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

Friday, July 30, 2010

Botanical Interests’ Illustration Scholarships for 2010

(© Frank Merrem, 2010)

Denver Botanic Gardens’ Botanical Art and Illustration Program will award at least two scholarships annually for talented new students. The scholarship covers tuition for one required class within the Program and includes a starter kit and class materials for the course. The awards are determined on a competitive basis and require the submission of a portfolio and Artist’s Statement. For more information and to download the application form, please click here (pdf).
(NOTE: to print and/or download the document, please use the username: biprogram; password: student)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Learning a new language is always worth the trouble...

(A bell tower in San Miguel, sketch by Karla Beatty)

...From San Miguel (Tuesday, July 27th) by Karla:

In San Miguel, I love walking. People watching (as well as sketching) is always my favorite activity. Today the sun came out and shined upon all; it seemed to bring out everyone's smile as well. "Buenos dias," I greeted person after person I passed on the street. Church bells were ringing, some fragrant flowers were in bloom everywhere, and with the sun, once again, the vibrant yellows, golds, oranges, and reds of San Miguel were a feast for the eyes.
I sat upon a park bench, sketching in some of the bell towers that are everywhere looming over the town. An old woman with a young boy in her care joined me on the bench. She pulled out a wrapper with tortillas and offered some to me. Reluctantly I turned her down, muchos gracias (I still need to be careful of my poor intestines this early in the trip). The old woman and the boy shared the tortillas and a few vegetable snacks from her bag of goodies.
Later, I walked up the steep hill towards El Charco. A family picked its way over the cobblestones down the edge of the road, so I stepped aside to let them pass. First the children airily skipped along as nimble as young goats. Then the father tall, on his shoulders a tiny girl in a knitted pink and white sweater. "Que bonita," I called to the Mama next in line, indicating the little girl. I was rewarded for my effort to speak in my Espanol estupido with a great big smile from the mother as she passed. Small interactions like these are worth the trouble of learning a new language and make travels such a pleasure.
(Churro seller in San Miguel, Photo: K. Beatty)

Both BI classes have started (Monday, July 26th) by Karla:

Judy and Joan (ed note: Judy Brown Santambrogio and Joan Pierce from Denver) have arrived and have described a lovely condo that they have rented for the week. It's still been rainy but we had a little luck and the sun popped out during our tour of El Charco with Mario the Director.
It seems like watercolors-mania up in the classroom between Connie's morning class and my afternoon class. We keep ducking the showers, but no one really seems to mind the rain and sprinkles.
Connie and I keep exploring and every time I still find new things, like the large murals and the beautiful courtyard of the old Art Institute. Every turn takes us down a new and unusual street. The rain has made all the little fountains flow in the nooks inset in the walls along the streets. Buenos dias, Buenos tardes, rolls off the lips of most every of the older characters I meet as I walk the cobblestoned streets of San Miguel. It's still very colorful, just a little damp here!
Please see Karla's photos in the BI-Facebook

Monday, July 26, 2010

San Miguel in July - BI classes in El Charco and horses on stilts in Jardin... ...

(Part of the Cathedral - Parroquia as sketched by Karla Beatty in December 2009)

Ah, San Miguel...there is always something new and interesting happening here.
Connie and I arrived just in time for the opening of some of the Bicentennial events. Our first night here and prancing through the square around the Jardin came a long line of ten-foot tall puppets, followed by actors on horseback dressed up as Pere Hidalgo and Allende, followed by a very serious marching band, and all that followed by many TALL characters on stilt, including a horse and a donkey! It was quite a parade. Connie's class started the next morning, Full, with so many eager students. They are all so appreciative of our classes and full of praise for all the teachers who have come down to San Miguel to teach. Our second night here and we were just in time for an unusual light show that was projected on the multi-turreted, ornate Parroquia building. Flashing lights, so many colors, and even a projected reenactment of the first uprising with Hidalgo and Allende. It was quite a scene. The Jardin and square were JAMMED with people. And at the very moment that the light show ended, the skies let loose with a tremendous rain storm. You never saw so many people exiting from such small streets so quickly! So... unfortunately, it is the rainy season here, and we have yet to see any sunshine. But we don't let the rain stop us and we go out, get wet, and still come back home happy.

Karla & Connie

(Karla and Connie are staying at Posada Corazon at Aldama Street, sketch by Karla Beatty, 2009)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Botanical illustration at Denver International Airport 2011

March 7 - June 3, 2011
Submission Deadline: December 6, 2010
Denver Botanic Gardens’ Botanical Art and Illustration Program, in partnership with the Denver International Airport’s Art Program, invites you to participate in a juried exhibit highlighting the inextricable tie between plants and people.
The exhibit is open to artists enrolled in any of the botanical illustration classes in Denver Botanic Gardens’ Botanical Art and Illustration Program (from 1990-2010) as well as the Program Instructors and Guest Instructors from 1990-2010.
For more information, Please click here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ferdinand Bauer's and Thaddäus Haenke's Color Code

(Systema Colorum tabulare atque comparativum pro expeditione in itinere cum hispanis navibus circa Globum Terraqueum annis 1789-1793, photo MHjK. Please click the image to enlarge)

As a very special treat I was able to view the original Ferdinand Bauer and Thaddäus Haenke color codes from the late 1700s while visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens (CSIC) of Madrid in the beginning of July this year.

