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

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

America's Flora opening in May 2018

Yucca harrimaniae, Constance Sayas, 2017, watercolor and graphite

Katherine Tyrrell will be blogging about the artists whose artwork has been selected as a part of the Botanical Art Worldwide exhibit. Her first post is about the 43 USA artists who were selected for the America's Flora exhibition which is opening in May 2018 at the US Botanical Gardens in Washington D.C.
In addition to Constance Sayas, our gifted watercolor instructor, three illustrators from Colorado are included: Dorothy DePaolo, Sharon Garrett and Vanessa Martin!

Please read more by following this link.
Congratulations to all!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Pencil I and beyond - registrations for 2018 BI-classes opens tomorrow!

Jacaranda seedpod by Michelle Wysocki, graphite (Pencil I)

 Gladiolus by Laura Matthews, graphite (Pencil II)

Autumn leaves in Watercolor: Grape leaf painted by Pauline Edwards; on the right a photo of the specimen few weeks after Pauline started her painting it. Here the decay has proceeded further. 
You can see more pictures from our recent completed classes by following this link.   

Tomorrow, December 5th, 9 a.m. you can sign up for 2018 Winter/Spring Botanical Illustration 
courses at Denver Botanic Gardens. Please follow this link. to registration for all classes  - 
You can find the downloadable course catalog by clicking here.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Botanical illustration 2017 scholarship

We are happy to announce the recipient for the 2017 School of Botanical Art and Illustration Scholarship: 

Phillip Potter
Buddha's hand (Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis), watercolor and colored pencil by Phillip Potter

Phillip Potter's goal is to gain an intimate knowledge of plants as well as improve his drawing and painting skills. He has always been interested about plants and gardening, lately he has begun a bonsai practice at home and learning to work with limb patterns and root structures. His plan is to use his new skills to document some of the world's bonsai specimens and also illustrate unusual plant species.
Phillip has studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (fine art painting and video emphasis), and Metropolitan state College of Denver (fine art drawing and sculpture).

Dracunculus vulgaris, watercolor and colored pencil by Phillip Potter

Cynara scolynomus, watercolor and colored pencil by Phillip Potter


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Warm and  Happy wishes for the Thanksgiving Holiday to all our readers! 

Cucurbita maxima 'Lumina', watercolor by Elizabeth Lokocz

The portfolios or the twelve students who this year received the Foundational Certificate of Completion in Botanical Illustration are presented here (you can also access the page from the right hand column). The graduate show is displayed in Gated Garden Court until February 11, 2018

Do not forget to visit our annual student show, WHIMSY, that celebrates the role of humor in botanical art and illustration. While the pieces are playful and unusual with a poetic license they also are scientifically accurate. This juried exhibit featuring the students' best achievements is on display in Gates Garden Court also until February 11, 2018. 

Garden Magic, colored pencil and ink by Susan DiMarchi

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Congratulations 2017 BI-graduates!

(Back row form left: Karey Swan, Christine Ruch, Ann O'Connell, Shiere Melin, Elizabeth Lokocz, Sara Little, Mary Burns, Elizabeth Virdin; Front row from left: Leslie Crosby, Louise Bath, Karen Taylor)

Today twelve Botanical Illustration Graduates received their Foundational Certificates from the School of Botanical Art and Illustration at Denver Botanic Gardens. Please join me to congratulate them all: Louise Bath, Mary Tricia Burns, Leslie Crosby, Lyn Alice Hamilton, Sara Little, Elizabeth Lokocz, Shiere Melin, Ann O’Connell, Christine Ruch, Karey Swan, Karen Taylor and Elizabeth Virdin.
We are impressed with the graduates’ competence level and Denver Botanic Gardens is truly proud of their accomplishments.
Estelle DeRidder received the Sydney Parkinson Award and also was the invited speaker at the event.

The graduation and award ceremony was followed by the opening reception for the annual juried botanical illustration art show.
Please click here to see few more images from the event, the graduates portfolios will be posted shortly.

Friday, November 17, 2017

WHIMSY: Botanical Art and Illustration

This annual juried exhibition from the Gardens’ School of Botanical Art and Illustration features the students’ best achievements in a variety of media. These works are also part of a well-established tradition of portraying plants for academic purposes and rendering the beauty of flora around us. The theme for this show is depictions of plants that are both scientifically accurate as well as playful, humorous or unusual, with poetic license highly encouraged.

If cannot visit Denver Botanic Gardens to see the original, you can see them by clicking here, the image or the link on the right hand column (under Of Note)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Looking into 2018: Winter and Spring 2018 Botanical Illustration Course Catalog

Our Winter/Spring 2018 catalog is out! You can view, print and save it into your computer by clicking the image above,  in the right hand column, or by clicking here. We'll  offer over 75 courses during during the first six months of 2018. We have the pleasure to host two overseas visiting instructors: Lucy Smith and Sarah Simblet both from U.K.
Registration begins on December 5th, 9 a.m. either per phone (720-865-3500, 720-865-3653 or 720-865-3670), on-line or in person (Visitor Center).

