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

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Denver Botanic Gardens' Index Seminum 2010

(Digitalis obscura by Ann Fleming)

You can now view and download the Denver Botanic Gardens' Index Seminum  2010 by clicking here. This year we have 401 selections of seeds included. The catalog was sent over 200 institutions around the world.
The cover illustration was made by Ann Fleming. Ann is a graduate of Edingburgh College of Art in Scotland and the Botanical Art and Illustration Program at Denver Botanic Gardens.
(Rhamnus smithii by Ann Fleming)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Different Applications for BI-Skills

Karen Cleaver, an active member of our Botanical Illustration community and a graduate of the program has decorated these fans for the wedding of a family member. See more of these beautiful fans in the BI-Facebook, or clicking here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Congratulations for three new Botanical Illustration Graduates!

Three Sunflowers by Nannette Nielsen, March 2011 BI-Graduate

Marianne Hayes, Nannette Nielsen and Gordon Palmer have successfully completed the requirements for the Botanical Illustration Certificate of Completion at Denver Botanic Gardens.
To complete the Certificate requirements for the Botanical Art and Illustration Program at Denver Botanic Gardens is an impressive achievement representing much hard work, both in and out of the classroom. We are proud of you. 

Samples of each graduates work is available by following the link on the right hand column of this blog under 2011 Portfolio Reviews/March or by clicking here. The quality of the images is in many cases unfortunately questionable due to the lighting, and to the fact that some of the artwork was framed and behind the glass.
Graduation Ceremony will be arranged in connection to the annual Botanical Illustration Artist Show, which this will be arranged in the Museum Gallery of University of Denver Anthropology Department  during the Fall of 2011.

Chocolate - Food of the Gods

“The only difference between guilt-ridden and guilt-free chocolate enjoyment is simply education!” –Julie Pech

Chocolate - Food of the Gods
By Julie Pech, author of The Chocolate Therapist: A User’s Guide to the Extraordinary Health Benefits of Chocolate”

Sales of luxury and gourmet chocolates are rapidly increasing as people embrace the news that chocolate is good for you; but how do you know what to eat, how much or which kinds are best? Join Julie Pech as she reveals the answers to these questions and many others about chocolate. Pech has made it her personal mission to change the chocolate-loving world as we know it, one convert at a time. Book signing follows the talk. Chocolate samples available.

Julie Pech is the author of "The Chocolate Therapist:  A User's Guide to the Extraordinary Health Benefits of Chocolate" and owns The Chocolate Therapist chocolate shop in Littleton, Colorado, where all-natural chocolates and gourmet fresh-roasted coffee are produced.  She speaks up to 20 times a month to various groups about chocolate and health, teaches chocolate & wine and chocolate & tea pairing classes, hosts fundraisers and charity events and even travels internationally on cruise ships as a guest lecturer—speaking about chocolate. She will be the host of the upcoming Chocolate Therapist TV, launching in the fall of 2011.
(Suggested donation $5, for registration, please click here)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Denver Botanic Gardens – Gates Hall
6:30 – 8 p.m

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Botanica Spectaculum

(Thurbergia mysorensis by Karen Cleaver, watercolor)

Friday, March 18, 2011
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 11, 2011

C.B. = Critique Botanique

Last night was the first session for the Critique Botanique. The members of the Botanical Illustration community at Denver Botanic Gardens meet in the classroom environment and discuss their art-in-process.  The students are going to meet approximately once a month for two hours. The sessions are alternating between day and evening time. There was a lot of energy in Hibiscus classroom and everybody found it very helpful and stimulating. Photos from the session are posted in the Facebook 
Next Session is scheduled for Friday, March 25, 1-3 p.m.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pysanky at Denver Botanic Gardens

(from the collection of and made by K. Trischunk) 

Pysanky is the plural form of pysanka, a Ukrainan word which means “hand written egg” or richly decorated Ukrainian Easter Egg.  Pysanky design involves drawing with hot beeswax using a specialty drawing tool,  kitsky. 
Pysanky is an ancient art form and has been known at least since 30th century BCE. The most common designs found on pysanky are associated with plants, flowers and fruit. In the past, the women who wrote pysanky–pysankarky–drew their inspiration from the world of nature, depicting flowers, trees, fruits, leaves and whole plants in a highly stylized fashion. Read more about the floral motifs here.

Pysanka Museum in Ukraine
The Ukrainian Museum in New York, NY

Are they magical or just magically beautiful? Find out about the interesting development of this pagan talisman that is so popular in Christianity. Learn to make jewel like eggs that you will be addicted to for life! 
We still have seats available in the 3-day weekend workshop that Botanical Art and Illustration Program is offering right in time before the Easter.  
For more information please click here, or call 720-865-3580

(for the source of this image, please click here)

Critique Botanique

(from Colored Pencil II, 3rd session, Sharon Eaton)

Critique Botanique is meeting tonight in Hibiscus 6 - 8 p.m.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


(Please click to enlarge)
 Botanica Spectaculum in Celebration of Earth Day
Republic Plaza, 370 17th Street, Denver, CO
March 17 - May 18

Opening reception: Friday, March 18, 2011: 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Special Events held in cooperation with Denver Botanic Gardens
Talk: Thursday, April 21, 2011: 12:00 noon
- Lobby, Republic Plaza
Natural Science and the Trade of Botanical Illustration
by Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski. Ph.D., D.Sc.

