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

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Nonstop Garden

(Scented Segue © Karla Beatty, please click the image to enlarge)

A very recently published Gardening Book to look for:

Nonstop Gardening: A Step-by-Step Guide to Smart Plant Choices and Four-Seasons Designs
by Stephanie Cohen and Jennifer Benner
Published by Timber Press and available through Amazon

All the watercolor illustrations in this book are by Karla Beatty and the garden plans, which are created by the authors are drawn by Marjorie Leggitt. Please see more information in the BI-Facebook.

(Winter Wonderland © Karla Beatty, please click the image to enlarge)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

CPSA and ET! 6

(After the Frost by Dorothy DePaolo, Colored Pencil and Graphite on mylar, 10x14)

Explore This! 6 is the sixth annual juried online exhibition organized by the Colored Pencil Society of America. Artwork submitted to ET must include some element that makes it ineligible to the CPSA International Exhibition. The submitted works can also be larger than the 32" x 40" size limit for the International Show. Among the 53 chosen artists in 2010 we can find two excellent colored pencil artists from Colorado: Dorothy DePaolo and Heidrun Snyder, both also belonging to the Botanical Illustration -community. Congratulations to both Dorothy and Heidi!

(Pine Ridge Waku by Heidrun Snyder, Colored Pencil on mylar, acrylic & pastel matboard, 15x45)

CPSA was founded in 1990 has currently a total of 1468 members (2010). It has 27 local chapters and members in every US State except North Dakota. There are also members from nine countries outside the US. The Colorado district chapter DC 220 was fouded in 2001.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wanted: Architectural rendering in Parker, CO!

PAG logo
"We are starting a agriculture development with Greenhouse, Tree Nursery, Garden Plots and a Maze.
I am looking for an artist to do a rendering of the finished project."

CONTACT: Mike Smith [faf1077(at)] - Phone: 303-990-3383.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Nature Transfigured by Steffen Dam

Botanical art in glass -
Danish glass artist Steffen Dam gets his inspiration from botany, geology and astronomy. He started his career as an industrial glass maker and was attracted by the flaws of glass, such as unwanted air bubbles, fissured, ash makes, soot and other similar errors. The 'wrong glass' inspired him to start creating wonderful specimen panel series and glass blocks and he was challenged "to capture the good in bad". His glass art resemble pseudo-specimens of sea creatures, plants, cells and biopsy samples.
Steffen Dam' s work can be viewed in the Traver Gallery in Seattle, WA (Woman in Glass: Innovators and visionaries; July 2 - August 1, 2010).
You can view his catalog from an earlier exhibit by clicking here.

"This is where the mystery lays: Is it fiction or reality?"

Friday, June 18, 2010

GNSI - ASBA 2010

The GNSI Conference and Annual Meeting in Raleigh, NC is less than a month away (July 11-17, 2010) . If you have not decided yet to participate, it is not too late to register yet.

The 2010 ASBA meeting is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (September 23-25, 2010). You can not register yet and the program has not yet been published, however, you can read some further information about the coming meeting here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Plants to Dye For - Dyeplants

(Lichens are a source for many bright colors, illustration by Lynn Lee)

Fabrics were naturally dyed and even commercially produced as early as in 2600 B.C. according a written document from China. Madder (Rubia tinctoria) was found in Mohenjo-Daro archaeological site in Pakistan and red fabrics dyed with this plant were dated to around 2500 B.C.
The history of the natural dyeing and dye plants is as colorful as the colors which are obtained with this method. Some of that history was revealed on the "Plants to Dye for" Botanical Illustration class during May-June. That class started with Maggie Casey's visit and ended five weeks later with many enthusiastic students ready to start experimenting more with plant dyes. Many interesting plates were produced, some of them still not yet quite completed. More pictures in the BI Facebook.

(Green apple cultivar with some spinning tools and the sample of dyed yarn in process of illustration by Connie Neuber)
Add Image

Friday, June 11, 2010

Response To Nature - Botanical Watercolors by P. A. Kessler

Botanical watercolors created between 1972 and 2010 by Pam A. Kessler. Dynamically designed and highly detailed paintings of mainly orchids but also other plants such as primroses and irises, beats and the absolutely stunning Gary’s Onion. The 144 pages contains also likewise minutely detailed and well executed illustrations of bird's nests, feathers and insects - all originally painted with transparent watercolors on either Twinrocker 100% rag, hot press art weight paper or Lanaquarelle's 100 % rag, hot press 300 pound paper. This book is a treasure and highly recommended for every aficionado of Botanical Illustration.

This publication is a limited edition of 1000. All copies are numbered and hand signed. The book is bound in linen and printed on beautiful heavyweight, silken paper from Finland. The reproduction is absolutely amazing. Published by Lydia Inglett, Ltd (
You can see more images from the book by clicking here (pdf).

(NOTE for Denver Botanic Gardens' BI-students: The book will be available for sale in Classroom C next week.)

As an artist, you follow a disciplined and meticulous examination of a plant prior to drawing or painting; for you cannot sacrifice accurate botanical information for aesthetic reasons. You must cross the border between science and art, embracing the freedom of one without discarding the discipline of the other.
You must have a passion for flowers, love what you are drawing and painting, and know the flower in all the stages of development. Hopefully with the composition, use of color, and skill in the handling of paint, you will give the viewer a painting that is admired for its fidelity to the subject, but also for its beauty

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cheyenne Artists Guilds National Juried Art Show

National Juried Art Competition, Show and Sale celebrating Cheyenne Artists Guild's 40th Art Competition at the National level.
August 3 - August 31, 2010
Cheyenne Artists Guild Gallery, Holliday Park

Deadline for entries (entry form + Digital images of the submitted art) is June 14th.
(For more information and the entry form, please click here)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Archival Framing - so important!

If you frame your artwork (and photos) it is important to know how to create an acid free environment and protect the art (and photos) for the future through archival framing.
The Botanical Illustration program offers every year a Botanical Framing Class. In this very popular class we teach how to present your art to its best advantage and how to preserve it in a correct way. The instructor for the fifteen students was, as during the past years, Susan Rubin.
See more photos in the BI-Facebook.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Birds from the BI-program

Rufous Hummingbird (Selastophorus rufus) by Natalya Zuber and a 'modified' Hen and Chicken Plant by Barbara McKee (please, click on the image to enlarge)

The techniques taught in the Denver Botanic Gardens' Botanical Art and Illustration Program can be applied in many different disciplines. See more images in the BI-Facebook.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Art Inspires the Gardening

[Kaye Hurtt in her garden in Denver (Colorado Homes and Lifestyles, June-July 2010: 47)]

Kaye Hurtt's garden and art was featured in the Colorado Homes & Lifestyles Magazine, June/July issue: Pretty as a Picture. You can access the article by clicking here (pdf), or online here.
Kaye Hurtt received her Certificate from the Denver Botanic Gardens Botanical Art and Illustration Program in 2003 and is an avid supporter of our program.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fairmount Roses and their Preservation

(© Constance Sayas)

The Fairmount Cemetery in Denver was established in 1890 after German landscape architect, Reinhard Schuetze’s design and is Denver's second-oldest burial ground. Reinhard Schuetze also planted more than 4000 trees in the grounds making it one of the largest and most diverse arboretums in Colorado.

More than 300 rose bushes and at least 59 different varieties are found from the cemetery grounds (280 acres), including rare heirloom types from the 1800s. Join us in our effort to preserve these roses by documentation of these roses through Botanical illustration. This will be the fourth and final class in the series and will prepare material for a later publication.
For more information and to register, please click here.

(Photo: MHjK)