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Freyer-Newman Center at Denver Botanic gardens

The donations from two benefactors will help complete the 10-year Master Development Plan at Denver Botanic Gardens.  These funds, contributed by John Freyer and Robert and Judi Newman, coupled with the successful voter support for Denver Bond Issue 2B (Denver Cultural Facility Bond) make the construction of the new center for science, art and education possible.

A huge, sincere thank you to all!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Autumn Leaves and Salsa

Cottonwood leaf in progress by Jean Scorgie, watercolor 

Please see more images from our most recent classes by clicking here.

Salsa by Angela Tingle, watercolor

Thursday, October 26, 2017

2018 Arts and Archive tour (April 9-23, 2018)

(Maria Sibylla Merian at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam)

The destination of our 8th annual Arts and Archives tour will be The Netherlands and Andalusia, Spain (April 9-23, 2018). During this 15-day tour we will be exploring and discovering hidden jewels in national archives, research centers, museums and libraries. In the Netherlands our base will be Leiden for eight nights and in Spain, Granada. The details of the daily program for this group and the specially designed tours are under final development, however you can expect the following to be included:

(Jacob Marrel, Two tulips, Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam)

-The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has been recently reopened after ten years of rebuilding and renovation. We have the possibility to visit the 80 galleries but more importantly we go behind the scenes into the collections and concentrate in conservation, research and selected works (including Jacob Marrel, Maria Sibylla Meriam, Hoefnagel, Vermeer, Mondrian and Rembrandt). 

(Adriaen Matham, Two Owls Skating, c. 1630-1640, Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam)

- We stop by Hortus Botanicus, one of the oldest Botanical Gardens in the world.
- One day will be spent in the Teylers Museum in Haarlem. This is a science oriented and the oldest museum in the Netherlands. Here we have a special tour of the library with works of Michelangelo Buonarroti, van Gogh and sketchbooks of van Gogh and Barend Hendrik Thier. In the Lorentz lab we step into a time machine to experience walking in the footsteps of Lorentz and Einstein.
(Lorentz lab, Teylers Museum in Haarlem)

-The United East Indian Company and its collections are placed in Hoorn where we learn about Georg Rumphius and his documentation work in Indonesia among others.  

- We’ll spend some time in Naturalis biodiversity research center in Leiden. Here we meet a botanical/science illustrator who works on the site, have a special tour of the library and visit the Herbarium Cliffortianum

- On our earlier tours we have seen anatomical theatres in Uppsala, Sweden and Padova, Italy. Here in Leiden we can visit the oldest anatomical theatre (from 1575) at Boerhaave. We will also have a collection tour at the Royal Library with early manuscripts and illuminations, works of Maria Sibylla Merian and lots of other valuables, even the first Dutch Donald Duck. 
(Piet de Smeerpoets at the Royal Library)

- We cannot miss the The Kröller-Müller Museum that boasts the second-largest Van Gogh collection in the world with almost 90 paintings and over 180 drawings, nor the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag with the largest collection of works by Piet Mondriaan.
- After visiting a cheese factory (Gouda or Edam), and the Delft Pottery factory with guided tours, and enjoying an evening concert with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra we are ready to take the flight to Granada, Spain, where our focus will mainly be on the Moorish culture.     


- In Granada our main destination will be the Alhambra, the palace and fortress complex originally constructed in 889. We have a tour focusing on the art and the Alhambra garden.
The Cartusian Monastery is one of the finest examples of Spanish Baroque architecture and was founded 1506. We have a 3 hour tour of this UNESCO world heritage site.
- In Granada we also visit an 11th century Arabian Bath and museum. 
- Travelling to Cordoba we have the opportunity to visit another UNESCO World heritage site, the historic center of the town with the Mezquita Mosque of Cordoba which is the most important monument of all the Western Islamic world. 
(interior of the Mezquita Mosque of Cordoba)

- We will be picked up for a four hour private tour of Medina Azahara (‘Beautiful Town’), one of the main archaeological sites in Spain.

- We spend some time in Malaga and visit the Picasso Museum, Botanic gardens, and Alcazaba, an ancient Moorish fortress from early 11th century. 
-To round up this unique tour we have the possibility to see Paleolithic caves with over 40,000 year old rock art.
 (Nerja caves)

The trip is limited to 12 people only and it is sold out. If you are interested please let me know and I'll add your name to the waiting list. In 2019 we travel to new destinations - perhaps we follow the silk road to Irkutsk! 
You can already put your name on the list if you plan to come with!
(Girl with the Pearl Earring, Johannes Vermeer, collection of the Mauritshuis in The Hague)