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

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween in black and white

(Ink, Meredith Feniak)
Appropriately right before the Halloween we completed some of the black and white-media classes. Graphite and ink both expressive and beautiful media. Please see more images by clicking here.

(Graphite, Susan Willis)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Two Additional Days of Mushrooms -

(by Shanelle Deater)
A new group and two additional successful days - you'll see more pictures if you click here! 
(by Alice Pearson)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mushroom Portraits

(bolete by Susan Curnutte)

We have had the pleasure to host Alexander Viazmensky from St. Petersburg (Russia) and learn about his techniques. He just completed a 3-day intense watercolor workshop and inspired our BI-students to paint mushrooms, and other workshop is in process. Sasha's teaching is filled with individual attention and one-on-one demonstrations. To see some images from the first workshop, please click here.
 (Sasha Viazmensky with his students at Denver Botanic Gardens)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mr. William H. Lizars

Callidryas eubule and Terias mexicana by William H. Lizars, circa 1858

 William H. Lizars (1788-1859) of Edinburgh was an established portrait and genre painter who went to work in the book trade and created plates for “British Butterflies” and J.J. Audubon’s "The Birds of America" Lizars experimented with new techniques and is perhaps best known for his colored insect and bird illustrations on monochromatic habitat backgrounds.
In our series of Drawing on Tradition the students worked in the scientific style of Lizars using ink and a color media – please click here to see some some examples of their work.
Ink and watercolor by Helen Smithwick

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mushroom Magic in Cafe Botanique

Mushroom Magic – The Annual Gold Rush in Russia
By Alexander Viazmensky, St. Petersburg, Russia

In Russia, mushroom hunting is a favorite pastime (even more so than fishing) for many people— men and women, old and young, crowd the forests for this activity. Throngs of people with mushroom baskets fill the morning trains out from the city, and the most devoted ones go to the woods in the evening and spend the night at a campfire. The Russians are enthusiasts about mushrooms; many depend on their collections as important sources of food as well as income. However, this intense picking is causing a serious decrease in the mushroom population, as well as disturbing the remote forests with intense motor vehicle usage. Mushroom Magic will be an entertaining tour with Alexander Viazmensky from St. Petersburg, Russia.

Alexander (Sasha) Viazmensky was born in Leningrad and originally trained as an electrical engineer. He soon changed careers and after working as a freelance artist he joined the Art Academy in St. Petersburg where he graduated in 1991. He currently devotes all of his time to creating his art. His works are included in numerous international collections such as Millesgarden Museum in Stockholm, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Lindley Library in London, and Dr. Shirley Sherwood Collection, Kew Gardens, UK.
 Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Denver Botanic Gardens – Gates Hall
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Suggested donation: $5
(To reserve your seat, please click here )

Friday, October 10, 2014


Perspective exercise from the Perfecting Perspective class (Elizabeth LaFemina) 

Perspective in action, from Colored Pencil II by Mary Francis (the plant 'bulb' is ca 2 cm wide, here strongly enlarged, scale is yet missing)

If you like to see more images from our Colored Pencil II class, please click here.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Final Count Down - 24 hours Left!

(cartoon by D. Clarke)

 We are running to the last hours of our project and we are sooo close to the third stretch goal. Can we get the third Artist/Illustrator in Residency stipend? Let's do it and get all the way to the $29,000-mark!
 Thank you again and again!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Congratulations to 2014 Botanical Illustration Graduates!

(Populus deltoides by Mary McCauley, Artist Choice)

Join me to congratulate the 17 artists who are in 2014 receiving the Foundational Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration from Denver Botanic Gardens School of Botanical Art and Illustration: Beth Bradford, Nels Broste, Cyndy Calkins, Ralph Chapman, Sharon Eaton, Meredith Feniak, Carol Ferguson, Patti Hearn, Jan Latona, Sarah Matthews, Edward May, Liz McCauley, Mary McCauley, Jaclyn Sachleben, Angela Tingle, Barbara Vucich and Erika Walker. 
We are very impressed with the level of competence, and we are thoroughly proud of you. Please click here to see the best plates in each media category. The more complete presentation of the graduates' work will be on-line shortly.
The certificate awards ceremony will be held in conjunction of the Annual Botanical Illustration Art Show (Drawn from Nature) on Sunday, December 7, noon - 2 p.m. at Denver Botanic Gardens Gates Hall. 
Artists, 2014 Graduates and their families are invited to attend!

Peruvian Rainforest Floor

(by Marjorie Leggitt for Denver Botanic Gardens)

A mural illustrating the Peruvian Rainforest Floor created by Marjorie Leggitt will be part of the signage in Marnie's Ppavilionat Denver Botanic Gardens. It will be installed in the Pavilion's grotto later this year. 
The mural was also featured in the Scientific American blog site as a part of month-long celebration of science artists.  This was the third consecutive year that Scientific American featured 30 science artists in the 30 days of September = the September SciArt Blitz

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Almost at our second stretch goal - Can we reach the third one?

Soon the work starts! (cartoon by D. Clarke)
 We have 2 days and twelve hours left to reach our goals - thank you for your support toward our artist-in-residency program. The second stretch goal at $26,000 gives us in addition to the production of the book, two stipends, each of them for 6-week artist in residency position (at $29,000 we can get three...). More info, please click here.