Demonstration: Thursday, May 12, 2011: 12:00 noon
- "The Art Room", Concourse Level, Republic Plaza
Botanical Illustration - How To
by Renee Jorgensen
(Please click to enlarge)

Please NOTE: Beth Bradford's name was accidentally left out from the invitation. She is one of the excellent Pen and Ink artists within our Botanical Art and Illustration community. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011


(Populus tremuloides by Jan Boyd Haring)

WILD HARVEST – Illustrating Ethnobotanicals
March 4 to June 5, 2011
Denver International Airport – A Gates Mezzanine Gallery

Denver International Airport presents Wild Harvest: Illustrating Ethnobotanicals featuring 32 botanical illustrations from the Botanical Art and Illustration Program at Denver Botanic Gardens and material culture from the University of Denver Museum of Anthropology. The installation explores ethnobotany, the relationship between people and their uses of plants. Even while we are surrounded by highly technical gadgets, plants continue to play a primary role in our lives. Illustrations and objects in the exhibition communicate this ongoing relationship, focusing on plants that have a particular use – textiles, clothing, tools, cosmetics, dues, construction, medicine, magic, or food. American Indian artifacts included in the show capture a rich cultural history and help to illuminate the complex connection between humans and plants.

The exhibition is an ancillary component to Denver Botanic Gardens’ 2011 signature exhibition – Native Roots | Modern Form: Plants, peoples and the Art of Allan Houser

See photos from the art installation at Denver International Airport by clicking here, to see all the included botanical illustrations (with the interpretation), please click here.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Archetypa - Hoefnagel's cabinet of miniatures

Archetype studiaque patris Georgii Hoefnagelii shows close-up portraits of plants, insects, and small animals. It initiated at the time of its publishing in 1592 (Frankfurt) an immediate admiration of the art and nature lovers. The designs were created by Joris Hoefnagel and engraved by his son, Jacob who was said to be 17-yr old at the time of the publishing (in reality he was 19-yr). Most likely several engravers were engaged in the production as the quality of the individual engravings is variable. Hoefnagel created his miniatures for the elite circles, for dukes, archdukes and the Emperor.  It was aimed both for lovers of plants and smaller animals, and for artists. 
The book provides a wealth of models, and copies were frequently made from it:  Book of Hours and Beseler’s Hortus Eystettensis might be among the most known ones to include several copied illustrations from Archetypa. Typically the copied images were reversed in comparison to those in the Architypa. On the other hand Albrect Dϋrer influenced also Hoefnagel: his side view of a stag-beetle was created to honor A. Dϋrer who recorded  that insect in “Madonna and the Many Animals” in 1505 (lower left corner).
Hoefnagel was certainly the first painter to raise the insects in their various phenotypes to the status of an independent pictorial subject. He also introduced the idea that man is a creature as transitory as a blade of grass or a flower in the meadow, like a soap-bubble, Homo bulla. 
Archetypa was the first publication to give the general public access to printed repertoire of forms which  carefully illustrated local and exotic plants and animals. Hoefnagel’s work was breaking the tradition of illustrating plants with flowers, roots and fruits, or as boarders to frame text or image intensifying it being also influential for the floral still lives of the seventieth century.
(Pars IV, plate 1 by Joris Hoefnagel)

In our series of  Drawing on Tradition miniature art was created in the manner of Joris Hoefnagel. Please see the BI-Facebook for the student work by clicking here.
The instructor for this class was Annie Reiser

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New in Kew -

At the moment Shirley Sherwood Gallery exhibits among other jewels the following:
1. First Time Out:

  (Japanese xylarium - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)
Five London Museums including Kew displays collections that have never been displayed before. Objects telling about past environment, cultures and events. In the picture three of the 26 displayed Japanese woodpanels illustrating trees that are important in Japanese culture. These panels were made at the University of Tokyo Botanical Gardens in 1878. Each of the panels is made of the wood and bark of the plant shown in the painting.
(from left: Trachycarpus fortunei, Pyrus pyrifolia and Diospyros kaki - all these three trees are native in China but introduced to Japan for many centuries ago).

2. The Botanical Brush, From Eye to Hand and Hidden Treasure

(Acacia erioloba by R. Pedder-Smith)

The Botanical Brush features nine artists who have contributed for the Hampton Court Palace Florilegium. From Eye to Hand includes partly invitational botanical material and partly art from the 200,000 item Kew Art Collection. Hidden Treasure exhibits botanical art from Dr. Shirley Sherwood's collection concentrating to botanicals illustrating what is under the soil. In this specific exhibit we can see Dr. Sherwood's favorite "Beetroot" by Susannah Blaxhill

3.  Earliest European view of Everest found in Kew archives:

Sketch of Mount Everest by Sir Joseph Hooker, the director of Kew between 1865 and 1885.
This sketch was identified at the end of last year and is on display in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery until June 1st 2011.

You can see these exhibits and much more if you join us for the Arts and Archives Europe tour in April - we have one seat available. For more information, please click here