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

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Denver's Canopy - The Nature of Deciduous Trees

(Acer platanoides by Heidi Snyder, Colored pencil on mylar, Denver's Canopy, p. 6 - please click the image to enlarge)

This week Denver Botanic Gardens released a beautiful publication as a tribute to Dr. Moras Shubert who celebrated his 100th birthday on May 21st, 2012. Dr. Shubert is a founder of Denver Botanic Gardens and has been serving on the Board of Trustees continuously since 1951. The deciduous trees of Denver has been a life time passion of Dr. Shubert.
Denver's Canopy - The Nature of Deciduous Trees is a limited edition book (225 signed and numbered copies only) dedicated to Dr. Shubert who had the vision and idea for this book. The senior author is Sonia John and the contributing authors are Panayoti Kelaidis and Martin F. Quigley. The text is accompanied by photographs and over 30 botanical illustrations by Denver Botanic Gardens Botanical Illustration community: Estelle DeRidder, Jan Boyd Haring, Marjorie Leggitt, Katherine McCrery, Randy Raak, Heidi Snyder and Amy Weinstein - (graphite, colored pencil, watercolor and pen and ink illustrations are included). 

This beautiful book with 86 pages is packed with information about Denver's deciduous trees and definitely should belong in every Colorado home.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Botanical Illustration program memorializes Sydney Parkinson

(Sydney Parkinson Medallion with the likeness of Mr. Sydney Parkinson on one side and a likeness of the Ficus parkinsonii on the reverse) 

Sydney Parkinson Award for Botanical Illustration was established to honor the character, devotion and fortitude exemplified by Sydney Parkinson (c. 1745 - 1771)  in pursuit of botanical exploration evidenced by his documentation and illustration, and to recognize the certificated student that most closely reflects those values. 
The award shall be granted from time to time, but not necessarily annually, to an outstanding graduating/graduated student within the Botanical Illustration Program or an individual from the national or international landscape who has contributed greatly to the field of botanical illustration and/or plant exploration and related documentation.  
The award will consist of a limited edition, 2¾” pewter medallion and also a cash grant when the designee is an outstanding graduating/graduated student from the Denver Botanic Gardens' Botanical Illustration Program. 

The Natural History Museum in London was presented the Sydney Parkinson Medal #1 in connection of the 2012 Arts and Archives Europe Tour for its continuous encouragement and support of botanic and scientific documentation. (Ms. Andrea Hart from the NHM's Botany Library with the BI-program Manager, March 23, 2012)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Distance Learning Program for Botanical Illustration

The Summer and Fall 2012 Distance Learning Program for the Denver Botanic Gardens Botanical Illustration Program is published! (To download and/or print please use the username: biprogram and password: student)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Colorado bees in Cafe Botanique, Thursday May 17, 6:30 p.m.

(Coelioxys sp.- Photo: Diane M Wilson)

Colorado Bees: 946 species and counting
Virginia Scott, Entomology Collections Manager, University of Colorado Museum of Natural History

The Bees of Colorado, the first compilation of the bee species that occur in Colorado, was published in September 2011.  At that time, 946 bee species were documented from our state however, science is not stagnant.  Come learn about the incredible diversity of bees in Colorado, the history behind The Bees of Colorado, and the knowledge that has been gained during the past nine months. 

Virginia Scott is the Collections Manager of the Entomology Section of the University of Colorado, Museum of Natural History in Boulder. Her interest in native bees was sparked thirty years ago during her undergraduate years at Michigan State University where she studied the nesting biology of yellow-faced and leaf cutting bees.
Café Botanique is a part of the Botanical Art and Illustration Program and is open to everybody. The 30-40 minute talk starts at 6:30 p.m. and is followed by a discussion. Café Botanique generally meets every  third Thursday of the month, each time with a different topic relating to Denver Botanic Gardens’ Botanical Illustration program. Pre-registration is not required but encouraged. This lecture offers one elective credit hour in the Botanical Illustration program. Suggested donation $5.
Thursday, May 17
Denver Botanic Gardens – Gates Hall

6:30 – 8 p.m.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

From Alternate Graphite to Gold Leaf Gilding, Silk Shading and Plastic Pencils

(Aesculus by Karla Beatty - Alternate Graphite, Aug 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 9 a.m. - noon)
The Summer /Fall 2012 course catalog is out! Our registration opens on Tuesday, June 12, 9 a.m. 
In addition to our normal required courses, we will offer ca 30 elective courses  (both day-time and evening time) plus seven guest workshops. We will study and document the Rocky Mountain native plants at Caribou Ranch and in another illustration course get close look at some of the 50-100 edible and 100 poisonous Colorado mushrooms in the Front Range. We will learn about prairie plants, Flemish illumination and Rembrandt with Amsterdam connection. We explore new illustration techniques and improve our skills in the traditional ones. We include handwriting in our program by offering two courses that explore simple methods to improve and reinforce confidence in penmanship.

Even though the fall season is short we have included guest workshops with 
Alice Tangerini, concentrating on the technique of using plastic pencils on film; 
Jeanne Bennett, teaching us the less known floral fore-edge painting;
Scott Rawlins, teaching us silverpoint;
Ann Swan from the U.K., and giving us two workshops in colored pencil techniques;
Sarah Homfray from the Royal School of Needlework in the U.K. teaching us to paint with the needle and revealing us the technique of silk shading which is at least 5000 yrs old. This will be the first ever silk shading embroidery class in the Botanical illustration communities;
Sally Yu Leung from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco can hardly be considered as guest instructor anymore as this is the fifth consecutive year she is teaching us Chinese Brush painting, this time in the form of making bookplates.  
(Iris embroidered with silk shading technique by Sarah Homfray)

 (Platycarpha glomerata by Alice Tangerini, plastic pencil on film)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Genevieve Estelle Jones - America's Other Audubon

(Spizella pusilla - Field Sparrow by Virginia Jones, Plate 16, page 54-55 in American's other Audubon, 2012)

America's Other Audubon (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012) by Joy M. Kiser is finally out.
Genevieve (Virginia) Jones visited the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia and saw for the first time some of the paintings from Audubon's Birds of America. Genevieve was 29 years old. She returned to her home in Ohio and decided to create a book of the missing details for these birds: eggs and nests of all the birds of North America. Gennie's father got her to limit this under-taking to 130 species of birds that nested in Ohio. Genevieve died in 1879 of typhoid fever and the project was carried on by her family. The illustrations were published in Circelville, Ohio between 1879 and 1886 with the economic help of the family and friends of Virginia Jones.
By subscription only 90 copies were made. The illustrations were hand colored in about 50 of those copies. Today only 26 intact copies have been located in the US and abroad. The plates are digitized and can be viewed at the Smithsonian Library website.

In her recently published book America's Other Audubon Joy M. Kiser tells the interesting and tragic story of  Genevieve Estelle Jones and the beautiful, meticulously hand colored illustrations are reproduced in the 192 page large size exceptional volume which is warmly recommended for every natural scientist and nature illustrator. 
Genevieve Estelle Jones was also the inspiration for our Eggs and Nests illustration course in 2011.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Random Pics from our Spring 2012 BI-Courses

(by Susan Curnutte)

Please click here to see random selection of student work from our Spring illustration courses.