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

Friday, May 30, 2014

Entry Level and Advanced - Registration for Summer and Fall classes starts on June 10, 9 a.m.



 (Garlic by Noreen Goeltz on the entry level Watercolor Pencil course, please click to enlarge)

Please remember that the Summer and Fall classes will open for registration on June 10, 9 a.m. If you misplaced your new catalog, you can download and print a new one by clicking here.
The on-line registration site can be reached here, please note that the summer and fall courses appear now as sold out, they will go off-line between 00:00 a.m. and 08:59.99 a.m. on June 10th and on 09.00 a.m. they are all on-line again and ready for the registrations.
If you click here you can see 28 images from our May courses.

(Cattail by Karen Tillou - still in process, Pen and ink II, please click to enlarge)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Illustrating Art - a blog as a complimentary teaching tool

(illustration by Randy Raak)
A blog can be efficiently used as a teaching tool in the classroom prior to the start of the actual illustration instruction. We will be offering a 5-week course on Botanical Landscapes starting on June 5th (9 a.m. - noon), please see the preliminary process postings by clicking here. (if you like to grab the last available seat on that course, please click here to register).
(Bristlecone Border at Denver Botanic Gardens by Randy Raak)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Michael Wilcox from The School of Color


 ... will visit the School of Botanical Art and Illustration

We are hosting two one-day seminars with leading color specialist Michael Wilcox in August:
1. Color & the Artist - Wednesday, Aug. 13 2014, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. ($115.00, includes $37.90 of product free)
2. The technique of glazing - Thursday, Aug. 14 2014, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. ($115.00, includes $45.90 of product free)

To register for the seminars, please click here (space is limited)
NOTE: $185 if booking both events

Monday, May 19, 2014

Arts and Archives 2014: Natural History Museum and 8 million plant specimens! (May 5)

Entry hall of the newly renovated Botanical Library and Herbarium building at Natural History Museum, Paris.  

 We were very lucky to spend a whole day in the National Museum of Natural History in Paris and tour the Botanical library followed by the National Herbarium. The Paris herbarium hosts the world's largest natural history plant collection with eight million specimens (the oldest dates back to the 17th century). Typically this collection, which includes around 500000 type specimens, is accessible only to specialists. 
The National Herbarium was established in 1793 and in 2013 completed a $36 million renovation, $15 million of which was devoted for scanning the mounted specimens and for sorting and mounting the unfiled ones. This 4-year project involved 22 new employees to classify the non-classified specimens, and 40 new employees during a 2.5-year period to sort and scan the plant specimens. The goal was to treat 200000 specimens per month and in November 2013 six million plants were digitized.
We loved the company of Thomas and Agathe Haevermans. He is the director of the botanical research at the department of plant systematics and evolution; Agathe is the scientific illustrator at the department. Please see some highlights from the day by clicking here.
Banana Musa haekkinenii discovered in 2008 in Vietnam by a team from the Museum, painted in watercolor on-site by illustrator Agathe Haevermans. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Summer - Fall 2014 Course Catalog

(Please click the image to access the pdf-file)

Registration starts on June 10, 9 a.m.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Arts and Archives 2014: Sunday in Paris (May 4)



This Sunday was scheduled to be used as a day on your own: to do everything that you must do in Paris, like visit Louvre, Notre Dame and other museums, - we didn't have any appointments or arranged activities.
For my personal part this resulted to a 18.6 miles (29.9 km) fantastic stroll in Paris. Please see some of the highlights along the road by clicking here.
(view from the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur back to the Eiffel Tower)

Denver Botanic Gardens' Phone system is Down

- please use email for all important business - 

(scratch board illustration by R. Raak)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Arts and Archives 2014: Versailles

View of the Chateau and Gardens of Versailles from the Avenue de Paris 1668 by Pierre Patel, 
Oil on Canvas 
We had reserved a whole day for the Versailles visit and that truly was needed. The day was sunny but the wind was arctic and standing on line for more than two hours made us dream about the sunny Colorado. This was the May-day weekend and the crowd was probably bigger than a normal Saturday.
Louis XIV created Versailles to reflect his absolute monarchy and the Government and Court was moved permanently to Versailles 1677. Learn more about the history of Versailles by clicking here.
See some of the photos from our visit by clicking here.
"Versailles like everything on grand scale, is and will always be beautiful" 


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Arts and Archives 2014: Last days in London - SBA, V&A and Portobello Market


Society of Botanical Artists Annual Show with some 700 works (lots of triple and quadruplet hanging) 

