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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Arts and Archives Europe Tour - Kew and Kespersak

This was our last whole day in London this time around - again 65-70F and sunshine! We visited Kew libraries and the Shirley Sherwood gallery. The day was rounded up with a visit to the studio of the incredible calligrapher, Veiko Kespersak - one of the definite highlights of this tour! For more pictures, please click here.

The day before took a 2-hr drive to outside London, to Wiltshire. This is the second year in the row we wisit Ann Swan and her studios. We also stopped by the Lacock Abbey and the prehistoric Avery. More pictures, please click here.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Art Materials - Arts and Crafts - Highgrove

(from the Cornelissen & Sons. pigment self)
On our second day in London the sun was again shining and we spent some time in the monumental, 150 yr old art supply store before taking the train to the William Morris Red House in  Kent. We had a very nice orientation to the arts and crafts movement and the important roll that William Morris played in it. In the evening we visited Lady Henrietta Pearson who presented us the Prince Charles' Highgrove Florilegium.
For more images from our second day, please click here.

(William Morris' wallpaper "daisy")

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Arts and Archives 2012 Europe Tour

A page from Georg Dionysius Ehret (1708–1770)  sketch book -

Just a few hours after arrival to London we visited the Natural History Museum's Botanical collections. To see some highlights from our fist day, please click here.

(The ceiling of the Natural History Museum is covered by Botanical Illustrations - The white statue in the far end is Darwin)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Congratulations to Heeyong Kim for her RHS gold medal!

(Apocynum cannabinum by Heeyong Kim)

Heeyong Kim is specialized to document the American Midwest native plants. She was one of the seven botanical illustrators who were awarded the Royal Horticulture Society's Gold Medal in 2012 at the RHS London Orchid Show and Botanical Art Show, March 18-19, 2012.    
Congratulations to Heeyong bringing one gold medal to the US!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Weekend tour to Abiquiu and Santa Fe, NM

(The only form the Saint John's Bible can be photographed: as a facsimile edition)

The Botanical Illustration Program does arrange both domestic and international art tours. 
During the past weekend we visited Georgia O'Keeffe's  home and studio in Abiquiu, NM on our way to study once more time the monumental Saint John's Bible in the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe. Our ten-people group was sketching and learning about the illuminated pages which are currently on display. We could also see the complementary exhibit The Letter, the Word and the Book  highlighting other 20th and 21st century practitioners of calligraphy, engraving, enameling etc.
We got an exclusive presentation of the Palace Print Shop and Bindery  by Thomas Leech and among other details learned how the limited edition books are produced. Many of us went also to the New Mexico Museum of Art to see the Gustave Baumann exhibit which was closing only day after our visit.
A photographic documentation of this week-end tour is available for viewing by clicking here.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Botanical Illustration Applications - Tiles in the style of Art Nouveau

(Four tiles by Doug McCallum illustrating Colorado native butterflies, colored pencil)

Twelve students  have recently completed a colored pencil elective on designing Art Nouveau tiles. The next step will be to transfer the design to tiles, which then will be used in bathrooms, kitchens etc. Last year's Arts and Archives Europe tour initiated the idea to this truly successful class offering. Please see more images from this class by clicking here.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


(Sanguinaria canadensis by Ann Cunningham, watercolor - Please click the image to enlarge)

Yesterday seven graduate candidates from the Botanical Illustration certificate program  presented their portfolios and thus completed all the requirements for the Certificate of Completion. Please join me in congratulating Michele Bloom, Judy Cochrane, Ann Cunningham, Barbara McKee, Lynn Lee, Ruth Newell and Elizabeth Thoms Charles the new graduates form our program! Samples of their portfolio pieces will be posted soon. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Inspired by Wicked Plants

(Foxglove by Kay Casperson. All parts of this beautiful garden biennial are poisonous to humans and animals. Please click the image to enlarge)

Right before Halloween last year (2011) we offered a class with the  topic inspired by Amy Stewart's Wicked Plants. Many of the plants from that class have been completed and can be viewed with their interpretation by clicking here. (Instructor was Susan Rubin).

(Please click the image to find more information about this award winning book)  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dry Point Intaglio

(Tulips by Angela Tingle)
Drypoint is the simplest method of printmaking within the intaglio family. The image is directly drawn into an intaglio plate with a sharp pointed instrument or a diamond point and no acid is used. This "scratching" creates a bur that holds the ink The bur is fragile and the wear created through the process of printing means that the plate will only yield an edition of up to ten prints of good quality.
 Through the history drypoint has been used by the masters: Albrech Duerer, Joris Hoefnagel, Maria Sibylla Meriam and Rembrant to name a few of them. Traditionally the plate has been of copper or zinc but in the modern times also plexiglas is used. Our Botanical Illustration Program included for the very first time a class in Drypoint Printing in the series of Drawing in Tradition. You can see pictures from that class by clicking here (instructors Annie Reiser and Patricia Brantead)
(Shirley Adler's print before and after color application)