It is still unknown how the Bohemian born Haenke purchased Ferdinand Bauer’s color chart (140 different colors) – Haenke developed it further and included it in his Systema Colorum, in which Haenke tried to establish a system of colors for the use of painters and designers working on scientific illustration. The system was reviewed in detail by H.W. Lack and V. Ibanez and published in the Curtis’s Botanical magazine in 1997. Please see some additional images in the BI-Facebook.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Art in Science

The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators is exhibiting in the North Carolina State University library through early August. This is the annual Exhibit for Guild members and you can see a slideshow of the displayed art at NPR Science Friday. Marjorie Leggit, our BI-instructor has her work accepted to this exhibit.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Mutis Collection and The Old and New South American Art

Last week I had the opportunity to see parts of the magnificent iconographic collection of the Royal Botanical Expedition to the New Kingdom of Granada. This collection is held in the Archives of the Real Jardin Botanico (CSIC) in Madrid and consists of 5607 plates in addition to over thousand anatomies and as many nature prints (Eptitas) and some 500 drawings. 3089 of the plates are in tempera and the remaining 2000+ pieces either in black ink or sepia ink. It is wonderful to see how well these paintings are preserved and how bright the colors still are. (All the paintings are digitalized and accessible through the internet, please click here)
This collection was first published in 1952 and exhibited for the very first time outside Spain in 2010: At the moment more than 60 plates are exhibited in the Kew Gardens at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery. Shirley Sherwood also published a new book about this exhibit and the Mutis collection. The book is highly recommended and you can get lots of information what has been unknown for many of us living outside of Spain. For more information please click here.
(One of the Mutis - plates shipped to Spain from Colombia in 1816, photo MHjK)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Penstemons to Pines to St. George, Utah

Kim Manajek, Manager of the Exhibits at Denver Botanic Gardens designed and helped to build the wooden transport box and the acid free envelopes for the individual frames.

It is time for the Botanical Art and Illustration Anniversary exhibit to travel - From Penstemons to Pines will be displayed at the Art Museum of St George, Utah from July 24, 2010 through October 16, 2010. See more information about the travelling exhibit by clicking here. More images about the packing can be viewed in the BI-Facebook.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tribute to Maud Purdy

(Asiatic lily by Randy Raak, gouache on black illustration board, not yet fully completed)

In our series "Drawing on Tradition" we completed last week a 15-hr elective botanical Illustration course about Maud Purdy and her intricate way of illustrating flowers. Maud Purdy was Brooklyn Botanical Gardens' Staff illustrator in 1913-1944. In her flower portraits she typically used gouache on black illustration board as her medium. This class was a microscopy class and attended by 10 students. This class also ended our spring semester. The classes resume on Monday, July 26, 2010. You can see some more illustrations from the class in the BI-Facebook.(White rose by Frank Merrem; colored pencil on white paper)

Friday, July 2, 2010

The North American Rock Garden Society

(Maihuenia poeppigii by Karen Cleaver, please click to image to enlarge)

Rocky Mountain Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS) is hosting the annual national NARGS-Conference in Colorado. The meeting is titled Romancing the Rockies. The Marriage of Plant and Stone and is held during the second week of July (July 11-14).
Most of the meeting is held in Salida, CO, however the first day (July 11th) will be spend in Denver touring the local rock gardens and finally in Sunday afternoon visit to Denver Botanic gardens with the Moore Exhibit and Botanical Illustration art show. The art show is on display only between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. in Mitchell Hall (July 11th) before the official reception. Twenty three excellent illustrations of alpine flora will be on display. All the pieces are for sale and the proceeds benefit the Denver Botanic Gardens' Botanical Art and Illustration Program.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

WILD HARVEST - Ethnobotany Illustrated

WILD HARVEST - Ethnobotany Illustrated

Denver Botanic Gardens' Botanical Art and Illustration Program, in partnership with the Denver International Airport's Art Program, invites you to participate in a buried exhibit highlighting the inextricable tie between plants and people.
March 7 - June 3, 2011

Venue: Denver International Airport, Denver, CO

Eligibility: The exhibit is open to artists enrolled in any of the botanical illustration classes in Denver Botanic Gardens' Botanical Art and Illustration Program as well as the Program Instructors and Guest Instructors from 1990-2010 (NOTE: this includes also our students in El Charco, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico)

Subject Theme: Plants used in textiles, clothing, tools, cosmetics, dyeing, construction, medicine, magic, nutrition or for other purposes throughout the human history.

Submission Deadline: December 6, 2010.

Further Information and Contacts: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski, phone: 720-865-3653. Alternate: Kim Manajek, phone: 720-865-3526.

For more detailed Call to Artists, please click here, or the link on the right hand column under Of Note. (To Download or print the pdf-document, please use the user name: biprogram and password: student)

(Illustration above: Erigeron speciosus by Susan Rubin)