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

Friday, May 28, 2010

BI Numbers and Insights

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The size of the botanical illustration classes at Denver Botanic Gardens is limited to 15 students, occasionally this is increased to 16, but the typical number varies between 11 and 14. The ideal class size is eleven students which gives the instructor adequate time to circulate in the classroom for the important one-on-one instruction and support to each student. Lateral learning through input from the fellow students is also very important especially on the more advanced classes. The microscopy classes are limited to 10 students. Our courses are 15 hours long divided into 3-hr sessions over a 5-week time period. Some of the advanced level elective courses are 18 or 21 hours long giving the student a satisfactory time to work with a more demanding task.

We schedule three class sessions more or less in parallel: one in the morning (9 a.m. – noon), one on the afternoon (1 – 4 p.m.) and one in the evening (6 – 9 p.m.). We also offer week-end workshops (Friday through Sunday, 5 hours/day). Our faculty has 8 teachers, each of them highly qualified on their own field (Karla Beatty, Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski, Renee Jorgensen, Libby Kyer, Marjorie Leggitt, Annie Reiser, Susan Rubin and Constance Sayas). Every year we have at least one international and two domestic visiting instructors as this is a highly important part of the program enrichment

The curriculum for the certificate includes 13 required courses and at least 100 classroom hours of elective courses plus a portfolio.

In addition to the 109 courses offered at Denver Botanic Gardens during the current year (2010) we also offer one entry level class at the Arvada Center in Denver and two weekend workshops at Gateway Canyons Resort. Our satellite program at El Charco del Ingenio Botanical gardens in San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico was launched very successfully in December 2009 and nine classes are offered there in 2010 with students attending mostly from Mexico but also from the USA
. The program also includes Café Botanique, a public lecture series on science and art. In 2009 we had 322 students who enrolled in 3 or more core classes during the year and 16 graduates from the program. Even though the program primarily is adult education the youngest student at the moment is 11 years old.

Our students are for the most part from Colorado, but we also have enrollments from many other states from Alaska to Florida and other countries such as U.K., Canada, Mexico and Brazil.

[Please click the pictures to get them enlarged. Pictures from the top: (1)Two typical classroom views from Classroom C at Denver Botanic Gardens; (2) Convallaria majalis by Annie Reiser; (3) Palisade at Gateway Canyons, Colorado; (4) view of San Miguel de Allende from from Marjorie Leggitt's sketchbook; (5) Wren MacDonald, our youngest student at the moment]

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Margaret Flockton Award 2010 goes to Rogerio Lupo, Brazil

Vellozia sp.nov. by Rogerio Lupo (Brazil) - please click on image to enlarge
Illustration is a science and biology is an art (Rogerio Lupo)

Brazilian biologist and scientific illustrator Rogerio Lupo's illustration was selected for its accuracy, clarity, artistry and composition to win the Margaret Flocton Award 2010 and he received the $5000 1st prize in the ceremony at the National Herbarium of NSW of Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney Australia.
Margaret Flockton Award promotes the appreciation and understanding of contemporary scientific botanical illustration and is one of the most prestigious awards worldwide on its field. This year the entries came from Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Spain, Poland, USA, Mexico and Brazil.
With one of the great botanic gardens in the world and the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere, Brazil has fostered a strong tradition of botanical illustrators. Another entry for the Flockton Award by Rogerio Lupo received a Highly Commended as did a work by fellow Brazilian Klei Sousa who received the 1st prize in 2009.
The second prize ($2000) went to Sarah Adler from USA.
(Images for the other awarded plates are displayed in the BI-Facebook)
Read more about Margaret Flockton here

Monday, May 24, 2010

Illuminated Vandas at Lonwood by Patricia Laspino

Illuminated Vandas at Lonwood by Particia Laspino is the first in series of a commemorative limited edition prints that are created for the Orchid Alliance Project Exhibitons.
The Orchid Alliance Project is Bridging Art and Science by fostering awareness about evolution, biodiversity and conservation through combining historical art processes and contemporary technologies.
Orchids are considered an environmental indicator and display the finely balanced interdependence with the other plants, animals and insects that coexists within their habitats.
You can read more about the Orchid Alliance project by clicking here (Orchid Magazine, August 2008, pdf).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Susan Rubin presents in SPARKS Gallery

Susan with her work Flamenco (colored pencil on mylar) - see more pictures in the BI-Facebook

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Maggie Casey in the "Plants to Dye for" - class

As a part of and for the enrichment of the Botanical illustration class "Plants to Dye for" Maggie Casey from Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins (Boulder, CO) came into the classroom and talked to the 14 students and the instructor Susan Rubin about dyeing and how to dye. She also visualized her talk with yarn samples dyed with natural colors.
Everybody truly enjoyed her presentation.
Maggy Casey is the author for Start Spinning: Everything You need to Know to Make Great Yarn .

Highest upp: Maggie demonstrating the 'power' of different mordants and the beautifully colored yarns dyed with the plants around her house in Boulder.
Middle: The class is investigating the different beautiful colors and matching with colored pencils.
Lowest down: Maggie Casey and Ann Fleming.
(Please, click the photo for bigger picture)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Café Botanique: Pests of Ponderosa


Pests of Ponderosa – The Mountain Pine Beetle: Past Present and Future

Lisa Mason, Colorado State Forest Service

Lisa Mason will focus on the ecology of the mountain pine beetle. Why is the beetle here? How does it fit in the natural part of the forest ecosystem? Lisa will also talk about the history, what is happening now, and what the future holds for Colorado’s forests. You will also meet Buford the mountain pine beetle, and see the world through the eyes of the rice grain-sized bug. There will be samples of beetles, bark and tree cookies on display.

