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

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Annie Reiser working with an ostrich egg in our Pysanky class

Annie Reiser's Ukrainian Easter egg  basket

Monday, March 25, 2013


There is a possibility that we arrange a one-day PYSANKY workshop on Easter Saturday, March 30 (9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.). Please let us know ASAP if you can make this - space is limited.

From ancient methods to modern tools

(Costus barbatus by Vanda Alexander, colored pencil on mylar®)
We recently completed a set of courses containing both illumination on velum and documentation on mylar®,   representing the opposite ends of the techniques scale we teach on our program. Please see more photos from a selection of classes by clicking here or go to the BI-Facebook site.

(Sprague Lake (Rocky Mountain National Park) illuminated. Gouache, ink and gold on reindeer velum by Courtney Klingensmith)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Pysanky - magically beautiful

(Pysanky eggs decorated by Annie Reser)

 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 30th century 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. Read more about the floral motifs here.
Pysanka Museum in Ukraine
The Ukrainian Museum in New York, NY

Are they magical or just magically beautiful? Find out about the interesting development of this pagan talisman that is so popular in Christianity. Learn to make jewel like eggs that you will be addicted to for life! 
(Strawberry egg by Annie Reiser)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Colorado Springs' First Wildflower Artist: Alice Stewart Hill

Denver Botanic Gardens – Gates Hall
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
6:30 – 8 p.m.

Alice Stewart Hill, Colorado Springs’ First Wildflower Artist
Nancy and Ed Bathke, Manitou Springs

Alice Stewart Hill moved from New York to Colorado Springs in 1872, where she developed an artistic specialty in Colorado’s wildflowers and became friends with famed author Helen Hunt Jackson. When Helen died, Alice inherited publishing rights to a chapter in one of Helen’s books, resulting in the publication of The Procession of Flowers in Colorado. This book of Helen’s text was illustrated with Alice’s watercolors of wildflowers. The limited edition of 100 copies, with actual hand-done illustrations in each copy, was completed in the late 1880s. The surviving copies are highly prized for their artistry as well as their history. 

Ed Bathke, a mathematician and retired computer analyst, and Nancy Bathke, a retired elementary school teacher, are co-authors of The West in Postage Stamps, and have had articles published in numerous books and magazines. They have presented local history topics at the Pikes Peak Library District annual Symposia and several other events mainly in Colorado Springs area. Nancy is listed in Who’s Who of American Women, and Who’s Who in the West, and both Ed and Nancy are listed in Contemporary Authors.

To Reserve you seat, please click here

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Joy of Digital Painting -

A Weekend Workshop for Botanical Artists and Illustrators - Scientific Illustrators - Wildlife Artists
- Learn how to transition your traditional illustration skills into Photoshop
-Make Photoshop fit your style, not the other way around
-Understand and navigate through the seemingly infinite Photoshop options
-Pick out only the tools you need for painting

Fri. – Sun., May 17 - 19, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Instructor: Ikumi Kayama,

School of Botanical Art and Illustration, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver, CO

This three-day workshop for beginners to intermediate Photoshop users will help you start using Photoshop as a painting tool. You start with your own previously accomplished illustration executed with traditional techniques. We’ll scan it in class and learn about Photoshop palettes and tools needed for digital painting. Learn to use layers and how to create, use and edit selections. You’ll learn to like Photoshop while recreating your own traditional tools and your own style through demonstrations, hands-on experience and individual guiding.

Ikumi Kayama is medical and scientific illustrator of StudioKayama, creating illustration, animation, graphics and Web design since 2008. Ms. Kayama holds an MA in medical and biological illustration from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a BFA in scientific illustration from the University of Georgia. Her work has appeared internationally in juried shows, exhibits, textbooks, scientific journals, presentations and websites. She is also the recipient of numerous awards from a variety of organizations, including GNSI, AMI and the Illustrators Club.
Do not miss the opportunity, the workshop is not yet sold out, but the space is very limited. For more information and to register please click here.

Friday, March 1, 2013

SBAI Alumni Volunteers

(Cattleya sp. , colored pencil by Karen May, please click the image to enlarge)

The Alumni Volunteers of the School of Botanical Art and Illustration were established in November 2012 and spearheaded by Karen May and Judy Vanderbosch. The Alumni Volunteers make a welcome contribution to the School assisting in several activities, and one of the most important is the courtesy call that every student with a current phone number on file gets in the week before a new class starts. The Alumni makes the final check that the student knows where the class is held, what time it starts, if the students has the materials list and if the student has completed the pre-requisites for the class. Since the first week of January the Alumni have already made 293 courtesy phone calls. 
To join he SBAI Volunteers, the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate of Completion from Denver Botanic Gardens is needed. As part of the Denver Botanic Gardens' Volunteer Program the SBAI Alumni volunteer must also complete the volunteer training at the Gardens before joining the SBAI Alumni Volunteers.
The illustration above is the newest page in the SBAI 2013 Chronicles by Karen May