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

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chinese Calligraphy in Cafe Botanique, Thursday November 29

Dance of Painted Ink: The Art of Calligraphy in China and Beyond
By Sally Yu Leung, San Francisco, CA

While the word “Calligraphy” refers to “beautiful writing” in English, the Chinese has regarded Calligraphy, or Shufa (literally “the way/method/law of writing) as one of the highest art forms. For those unfamiliar with Chinese calligraphy, one can use dance as an analogy. In the dance of calligraphy, the rhythm and flow of the dance are controlled through character size, the contrast between light and dark ink, and the speed with which the individual strokes are applied. Sally Yu Leung will talk about the rich cultural and historical significance of Chinese calligraphy as well as the ongoing artistic developments of this art form in China and beyond.

Sally Yu Leung is an independent lecturer, author and curator of Chinese decorative arts. Ms. Leung
has conducted talks and workshops for the Denver Botanic Gardens for some years now.

The annual Botanical Illustration silent auction to benefit the School of Botanical Illustration including original art, art materials, books, art related items will be organized in conjunction of this event. 
Bidding: 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Talk:  Gates Hall, November 29, 2012, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Golden Age of Botanical Art by Martyn Rix

The Golden Age of Botanical Art by Martyn Rix is the latest addition to the literature portraying the Botanical Art. Starting from the origins of Botanical Art some 4500 years ago this work highlights the classic work of the seventeenth  to the nineteenth century. It is beautifully illustrated with over 250 rarely, or previously unpublished, images from the archives of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and  brings together the stories of the brave and intrepid explorers and the many professional artists who recorded for posterity the flora that they discovered on their travels and expeditions. This book includes artistry of China and India, delves into the sketchbooks of travelling men and women, follows the voyages of those who discovered new worlds and new species as far apart as Africa and South America. It includes both adventure minded scientists and brave Victorian ladies. It includes a capture about Leonardo da Vinci and Flora Danica and does not overlook the current development and direction of the tradition.

With PhD in Botany from University of Cambridge, Martyn Rix  has worked with the University Garden in Zurich and at the Royal Horticultural Society's Garden at Wisley before becoming an independent botanical advisor and writer. He has made many expeditions to different parts of the world to collect new plants for gardens. He is the current editor of Curtis Botanical Magazine

This volume is warmly recommended and should be included in the Holiday present-wishlist for the Botanical illustrator and art lover.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Guernseys' Auction at Arader Galleries

(Herman Henstenburgh, 1667-1726, Blue Liseron flowers, lush greenery, butterfly and other flowers on a tabletop, gouache - estimated $7000 - $10000)

Guernseys auction house is being held at Arader Gallery at 1016 Madison Avenue on December 5th. Featured are more than 280 lots the include exceptional historical maps, rare books, American and European oil Paintings, and natural history engravings and watercolors including over 80 lots of John James Audubon's birds and mammals. 
Please view the auction catalog by clicking here. You can browse lot-by-lot through LiveAuctionees by clicking here.  Please note that all ALL lots with a low estimate under $10,000 will have no reserves so they could sell for $100 or LESS.
NOTE: 10% of the hammer price of anything that you acquire will go to the Denver Botanic Gardens for unrestricted use and 15% in credit from Arader's inventory for anything that Denver Botanic Gardens or the Friends of Denver Botanic Gardens acquire at this sale. 
Please take the opportunity and support our institute!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Contemporary Traditions Reception and 2012 Graduations

(Please click the image to enlarge)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Legacy Techniques and Zentangle

(Columbine by Sharon Henderson, silk shading - please click to enlarge)

In addition to the standard curriculum the Botanical Illustration program regularly offers courses in legacy techniques such as egg tempera, silver point, gold leaf gilding and Chinese brush painting. In 2012 we have also offered fore-edge painting (Fepping) and silk shading. We also started to teach Zentangle which can be considered to be from the opposite end of the scale.
Fore-Edge painting of books was originally used for identifying and organizing books (like an early cataloging system) and dates back to the 10th century. Disappearing fore-edge paintings where the painting is invisible when the book is closed is documented from the 17th century and onward. During the 18th century the character of the painting changed from decorative and heraldic to multicolored portraits and landscapes. Our workshop was thought by Jeanne Bennett who has also published and excellent book of the subject. Ms. Bennet is one of the few teachers of Fore-edge painting in the US.
Silk shading is thousands of years old embroidery method. Originating most likely in China silk shading is often called for painting with a needle. Sarah Homfray from Royal School of Needlework was teaching our enthusiastic group of students in this beautiful technique. This was the very first silk shading course ever taught for botanical illustrators.
Zentangle was created only few years ago and is spreading and gaining popularity very fast. We could perhaps call it for doodling but it is more structured way of generating often repetitive patterns and images. Everybody can do it and it is an outstanding way to improve your line work.
Please see more images from these classes by clicking here.  
(Zentangle with a botanical twist by Cathy Cridlebaugh - please click to enlarge)