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

Monday, October 31, 2011

Special Evening with Donald Jackson and The Saint John's Bible

(Donald Jackson, Artistic director for “The Saint John’s Bible”and senior scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II)

Illuminating the Word: The Saint John’s Bible, on exhibit at the New Mexico History Museum through April 7, represents Jackson’s crowning achievement—the fulfillment of a goal he began nurturing as a young boy. Jackson oversaw a team of scribes who hand wrote and illuminated every page of the Bible on behalf of the Benedictine monks at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. The project was completed this fall; after the History Museum’s exhibition of pages from the Wisdom Books and Prophets volumes of the work, the pages will be bound and placed in the care of the monastery.

Jackson began developing sketches that led to the project while at a Ghost Ranch workshop in northern New Mexico. In 1996, he took to Saint John’s Abbey an idea about collaborating on a millennium-worthy project, which was officially commissioned in 1998. By March 8, 2000, Jackson was able to pen the project’s first words on a page of vellum: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, the Word was God ...” On May 9, 2011, he wrote the final word, “Amen.” The pages were publicly unveiled in September.

“Now that I have inscribed the final Amen,” Jackson said in a prepared statement for the event, “I realise that over the long years of this task, a boyhood dream, I have gradually absorbed an enduring conviction of the pin-sharp relevance of these ancient Biblical Texts to the past, present and the future of our personal and public life and experience. These texts have a life of their own and their life is a mirror of the human spirit and experience.”
Jackson created a script specifically for the project that was then learned by each of the scribes who worked on it. Mixing techniques used in creating ancient illuminated manuscripts with the modern technology of computers to plan the layout, the work reveals a modern interpretation of biblical traditions. Viewers will spy chain-link fencing, DNA models, people of many races, and imagery from a variety of faiths.

At the age of 20, Jackson was appointed a visiting lecturer at the Camberwell College of Art in London. Within six years, he was appointed a scribe to the Crown Office at the House of Lords. As a scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, he was responsible for the creation of official state documents and, in 1985, was decorated by the Queen with the Medal of The Royal Victorian Order, which is awarded for personal service to the sovereign. Jackson is an elected fellow and past chairman of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators and, in 1997, was named master of the 600-year-old Guild of Scriveners of the city of London. He is the author of The Story of Writing and has trained and encouraged many of America’s top calligraphers.

Their finished project is the first handcrafted Bible commissioned by a Benedictine abbey in more than 500 years. Handwritten and illuminated on calfskin vellum using quills, hand-ground pigments, natural inks, and gold-leaf gild, the Bible contains more than 160 illuminations and countless text treatments and marginalia in seven distinct books: Pentateuch, Historical Books, Psalms, Wisdom Books, Prophets, Gospels and Acts, and Letters and Revelation. For more information on the project, please click here
Download a high-resolution version of this image and other images from The Saint John’s Bible by clicking here

Our Botanical Illustration program is arranging a trip to Santa Fe on Monday, November 7th (coming back to Denver on November 8th) to visit the exhibit and attend the Donald Jackson presentation. We have one ticket left for the special reception. Please see more detailed information by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

FIRST SNOW STORM for the season_

For possible inclement weather tomorrow  (Wednesday, October 25) in Denver please call (720) 865-3615 for possible class cancellations!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

From Outlined to Boneless

(Peonies by Sharon Eaton)


The traditional Chinese brush painting goes back to at least 4000 before our era and it has always been very closely related to the other crafts, history and traditions in China. Flower painting was separated from decorative art to form an independent section around the 9th century. There is always a great deal of symbolism in Chinese painting. The traditional media was ink and ink washes, in the modern times the painters have mixed several colors with black inks resulting to more natural and richly varied colors. The Chinese brush paintings represent one of the oldest styles of art in the world today.

