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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Confessions in Cafe Botanique -

Confessions of a Plant Explorer:

With one eye on the road, the other on the roadside

Allan Taylor, Ph.D.


In his talk Allan Taylor will describe some of the interesting woody plants that he has discovered and collected from the wild. He will also teach the audience how to drive with one eye on the road, the other on the roadside, looking for the next outstanding plant introduction. All for the greater glory of gardens, of course!

Taylor has always been interested in gardening, both as a scientific and spiritual exercise. Gardening for him is a superb way to commune with nature, to learn the secrets of the genetics and physiology of plants, but also to express oneself artistically in partnership with the plants. Taylor’s primary interest in gardening is to introduce plants from the wild, and to discover how they can be successfully brought under cultivation. He was practicing xeriscape gardening long before it had a name.

One of Taylor’s most spectacular introductions is a Pinus contorta, which has golden candles in the spring. This plant is propagated and sold under the cultivar name “Taylor’s Sunburst.” The tree was found at about 9,000 feet just west of Boulder, 20 years ago.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Denver Botanic Gardens – Morrison Center

6:30 – 8 p.m

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Denver Botanic Gardens 2009 Index Seminum

(Cover art by Estelle Deridder)
You can view and/or download the DBG's Index Seminum 2009 here (to download use the user name: biprogram and password: student)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

RHS' Orchid Show 2010

(Cattleya x hardyana Alba Group 'Pitt's Variety' by Nellie Roberts)

In conjunction the Royal Horticulture Society’s annual Orchid Show during the past weekend (March 20-21, 2010) the Lindley Hall showed a new Botanical Art Show. Twenty five Botanical Artists are competing for the RHS Gold Medal of 2010.

In the Lindley Library there are two exhibits of interest for the Botanical Illustration community: (1.) Gold Medal-winning pictures from the library’s contemporary art collections, and (2.) selection of orchid award portraits, beginning with illustrations by Nellie Roberts and ending with works by RHS’ current orchid artist, Deborah Lambkin.

You can read about five orchid art patrons in the latest RHS’ Orchid Review or by clicking here. In the article John Lindley, James Bateman, James Veitch, Jr and Sir Harry Veitch, Baron Henry Schröder and finally Sir Trevor Lawrence are featured.

(Orchid Review, March 2010, Vol. 118, No 1289: 24-29)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Botanical Portraits with Colored Pencils by Ann Swan

(A spread from the Botanical Portraits by Ann Swan)

Ann Swan had the very first copy of this beautiful volume in the Classroom C today. The publication offers practical and step-by-step instruction for creating professional quality colored pencil illustrations of botanical subjects. Ann Swan demonstrates the use of both water-soluble and oil-based colored pencils, and presents progressive illustrations that demonstrate the rendering of an artwork from start to completion. All aspects of working with colored pencils what you can think about are covered.
In the book is also a gallery of works by other botanical artists to show students a wide range of styles, among these 15 artists Libby Kyer and Susan Rubin, two of our excellent core instructors from DBG, are included.


You can order this book from Amazon (to be released in the U.K in April and U.S.A. somewhat later). On the left is the cover of the US-edition and the UK edition is on the right.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Botanical Art as a Vehicle for Cultural Diplomacy


The Dream of the Turquoise Bee

Botanical Art as a Vehicle for Cultural Diplomacy

Dianne Aigaki



Travel with Dianne on her journeys to Tibet where she is completing a series of 108 scientific botanical paintings of wildflowers growing between 11,000-18,000 feet elevation. Yak herding, global warming, monks imprisoned for seven years for writing Free Tibet on a sign, searching for the Tibetan blue poppy at 16,000 feet altitude, delivering gifts from the Dalai Lama to his homeland—it’s all part of this presentation.

Dianne Aigaki is an artist, grant writer and advocate for the Tibetan culture in exile. She has painted flowers in the Dalai Lama’s private garden. She has lived in Dharamsala, India for 11 years, working as a volunteer for various non-profit organizations and Tibetan exile government departments, training individuals and groups to write solid plans and fund-raising proposals and helping to develop adult education and community garden projects. She is a member of the Society of Women Geographers (the premier group of women explorers in the world) and WINGS WorldQuest (an international organization of women explorers) and carried the WINGS flag into Tibet in 2006.



Thursday, March 25, 2010

Denver Botanic Gardens – Morrison Center

6:30 – 8 p.m.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gold Standard



Gold Standard: An exhibition of Botanical Art
Friday 29 January – Monday 12th April


An exciting new collaboration between the Royal Horticultural Society and
Fulham Palace presents stunning contemporary art works by six Fulham Palace RHS Gold Medal winning artists:


See the companion article from the organizers by clicking here .

(Ann Swan is teaching a week long colored pencil workshop at Denver Botanic Gardens, March 22-26)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Barbara East Exhibits in Boulder

(Barbara East is exhibiting in Art Den Gallery in Boulder during the month of March; Closing reception on Thursday, March 25th 5 p.m. -7 p.m.)


(From Barbara East’s bio):

Barbara East is an artist, a cowgirl, a keeper of the land. Her life philosophy and beliefs shine through her art with every brush stroke. Horses, ranching and tough work have always been a part of her life. In summer months, East manages cattle grazing in the high country, where she is also the keeper of the range with an ever watchful eye for "something not right" on the job and an equally watchful eye for something remarkable enough to paint. The life East leads is the inspiration behind every painting, her life as a cowgirl and an artist inseparable.”

Barbara is renowned for her intricate watercolors on cigarette papers, and larger works in egg tempera. Her recent focus has turned to large pieces commemorating the histories of family ranches, agricultural organizations or life careers. (Please see the BI-blog entry from January 22nd 2010)

Presently she is working with a mural for Woolgrowers 150th annual meeting in San Francisco, CA(Summer 2010).


Barbara East is a fifth generation Colorado native, and well known throughout the Northwest, having twice won best in show at the Museum of Native American Cultures in Washington.

Barbara East is also a student within the DBG' Botanical Illustration Certificate Program.


( ©Barbara East)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Willian Morris and Eugene Grasset


(Design by Renee Jorgensen)

In the series of Drawing on Tradition the students learn about old masters, explore techniques and apply them in Botanical illustration. During the next class offered within this series we present Eugene Grasset and William Morris. Both of them were masters in ornamental design and we can even today enjoy their influence in decorative textiles and wallpapers. Learn to use graphic design tools and techniques and create your own decorative botanical motif.

For more information and to register, please click here.


(Image 'Tulip and Willow' indigo-discharge wood-block printed fabric designed by William Morris)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cecil Learns To Smile


Please join us to celebrate the publication of Charlotte Bucher's first children's book: Cecil Learns to Smile.
You can order this charming book through Amazon or Barnes and Noble
Charlotte graduated from the Botanical Art and Illustration Program in 2008.
Congratulations Charlotte!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

DBG's Index Seminum 2009 - Cover Art

(Globularia punctata by Estelle DeRidder, Colored pencil and Graphite)

The cover art for the Index Seminum 2009 has been selected! Congratulations Estelle DeRidder, the artist for the absolutely stunning Globularia punctata. Estelle graduated from the Botanical Illustration program in February 2010. We let you know as soon as the Denver Botanic Gardens' Index Seminum 2009 is ready for download.