 The Special Collections Department at the University of Colorado in Boulder Library has close to 90,000 volumes in addition to hundreds of linear feet of manuscripts in their possession. The oldest material originates in 2,000 BCE (~4000 years old). The most recent acquisitions and donations are listed here including e.g., Bakelite purses, 1689 edition of the Contes de Mme D'Aulnoy and Robert John Thornton's Family Herbal from 1814. Some of these special collections are already included in the CU Digital Library.
The special Collections are open for public on Thursday and Fridays from 1-5 p.m. and by appointment. The Botanical Illustration Certificate Program visited the collections on Saturday to see the part of Anne Ophelia Dowden's material which is archived in Boulder.
(See more photos from our visit at the BI-Facebook)
The research material was prepared and organized for easy access: loose sheets in folders and publications in  cradles that protect the bindings.  

Friday, October 22, 2010

Snapshots from our recent classes

(A student homework sheet after the second session of Autumn Leaves in Watercolor with Constance Sayas as the instructor)

We often take pictures of the student progress and success during the illustration courses. You can see a random set of photos in the BI-facebook taken from some of our very recent classes. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Anne Ophelia Dowden Papers

Visit the Special Collections Department at University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries and study the contents of the seven boxes filled with Anne Ophelia’s original paintings, value studies, line drawings and sketches. Ms. Dowden illustrated 21 publications, and both authored and illustrated 13 books – many of these will be available for a closer look during the visit as well. Ms. Dowden was born in Denver 1907 - she died in Boulder, CO in 2007 and is claimed to be one of the greatest botanical illustrators in the country. The major part of her work is within the art collections of  Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation
We have also the possibility, at the same time, see the Gerard’s Herbal and a facsimile set of Maria Sibylla Merian’s botanical illustrations.
Norlin Library (3rd floor), University of Colorado, Boulder 
Saturday, October 23, 9 a.m. - noon

For more information and to register (few tickets left)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Landscapes, Buildings and Cultural Change: Prof. Arnold Alanen in Cafe Botanique

From Finland to North America: Landscapes, Buildings and Cultural Change
By Arnold Alanen, Ph. D. University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Dr. Arnold Alanen, professor emeritus of Landscape Architecture at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, is at the height of his career as a distinguished cultural landscape historian. He has written extensively about cultural landscapes and cultural resource preservation, with a concentration on company towns and planned communities, rural areas, national parks and immigrant settlements. While many of his publications feature the American Midwest, he has also included places across the United States, as well as in Finland, Norway, Canada, Australia and Japan. 
Join Dr. Alanen as he shares his insights into the Finnish immigrant story and the world the immigrants built in North America. What ideas about wilderness, clearings, farmsteads, trees and wetlands did the immigrants bring with them? What did they discover about making places in North America? How did the sauna change when it crossed the Atlantic Ocean? 
A third-generation Finnish American, Dr. Alanen speaks and reads Finnish and is a founder of Landscape Journal, the first refereed publication for landscape architectural research in North America. As an advisor to the National Park Service, Dr. Alanen has documented cultural landscapes in Alaska, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin
He has been a W.K. Kellogg Foundation National Fellow, a Fulbright Fellow in Finland, a Visiting Professor at the University of Helsinki and has been selected as the third Finlandia Foundation National Lecturer of the Year (LOY 2009-2010).

Thursday, October 21, 2010
Denver Botanic Gardens – Mitchell Hall
6:30 – 8 p.m.
(To reserve your seat, please click here).

Friday, October 15, 2010

Loosing Paradise? - the enduring value of the art

Loosing Paradise? is a travelling botanical art exhibition of endangered plants around the world developed and presented by The American Society of Botanical Artists.It is currently on display at  the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (through December 12). Christian Science Monitor recently published an article about the exhibit, view it here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Arthur Lakes

In our series of Drawing on Tradition we very recently offered a 3-day field sketching class studying the method of Arthur Lakes (1844-1917), the father of Geology in Colorado. The class was set off by a presentation of the Dinosaur Ridge Museum in Morrison and a presentation of Arthur Lakes' life and legacy by the biographer Elizabeth Simmons. This workshop was instructed by Marjorie Leggitt. 
Our goal within our Botanical Illustration program is to enrich the students, when ever possible, with the historical alt. practical application in addition to the technical and artistic teaching element. 
Read more about Arthur Lakes in a earlier blog-entry by clicking here. You can also see few more sketches from this class in the BI-Facebook.
(Sketch in this entry by Erica Walker)
If the men of business want a rest, go a-sketching (Arthur Lakes)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