Denver Botanic Gardens' Botanical Art and Illustration Program has included Chinese brush painting in its elective curriculum since 2007. This is an excellent way to get familiar with this old unique technique and explore the abiding rhythms of nature and human culture in China. In all these years we have invited Ms. Sally Yu Leung from San Francisco, CA to teach us and her classes are always immensely popular and sold out. Ms. Leung specializes in Chinese culture and folk art, often producing and curating cultural exhibits. She has many active roles at the San Francisco's Asian Art Museum - including Mayor-Appointed Asian Art Commissioner, Board of the Society for Asian Art, and Senior Docent - and has served on the boards of the Asian American International School and the Chinese Cultural Foundation. Sally teaches Chinese calligraphy and brush painting regularly not only in Denver Botanic Gardens but also at Pixar Animation Studios.
Please see more photos from the class in the BI-Facebook.
(major part of the 2011- course participants with Sally)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Artistic Box for Art, Stationary or Precious Items

(Button box, Clam Shell Box, Box for e.g., Stationary by David Ashley)

Over the coming weekend (October 21 - 23, 2011) we ore offering a Artistic Box making class with David Ashley, the renown calligrapher and bookmaker from Denver. You will learn to make a variety of sturdy and beautiful boxes, perfect for botanical note cards, stationary, pens and pencils or small precious objects. We will create a clamshell box, a hinged lid box and a box with a separate lid. They will be constructed of bookbinding board, covered with durable book cloth and lined with a variety of beautiful papers.
We do have 3 seats available, for on-line registration, please click here.
(Button box, Clam Shell Box, Box for e.g., Stationary by David Ashley)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

May They Always Flourish


2011 Botanical Illustration Graduates at Denver Botanic Gardens are presented in this publication available through Lulu. The graduation ceremony is today (2 p.m.) in connection with the opening reception of the Annual Botanical illustration art show Art Meets Science (Sunday October 9th, 1 - 3 p.m.).
To preview May They Always Flourish 2011, please click here (takes a while after clicking the preview).

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sally Yu Leung in Cafe Botanique


Blessings without Words: Botanical Motifs in Chinese Children’s Clothing and Accessories
Sally Yu Leung, Cultural Ambassador, Asian Art museum, San Francisco, CA

In China, children’s clothing and accessories are more than mere adornments of the body; they are bearers of the hopes and blessings for these tiny human beings. In this presentation, Sally Yu Leung, an independent curator of Chinese decorative arts, collector, teacher of Chinese brush-arts at Pixar Animation Studios and also a Cultural Ambassador at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco will reveal the enchanting mysteries behind the hidden meanings in Chinese children's clothing and accessories.


Book signing follows. A beautifully produced and illustrated 217 page book written in Chinese/English by Sally Yu Leung, Hidden Meanings in Chinese Children Clothing and Accessories, will be available at $45.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Denver Botanic Gardens – Gates Hall
6:30 – 8 p.m.
(Register by clicking here)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Art meets Science - gallery opened for visitors today


Our annual botanical illustration exhibit is at the moment showing in University of Denver Museum of Anthropology Gallery (October 4 - October 28, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.).
It is impressive to see this type of professionally presented Botanical illustration show in Denver. Rarely we have the opportunity to study 68 top level illustrations in the same locality. This selection includes also works from the 2011 Botanical illustration Certificate recipients (eight graduates) and our eight core instructors. Please see more pictures from the exhibit venue by clicking here.


Please remember the reception (and graduation ceremony) on Sunday, October 9, 1 - 3 p.m.



Sunday, October 2, 2011

San Miguel in December -

(Rudbeckia hirta bu Constance Sayas)

If you like to experience San Miguel de Allende in December, please join our Botanical illustration workshop: 
Wildflowers in Watercolor
Put brush to paper and learn the skills to portray delicate petals, leaves and detail in transparent watercolor. Compose the perfect plant portrait and add build color to capture the beauty of El Charco’s flowers.
Monday - Friday, December 5 - 9, 2011 (10 a.m. - 1 p.m.)
Instructor: Constance Sayas
For more information or to register for the class, please click here

This workshop is part of Denver Botanic Gardens' Botanical Illustration Program in El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico  - we will return in 2012. (The detailed 2012 program will be published soon.)
- Please see also the article published today in Denver Post