Lisa Mason is the Outreach Forester for the Colorado State Forest Service. Lisa graduated from Colorado State UniversityColorado “Are You FireWise?” program. in 2008 with a degree in Forestry and Theatre. She does programs, events, workshops and environmental education for audiences that range from Kindergarten through adult. She also teaches on a variety of topics including forestry, insects and disease, and fire. She is works closely with Community Wildfire Protection Plans and manages the Colorado "Are You FireWise?" program.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Denver Botanic Gardens – Morrison Center

6:30 – 8 p.m.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Surface Tension with Susan Rubin


900 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80204

May 20 - June 13, 2010

Opening Reception: Friday, May 21, 6 - 9 p.m.

Coffee with the Artist: Sunday June 13, 1 - 4 p.m.

Susan Rubin is an instructor in the Botanical Art and Illustration Program at Denver Botanic Gardens.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Masterclass with Kate Nessler

(Wind by Kate Nessler, please click to enlarge)
Kate Nessler is internationally acclaimed botanical artist who has won numerous awards, including three Cold Medals from the Royal Horticulture Society. Kate is also included in the Shirley Sherwoood collection and Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation and has contributed to Prince Charles' Highgrove Florilegium.

Kate Nessler is visiting Denver Botanic Gardens' Botanical Art and Illustration program in August 20 - 22 and giving a 18hr 3-day workshop how to paint on vellum.We have 3 seats left for this workshop (the registration started this morning). For more details and to register, please click here.

(Plumbago by Kate Nessler, please click to enlarge)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Registration opens tomorrow, Monday, May 17, 9 a.m.

Registration for July - December Botanical Illustration classes starts on May 17th, 9 a.m.
Register online by clicking here, or call 720-865-3580.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pick of the Day from Boulder Camera

(from Boulder Camera, May 14, 2010 - please see photos from the reception in the BI-Facebook)
It is absolutely worthwhile the trip to Boulder to visit this exhibitproduced by Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists (RMSBA), Culpeper's Medicinal Herbs. All the exhibiting artists are from the BI-community and the art is very good and enjoyable. Congratulations to all artists and congratulations for the organizers (Susan DiMarchi, Dorothy DePaolo, Carol Till and many others)!
The Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder (May 14 - June 18, 2010, Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.).

Friday, May 14, 2010

Botanical Illustration in Gateway Canyons


South of Grand Junction, west of Aspen, north of Telluride and east of Moab where West Creek and the Dolores River meet is Palisade and Gateway Canyons Resort. This treasure is only a few miles from Utah boarder, surrounded by red sandstones and over 300 million year old Triassic layers, and extremely diverse flora with many different ecosystems.

DBG's Botanical Art and Illustration program is pleased to offer selected classes at Gateway Canyons Resort, Gateway, CO during 2010.
Have a closer look at our program by clicking here (or the image on the left, or the image on the right hand column).
Register for:
1. Artist's Visual Journal
2. Botanical landscapes


(How to get to Gateway, CO)
(More photos from Gateway, taken in March 2010)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Playful Botanical Illustration

Crab apple by Barbara McKee (Click image to enlarge) - Barbara belongs to the Denver DBG' BI-community.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Culpeper's Medicinal Herbs

(Please, click the image to enlarge)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mr. Jackson's Mushrooms

Mr. Jackson (1877-1961) referred himself as a simple field-naturalist, yet he was a competent, professional artist whose renderings of fungi were appreciated by many mycologists and fellow artists. The forty-two plates which are included in this volume and reproduced in the actual size reveal Jackson's extraordinary eye for detail and the total command of technique.
He started to keep notebook 1927 and selected entries dealing with technical questions regarding the renderings and mycology from the year 1931-1954 are included in Mr Jackson's Notebooks. Entries dealing with environmental concerns are also included.
This captivating treasure was published 1979 by National Gallery of Canada and National Museums of Canada as a companion publication for an exhibit in the National Gallery in the late 1970's.

(The book is out-of print but you might be lucky to find a copy in some used bookstores.)
(The back cover of Mr. Jackson's Mushrooms showing Henry Jackson at his drafting table)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Gathering of the Guilds

(Please click the image to get the complete information)

The Colorado Arts and Crafts Society Artisan's Guild Forum
A Presentation of the Best in Colorado Fine Craftsmanship

Saturday, May 8, 2010 (10 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

The Boettcher Mansion on Lookout Mountain, Golden, Colorado.

(Even though Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program is not a Guild, we are going to have a 1-hr presentation at the event.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

From the Classroom

(please click to enlarge)

These were taken on the final class of Pencil II. Many students completed a beautiful rendering of their subject matter, some are using the work as a value study for a future color plate.
(The instructor for the class was Susan Rubin and the students Cynthia Lamb, Gretchen Sickler, Marj Hopkins, Jennifer Whittford, Judy Judy, Keisha Makonese, Lois Sanford, Mary Davis, Pamela Miller, Pat Greenberg, Tom Birks and Becky Lenhart.)

(Graphite II - plate by Patricia Greenberg)