SBA's exhibit opening was timely during our last full day in London. Also this time it had over 700 entries and was a massive task to master in few hours. I wish we could have had the opportunity to go back there several times and study the works more. Before entering the show we had lots of excitement while being part of the crowd waiting for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles to arrive to Westminster Abbey for the Bath service. 
On Fridays Victoria & Albert Museum is open to !0 p.m. which gave us plenty of time to browse through even that museum before leaving London. 
Saturday morning some early birds went to Portobello Antiques Market and then it was time to leave Europe. 
For more pictures, please click here.
Queen Elizabeth arriving to Westminster Abbey (Please click to enlarge)

(This post was written at Heathrow Airport while waiting for our gate to open)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Arts and Archives 2014: Kew Gardens with Dr. Shirley Sherwood

Dr. Shirley Sherwood welcoming us to her Gallery 
In spite of the rain everybody was really excited because Dr. Shirley Sherwood was going to give us a tour of her gallery and comment all the spectacular work that is displayed there. We did get this tour together with Jenny Phillips, Vickey Thomas, Roberta Mattioli and Coral Guest making the whole experience absolutely fantastic. 
In four of the six galleries the ‘Botanical Art in the 21st Century’ was shown with some recent paintings from Italy (these were shown in Pisa earlier this year) alongside a large number of paintings from Dr. Sherwood's collection. This exhibit is the first major display of Italian recent works in the UK (about 25 paintings from Italy and 75 from Shirley Sherwood's collection). The USA artists includes Kate Nessler, de Golke, Emmons, Finnan ,Katie Lee, McElwain, Strickland , Woodin. 
Nearly 50 artists in total from 14 countries are presented. Barbara Oozeerally’s magnolia paintings were on display and those also appear in her important magnolia book.
After the gallery we visited the Kew Library with Julia Buckey's always so fantastic presentation plus the herbarium. Lucy Smith showed us there her recent work and her working environment.
See more pictures from the day by clicking here.

Lucy Smith showing us her original work for the New Guinea palms (around 250 plates in total)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Arts and Archives 2014: Back to London and Hand & Lock


Gold embroidered shoes (Hand & Lock)
 This morning we left Paris behind us and returned with the Eurostar back to to London. During the afternoon we had a pleasant and interesting visit with Hand & Lock embroidery company, which is a fusion of two hand embroidery companies M Hand (founded 1767) and S Lock (founded 1898). Hand specialized in gold  and silk work while Lock has provided a source of inspiration for fashion, theater and interior design.  As a traditional embroidery company, their heritage reaches back to Roman times and they have become world renowned as providers of the finest hand embroidery. Their clientele includes the Royal Family and other celebrities, such as Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson. 
We got an overview of the history from the Production Director, Jessica Pile and a very informative presentation techniques by the Head Designer Scott Heron. Please see more pictures by clicking here.
(The Millennium Bridge over Thames with the London Bridge in the background)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Arts and Archives 2014: Paris and the slow connection




(Tacca chantrieri - Bat Flower by Agathe Ravet-Haevermans) 

The slow internet connection at our hotel makes any postings extremely difficult if not impossible. Our time in Paris started with a day in Versailles, followed by a museum (Louvre etc.) day and finally today we spent the whole day at the Natural History Museum With Agathe Ravet-Haevermans and her husband Dr. Thomas Haevermans and got a wonderful tour of the botany library and herbarium. We also visited the entomology department.
More pictures later -
This is how a two hour line looks like - outside the gates of Versailles

We saw some of the colorful bugs (and butterflies) from the vast insect collection.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Arts and Archives 2014: Happy May Day, Peonies and Lily of the Valley


Vincent Jeannerot working with a peony
First of May in France is different from that in the U.S. Everything was  closed, museums, libraries and even the bus traffic and Metro was down. The streets were relatively empty except people who were selling bouquets of Lily of the Valley. In France First of May is also called Lily of the Valley Day. The French tradition of giving lily-of-the-valley flowers on May Day is supposed to have begun on May 1st, 1561, when King Charles IX of France was presented with a bunch of lily-of-the-valley flowers as a token of luck and prosperity for the coming year.
This was one of the few days that we have had sunshine in the morning which made our walk to Vincent Jeannerot's studio very enjoyable. Vincent gave us an excellent demonstration of his painting method and how he gives the form and color for his subject matter, in this case a peony.
Please see more pictures from our day by clicking here.
You can see yesterday by clicking here and the day before by clicking here.