2010 Botanical Illustration Certificate Recipients - Congratulations!

2010 Graduates: upper row, fr. l.: Susan DiMarchi, Laura Thomason, Estelle De Ridder, Judy Brown Santambrogio, Katie Geist, Barbara Weaver; lower row, fr. l.: Trudy Sauter, Leslie Jordan, Pamela Wolfe, Anna Arkin and Susan Jensen

I can not feel any more proud and happy as I am when I am introducing the twelve excellent Botanical Illustration Certificate recipients for 2010. The opening reception for the annual Denver Botanic gardens' Botanical Illustration art show combined with the graduation was well attended by many BI-enthusiasts and friends and relatives for the happy graduates. Congratulations Graduate and I hope to see you soon back in the Gardens!
(See more pictures from the reception in the Facebook)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ann Swan Workshop In Denver!

Seed Pods and Autumn Leaves in Colored Pencil and Graphite 


Ann Swan's award-winning botanicals in colored pencil and graphite are admired around the world. She brings her charming nature and her remarkable skills to show you techniques for portraying plants in her signature style. Working with graphite and colored pencil, explore the diverse structures, shapes and textures of native seeds, seedpods and dead leaves. Ann will demonstrate a variety of techniques and with some useful hints, tips and exercises to help you improve your colored pencil and accuracy of observation.Thorough demonstrations Ann will show you how you can achieve more interesting, balanced and exciting compositions and how to get your portrait to pop.
We have few seats left to fill (limit 12 students). For more information and to register.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Apple Book by Rosie Sanders

(Click the images to enlarge)

Rosie SandersThe Apple Book includes 144 apple verities showing the apples, the blossoms with twig and leaves in exquisitely detailed watercolor illustration and a line drawing of the vertical cross section of the apple. It also includes a written detailed description of each of the varieties.
Rosie Sanders is recognized as one of UK’s leading Botanical artists. She has been awarded five gold medals from the Royal Horticultural Society, she has also won the Royal Academy miniature award. Rosie Sander has often been claimed as the best painter of world’s most famous fruit.
The Apple Book can be used as an identification manual. The illustrations are meticulously detailed reviling the color, texture and form of the varieties. This book is absolutely recommended for every botanical illustrator or/and apple lover. The book is published by Frances Lincoln
Rosie Sanders telling about the creation of the Apple Book (You Tube video). Apple illustration appeal to Rosie Sanders (BBC article, October 5, 2010).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ancient Southwest in Cafe Botanique on Thursday, October 7th

Trees, Corn and the Ancient Southwest
By Stephen H. Lekson, Ph.D., University of Colorado, Boulder
Wood beams found in ruined pueblos of Mesa Verde and great houses of Chaco Canyon tell us when and how those structures were built and offer key climatic information about their environment. Maize (corn) cobs and their fragments tell us when sites were occupied and how ancient economies worked. Recent field work by the University of Colorado is used to illustrate how wood and maize inform the history of the ancient Southwest, often in surprising ways.
Stephen H. Lekson is Curator and Professor of Anthropology at the Museum of Natural History, University of Colorado, Boulder. He directed more than 20 archaeological projects throughout the Southwest, most recently at Pinnacle Ruin in New Mexico, Chimney Rock in southern Colorado and Black Mountain in southern New Mexico.  Lekson's publications include a dozen books and many chapters and articles.  Most recently: A History of the Ancient Southwest (SAR Press, 2009) and The Architecture of Chaco Canyon (University of Utah Press, 2007).
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Denver Botanic Gardens – Morrison Center
6:30 – 8 p.m.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Botanical Illustration 2010 Scholarship Recipients

We are happy to announce the recipients for the 2010 Botanical Illustration Scholarships:

1. Dorothy DePaolo 
Art has always been Dorothy's passion. She marvels in the design, attention to detail and variety of media and techniques used in botanical illustration. She wants to develop her techniques in design and depth, and though her current media is colored pencil she’s interested in learning watercolor, graphite and pen and ink techniques. It is hard to find a more suitable program than the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate program at Denver Botanic Gardens.

2. Laurence Martin-Pierson
In addition to her professional life, Laurence is also trained in illumination, calligraphy and iconography. She has been painting Byzantine-style icons for 18 years and uses egg tempera as her primary media, which she combines with the traditional gilding techniques. She prefers attentive observation and faithful reproduction, which makes botanical illustration a perfect pathway to further develop her artistic skills.

Please see more detailed information for the recipients and samples of their work by clicking here.