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

Monday, April 28, 2014

Arts and Archives 2014: Swiss Quality - Caran d'Ache and 849 Colors


Caran d'Ache pencils through the ages. 
 Caran d'Ache manufacturing site is located about a half an hour buss ride from Geneva Central Station and right on the French boarder. We met with the Fine Art Development Communication Manager Adrian Weber who after a short historical presentation led us through the graphite pencil and colored pencil manufacturing from the raw material (pigments and graphite) to the final product. We saw the supply of pigments, machinery, we could handle the product in its different phases, see the morning crew working today with white, yellow and orange pencils and pastels, and finally see the quality control and packing. Caran d'Ache was officially established in 1924 by Arnold Schweitzer and has today 280 employees in Geneva with 90 different professions. All its manufacturing is located in Switzerland. This was an exceptional three hour tour.
Afterwards a group of us visited Cern site, and got deeper into the matter, antimatter and the possible nine different dimensions.
To see pictures from our Monday please click here.
 When entering the lobby of Caran d'Ache site we got a nice welcome.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Arts and Archives 2014 in RHS' Lindley Library

Our 2014 tour started just a few hours after arriving at Heathrow airport in London with the visit to Royal Horticulture Society's Lindley Library. It was raining and many of us were slightly exhausted after the flight. 
We met the Outreach Librarian, Elizabeth Koper and were able to study a fraction of the library's vast collection of rare original plates and books. We also had the opportunity to see some samples from the contemporary holdings and works from the recent gold-medal winners. The RHS Lindley Library contains the finest collection of literature on gardening, horticulture and cultivated plants in the world and a unique collection of botanical art.  Everybody was excited and it was hard to leave the location after such an excellent presentation and discussion afterwards. 
Please see more pictures from the day by clicking here. 
(Susan is studying the hand-colored, engraved illustration of a gooseberry variety described as the 'Early Green Hairy Gooseberry', engraved by S. Watts (fl.1820-45).

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lettering and Guilding Intense with Veiko Kespersaks

(flourishing Spencerian hand)

Last 10 days were filled with calligraphy, lettering, quills and gilding in our classroom. Veiko Kespersaks from U.K. visited our School again and kept the classroom vibrant from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. See more pictures from our classes by clicking here.

(Veiko's Master Yoda sample)
(Veiko Kespersaks is a leading professional calligrapher and lettering design specialist based in London. He is a Fellow of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators (FSSI) and a Fellow of the Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society (FCLAS). He has a BA and MA in calligraphy from Roehampton University in London.)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Drawing from Sketches and Photos, Learning about the Form

(graphite by Jennifer Muto)

Our March - April classes were focused on drawing birds after sketching at the zoo and drawing plants from reference photos. We also had a "Drawing on Tradition" course and the students learned about Celia May Gibbs, Australia's first full-time, professionally trained children's book illustrator. The key for all success is to learn how to portray light and shadow; that skill is acquired at our often repeated Light on Form - classes. Please see some images from these classes by clicking here.   

(Colored pencil on mylar by Laura Farnsworth)

Friday, April 11, 2014

"The Simplest Sketch is more valuable than a photograph" (Sibley, 2014)

Couple of weekends ago, David Allen Sibley visited Colorado to document the 810th  North American bird in his register and the one he had not yet seen in the real life, Gunnison Sage-Grouse. D. A. Sibley is the author and illustrator of THE bird guide for North American Birds. He included more than 6600 illustrations in his guide published first time in 2000 and had its 11th printing in 2011. The second edition came out this year.
Colorado Public Radio met with him and aired the interview in Colorado Matters. During the interview Sibley discusses the value of sketching, how it compares to photography and the importance of observation. For him sketching equals birdwatching.
Please enjoy the slideshow and the highly interesting audio of the interview.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Denver Mountain Parks in Cafe Botanic Wednesday April 16th

Denver Mountain Parks:
100 Years of the Magnificent Dream
by Erika Walker

In 1912, Denver citizens voted to develop the Denver Mountain Parks and today many of these parks, such as Red Rocks, Summit Lake and Lookout Mountain, are the most-visited tourist sites in Colorado. Denver Mountain Parks: 100 Years of the Magnificent Dream, written to celebrate the mountain parks' centennial, presents the complete history of the mountain parks from their beginnings to the present day. The book, illustrated with historic photographs and maps, showcases 72 new John Fielder photographs and 26 Then-and-Now images pairs.  The Denver Mountain Parks preserve an important part of Colorado's history and provide a vital connection to open space today. Join us to learn about the mountain parks and how you can help insure their future for the next one hundred years.

Erika D. Walker, MS, one of the book's three co-authors, is a native Coloradan with a passion for preserving open space. She works as a writer and educator, and serves on the board of Bluff Lake Nature Center. She is the great-granddaughter of early Denver Mountain Parks advocate John Brisben Walker.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Denver Botanic Gardens -- Gates Hall
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.


(Reserve your seat, click here)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sequential Art - Visual Storytelling


(Pages in development for a graphic novelization of Joseph Banks voyage on the Endeavour by David R. Clarke, please click to enlarge)

New Addition to our Summer Selection:

From the prehistoric illustrations of the caves at Lascaux, France to the stained glass windows and murals of the cathedrals of the middle ages to the Hogarth’s Rake’s Progress, sequential art has been used throughout history to tell stories. Today the most common form is found in comic books and other forms of graphic narratives. 
During this 3-day workshop you learn about the power of graphic storytelling to express your message. Starting with a historical review of visual storytelling, learn how text and words can be combined to create a larger message, and how imagery can be used to enhance or undermine your text. You learn about pacing and how to use pauses and other timing techniques to tell your story from jokes to ghost stories. You'll get guidance in character development, page design, panel composition and lettering. At the end of the weekend you will have developed a small comic book of your very own and begun your journey making sequential art.

*Fee: $300 member, $380 non-member. This workshop is open for everybody; however basic understanding of drawing and composition is beneficial. (GNSI members are granted the member price; please call 720-865-3653 or 720-8653580) 
*When: • Fri. - Sun., July 18 - 20, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
*Instructor: David R. Clarke, University of Maryland 

David R. Clarke has worked as a multimedia artist developing a wide variety of learning objects for the University System of Maryland for ten years. He has also been a freelance illustrator for twenty years working in a variety of fields from children’s books to technical illustration and education to advertising. His clients have included Kelloggs, Home Depot, Simon & Schuster, Pearson Publishing and the National Aquarium. Strongly Recommended: Mr. Clarke has a two-hour presentation (Not Always) Funny Pages: Science Through Sequential Art at the GNSI 2014 Conference in Boulder on Wednesday, July 16, in the afternoon. 
(Pages in development for a graphic novelization of Joseph Banks voyage on the Endeavour by David R. Clarke, please click to enlarge)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Successful Learning at a Distance


(From Winter Storage by Karen Tillou, entry level Watercolor)

In addition to the traditional on-site Botanical Illustration curriculum our school offers since 2011 on-site/off-site program which combines classroom participation with remote online learning opportunities. This option is open to both long-distance travelers and local students. In addition to the traditional on-site Botanical Illustration curriculum our school offers since 2011 on-site/off-site program which combines classroom participation with remote online learning opportunities. This option is open to both long-distance travelers and local students. 
After an on-site intense 2-day session the students are requested to report their progress three times prior to delivering the finished plate 30 days after the classroom session. The successful completion of a final artwork is the culmination of each of the distance learning courses. The students are guided by constructive feedback from the teachers for remarkable results, and this hybrid model has proven to be very satisfactory. See some images from recently completed entry level watercolor class by clicking here.