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

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.