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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pysanky - Ukrainian Easter Eggs

Our Botanical Illustration Program is offering it again!!!   On our class you can find out about the interesting development of this pagan talisman that is so popular in Christianity. Are they magical or just magically beautiful? Learn to make jewel like eggs that you will be addicted to for life! 
To find out more about this 3-day Pysanky: Ukrainian Eggs' weekend workshop, please click here.
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 30thcentury 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. 
Pysanka Museum in Ukraine
The Ukrainian Museum in New York, NY
To see more pictures from our class last year, please click here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Watercolor pencils - something in between drawing and painting

(Red Onion by Sue Klebold)

For several years now our Botanical illustration program has included offerings in Watercolor Pencil, both entry level and advanced. It is an excellent medium to take with while travelling, doing field sketching or nature journaling. Watercolor Pencils are very suitable for mixed media exercises and blends well with almost any other media.  Please click here to see a selection of illustrations from our entry level Wartercolor class.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Trouble in Paradise

(By Barbara McKee, Watercolor - Please click the image to enlarge)

Happy Valentine's Day

(Frank Andrus, 2012, Colored Pencil) 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Time to decide - Arts and Archives 2012 cut-off date is Feb. 17th

(Ann Swan's Living quarters)

Cut-off date for registrations is on February 17th, 2012

 Join Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski, Manager of Botanical Art and Illustration Programs for a unique exploration of art archives in Europe. This 12-day tour includes four nights in London with the remaining time in southern Germany. Discover the hidden jewels of Kew Gardens’ Library, Art & Archives and enjoy Dr. Shirley Sherwood’s company while exploring the current exhibits in the only gallery solely devoted to botanical art. Learn about published and unpublished art treasures in the Natural History Museum and British Library and enjoy a tour of the British Library’s Conservation Studios. Presentation of the extensive three year conservation research project of the outstanding ReevesCollection in addition to William Morris Red House and the newly re-opened DeMorgan Centre are in the program. Take a one day break from collections to visit the well-known artist and teacher, Ann Swan at her studio in Wiltshire, with a stop at the Lacock Abbey and the neolithic monuments at Avebury

Travel by high-speed rail to Frankfurt (via Brussels) to explore Maria Sibylla Merian’s works from the 17th century and spend time at the University of Tuebingen with Leonhart Fuchs’ collection. Learn about the scientific side of the great poet Goethe and visit the Gutenberg Museum. Explore Germany’s oldest town Trier, and on the way to Nürnberg, visit the Heidelberg Castle to learn about pharmaceutical history in this remarkable museum, which displays one of the finest collections of paintings, manuscripts and related objects from the past two thousand years.
The tour comes to an end in Bavaria, where you can sample special wines and famous gingerbread while discovering the secrets of Faber-Castell’s 250-year history on the tour of the company’s Jugend castle. Before leaving Germany, visit the Imperial Castle of Nürnberg and the Germanic National Museum, which boasts Albrecht Dürer collections and the unique Codex aureus, produced in the 10th century.

For a detailed day-by-day program, please click here.

For more information about the program, please contact Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski or 720-865-3653. Please contact Sheridan Shamano  or 303-860-6045 to reserve your spot.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Georgia O'Keeffe and Drawing on Tradition

(by Judy Cochrane, pan pastel and colored pencil)

In our elective class series Drawing on Tradition we explored the techniques Georgia O'Keeffe used in her super sized close-up view of flowers which revolutionized the tradition of flower painting in the 1920s. The students were introduced to pan pastels in combination of colored pencils. Please click here to see more student work from this class. The instructor was Susan Rubin. 
(Laura Thomasen at work)

Friday, February 3, 2012


Because of  in the heavy snow Denver Denver Botanic Gardens is closed today, February 3rd. Color Layering for Colored Pencil weekend workshop is cancelled! We let you know about the re-scheduling on Monday, February 6

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Excellence in Colorado

Susan Rubin's piece Mesmerize: Echinops tjanschanicus, Globe Thistle was awarded the Derwent Fine Pencils Award for Excellence in connection of the Explore This! 8 CPSA online exhibit. Susan Rubin is one of our excellent core teachers (colored pencil and graphite).
Dorothy DePaolo achieved the Canson Award for Excellence for her "Flowering Cactus" in the same exhibit. 
To see all the awards, please click here 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

In Cafe Botanique: Codex to Codex, Leaf to Leaf -

Codex to Codex, Leaf to Leaf
Karen Jones, Collections Conservator

Every part of a book (which may include paper, cloth, leather, inks, pigments and adhesives) reacts to its environment and deteriorates with age. Made from organic materials - many plant-based - books have also proven to be among the most durable and efficient transmitters of information since ancient times. Why are 16th century papers more durable than contemporary papers? Is rice paper really made from rice? What are the differences between Eastern and Western paper-making traditions? Learn about preserving your own paper-based collections as well as a bit of the history of bookbinding and paper-making, and appreciate the often-anonymous artisans who made ingenious use of the plant world's natural resources. 

Karen Jones has been a bookbinder and book and paper conservator in private practice for almost 30 years, serving local, state and regional archival institutions as well as private collections, including the Colorado Sate Archives, Colorado State University, Denver Public Library, Colorado History Museum, University of Denver and the University of Wyoming. A professional associate member of the American Institute for Conservation since 1990, she also served as the collections conservator for the Jefferson County public library system from 1980-2010.
Thursday, February 9
Denver Botanic Gardens – Gates Hall
6:30 – 8 p.m.

(Reserve your seat by clicking here)