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

Friday, July 21, 2017

Chatfield Farms Historical Iris collection


Nels Broste, in process

Denver Botanic Gardens' historic iris collection at Chatfield Farms contains more than 400 varieties of iris. The entire collection was donated in 2014 by the Lankow family from Washington State and was installed in fall 2015. The known varieties are planted in chronological order based on the year they were introduced into the nursery trade. The oldest variety dates back to 1597! Many are award-winning varieties that are held in high esteem among iris enthusiasts for their significance in the long history of iris breeding. Our students visited and illustrated some representatives from that collection during the 2017-prime blooming season. Please click here for more images, most of them still in process.

(Iris 'Swertii', introduced in the collection 1612, this is the oldest variety in the collection - Irene Young, still in process)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Harriet Isabel Adams



(Watercolor by H. Isabel Adams)

Harriet Isabel Adams' drawings and illustrations were developed out of the Arts and Crafts movement, including distinctive lettering for labeling. She published one book: Wild Flowers of the British Isles (volume I, 1907, volume II,1910). This publication, which got digitized in 2016, got reviewed by Spectator Archives in 1907 (page 20). Katherine Tyrell also included H. Isabel Adams in her selection of Famous Masters of Botanical Art & Illustration (1500-1900).
In our series of Drawing on Tradition you can learn about Adams' working style and practice her techniques. You can still register for this watercolor pencil class by clicking here.

(watercolor pencil by Renee Jorgensen)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Katherine Rudebusch, our first 2017 artist-in-resident


Katherine Rudebusch, our Artist-in-Resident for the summer 2017, has started her 6-week period at The Gardens. She will mainly be working with interpretative material for our Restoration project at Chatfield Farms.  Her main focus will be the animal/plant interactions. 
Katherine demonstrates botanical illustration at the Science Pyramid as a part of her residency. Our visitors are delighted!
Chatfield Farms' Beavers in Focus 

Monday, July 10, 2017

From a Singer to an Iconic Pattern Designer: Florence Broadhurst

(design by Pat Grace)

A class on pattern design for fabric, wallpaper or gift wrap is regularly included in our elective offerings. This spring we studied Florence Broadhurst from Australia.  She is considered one the most extraordinary wallpaper and textile designers of all time in Australia. She dominated the interior design world in the 1960s and 70s, and her clear large-scale patterns are still very popular around the world.  In the age of 60 Broadhurst established a high-end wallpaper studio in Sydney. Today the company has over 500 designs in its collection of which a small production is printed as wallpaper and fabric. A documentary movie was produced about her life in 2006: Unfolding Florence: TheMany Lives of Florence Broadhurst

Please see some of the designs inspired by Florence Broadhurst and created in our classroom (please click here). There is also a random selection of images from our entry level colored pencil class and some from the class focusing on bugs and pollinators. 
(Pollinators by Susan Willis, colored pencil)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

2017 Denver Comic Con - Comics for Scientific Storytelling

SBAI's  Awesome panel team with Jay Peteranez, the moderator (Donna Uyeno, Hannah Rottman, Sally Grew, Patti Hearn and Randy Raak) - Thank you all for participating in the Denver 2017 Comic Con!

No Color Needed - Drawing in Black and White

Maianthemum stellatum  by Suzanne Stutzman, ink

During the spring we repeated the popular workshop Observe, Collect and Document guided the students trough the plant collection and reconstruction process to completed scientific botanical illustration in ink.
There is no color needed to tell the story of graphite or pen and ink plates.
Please click here to see more from our recent black and white classes.


N.B. If you like to practice more pen and ink, we have a “Living Soil – Fascinating World of Small Creatures” class starting in the end on July (seats are yet available).

Lynn Williamson, graphite
(Please click the images to enlarge)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Mosses in Microscope


Meiotrichum lyallii, watercolor and ink by Jo Webster
Mosses grow in a variety of shapes, colors and textures, and are perfect subject to observe under the microscope. This was a weekend workshop that we completed in May. All the mosses are collected from Colorado and identified by Dr. W. Weber, University of Colorado, Boulder. You can see more images from this class by clicking here.

Dicranoweisia crispula, ink by Stephanie Bures
(Please click the images to enlarge)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Global Interactive Art Library

Be a part of a Global Interactive Art Library and leave your legacy. Check out the Brooklyn Art Library's Sketchbook Project 2018

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Whimsy: Botanical Art and Illustration - CALL FOR ENTRIES


(Cockscomb, Celosia cristata by Susan DiMarchi, colored pencil)
  

WHIMSY: BOTANICAL ART & ILLUSTRATION

You are cordially invited to submit work to the jurying process for the annual botanical illustration exhibition, this year featuring unusual plants. Your dedication to mastering the skills of this art form and illustration makes us extremely proud, and we would like to showcase your success in a public venue.

