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

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.