November 19, 2017-February 11, 2018
Venue: Denver Botanic Gardens, Gates Garden Court Gallery
Reception: November 19, 2–3 p.m.

Eligibility:
We welcome artists who have participated in courses at Denver Botanic Gardens’ School of Botanical Art and Illustration after June 2015. 2-dimensional artworks of all levels and in any media taught in the school are welcome.

Subject:
The organizing theme of this exhibition centers on plates that are playful, humorous, unusual, or unique. Artists are encouraged to take poetic license. Jurors will be looking for works that either are a unique interpretation of the subject matter or that feature a plant that is inherently whimsical.  We welcome all submissions whether traditionally based, contemporary, or “experimental” and we are eager to see a wide variety of thematic representations. Please refer all questions to Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski.

Media:
All media taught in the Denver Botanic Gardens’ School of Botanical Art and Illustration are accepted. All artwork must be original. No photography or digitally generated work will be accepted. No giclée prints or offset lithographs are considered.

Scale:
If scale is included on the plate, only metric units are allowed.

Submission Method and format:
Each artist may submit up to three two-dimensional entries for juror consideration. Digital files only. Entries must be submitted digitally via CallforEntry.org, also known as CaFÉ. Detailed on-line submission instructions are available on the CaFE site. A complete submission includes a completed entry form and digital image for each entry. Images must be submitted as JPG files only, minimum of 1920 pixels on the longest side and 5.0 MB maximum with artist’s last name and title of artwork as the file name (e.g., Smith_Planta communis).

Submissions accepted:
September 1—September 22nd, 2017

Submission Deadline:
11:59 pm, September 22nd, 2017, Mountain Daylight Time.

Jurors:
Denver Botanic Gardens curators will be reviewing submissions. The work will be judged according to the standards of the media (typically composition, technical skills, and botanical accuracy), along with thematic relevance. 

Presentation, Size and Format:           
Upon acceptance to the exhibition, artists will submit matted artwork only; no frame. Mats must be 4- or 8-ply white rag (no eggshell, cream antique, warm white or any off-white mats), fitting exactly into a 16” x 20” frame (interior measurement). Pieces must be matted with both a backing board and a face mat and must be appropriately and securely attached within the matting—hinging and photo corners are both acceptable. Please do not submit matting with any loose elements, i.e. backing board or face mat not attached or piece not secured inside the matting. Artwork must be delivered in appropriate housing, such as paper wrapping or a mylar sleeve, and housing must be labeled with the artist’s name.

Delivery and Insurance:
Delivery requirements will be detailed with acceptance notices. While on site, artwork is insured by Denver Botanic Gardens. For insurance purposes, a valuation of your piece MUST be on file. Please complete this portion of the entry form accurately upon submission.

Publicity and Catalog:
By submitting your entry form, as sole owner of the copyright and intellectual property rights in and to any images submitted, you agree to irrevocably authorize Denver Botanic Gardens, without compensation to yourself or any third party, to reproduce, distribute, transmit, communicate, display and perform submitted images and any related images and materials provided by myself, privately or publicly, in whole or in part, throughout the world by means of any device or process (examples include but are not limited to online, print, film, and television), and authorize others to do the same, without contacting me, for nonprofit, educational, artistic, publicity and related purposes or for the purpose of promoting Denver Botanic Gardens or the exhibition. This non-exclusive license, which does not transfer ownership of your copyright to Denver Botanic Gardens, shall endure for the entire term of the copyright in and to said images and shall survive all assignments of copyright.

Contact MerviHj@botanicgardens.org with questions.
Please direct all technical questions about submitting your work to CallforEntry.org.

(Bird of Paradise, Strelitzia reginae  (Trouble in Paradise) by Barbara McKee, watercolor)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Portrait of the Artist: Meredith Feniak


Great interview article of Meredith Feniak with plenty of images in the current June/July 2017 Colorado Homes & Lifestyles (pages 53-58).
If you do not have the possibility to get the printed issue you can see it on-line here.
Meredith received the foundational certificate in botanical illustration in 2014. She is currently part of our teacher crew at the SBAI and our main community outreach representative.
(Meredith Feniak: Best Watercolor Plate of the 2014 Foundational Certificate Portfolios)