Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Alexander Marshal (c. 1620-1682) painted not to document scientific discoveries, not for publication nor for sale but for pleasure. A highly skilled, although self-taught artist, Alexander Marshal was a horticulturist and famed entomologist who believed the cultivation of plants was essential to the study of the natural world.
The Florilegium of Alexander Marshal (c.1620—82) has been part of the Royal Collection since the times of King George IV. The art is now included in the collections of the Royal Library at Windsor Castle containing 159 folios of exquisite water colors portraying more than 600 different plants, both native and exotic, together with meticulous studies of insects, birds and animals. It is the only surviving example of a flower-book painted by an English artist in the 17th century. This was also the first collection that was made for the pleasure of the eye and not for a herbal. Despite Marshal’s importance as an artist, no full-scale study of his work has ever been published.
The Florilegium of Alexander Marshal at Windsor Castle by Prudence Leith-Ross and Henrietta McBurney was published in 2000 showing the 159 folios beautifully reproduced as a full-page color plates.
Some of Marshal’s works were also included in Amazing Rare Things exhibition curated by David Attenborough. Those of us who saw that exhibit certainly noticed the fresh and bright colors in the art. Mr. Marshal experimented with different pigments extracting them from flowers, berries, roots and gums.
Quite recently the Viking Studia published a condensed version of "The Florilegium of Alexander Marshal" with the title Mr. Marshal’s Flower book containing 140 stunning illustrations and the abridged text from Prudence Leith-Ross and Henrietta McBurney book from 2000.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
James Gurney is an artist and author probably best known for his illustrated book series about Dinotopia. Dinotopia is the isolated island inhabited by shipwrecked humans and dinosaurs coexisting peacefully in the same society.
Less well-known might be the dozens of science fiction and fantasy paperback covers James Gurney has painted for works by authors such as Tim Powers and Alan Dean Foster, the background paintings he has done for the film industry, the stamps (World of Dinosaurs, released by USPS on May 1st 1997), and uncounted illustrations for "National Geographic" and other publications. Dinotopia has been translated at least into 18 languages.
James Gurney is coming to Denver Botanic Gardens on March 5th, 2009….more
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Brush with Gondwana is the first book celebrating the artistic achievements of the Botanical Artists’ Group of WA (BAG), Australia, established in 1992.
The book presents seven permanent members of the BAG: Rica Erickson, Pat Dundas, Ellen Hickman, Penny Leach, Philippa Nikulinsky, Margaret Pieroni and Katrina Syme. Each of them is given a chapter in which their ‘story’ is told and each chapter includes fourteen whole page illustrations from the respective artist. The book is undoubtedly convincing us once again of the fundamental link between botanical art and science.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Cardamom, Elettaria cardamomum, also known as Malabar or Ceylon cardamom grows wild in the Ghat Mountains of the Malabar Coast, southwestern India and on Sri Lanka. It is a perennial, up to 6 meters tall (~20 ft.) plant with flower stalk that is only a one meter high. The seedpod is a centimeter long capsule containing up to 20 seeds. The harvesting (the seedpods need to be harvested individually) and growing cardamom is very labor intense making Cardamom the second most expensive spice in the world.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Saffron is used in baking both as a spice and a dye, and is especially valued in Asia and Middle East. Saffron also plays an important roll in the Holiday food preparation in Northern Europe.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Karen Marais (nee Friemelt) lives in Cape Town, South Africa. She is the champion of the CREW (Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wild Flowers) group. Karen was originally trained as a physical therapist, and then did honors degree in Ecological Informatics. She is an avid amateur botanist and has been volunteering in the botany field for the past 5 years.
Denver Botanic Gardens – Morrison Center
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
This year Denver Arts Week is celebrating 150 years of Art and Culture in the Mile High City.
Denver Botanic Gardens is part of this celebration and will present artists from “Your Name in Graffiti” on Saturday, November 22, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
On the same day The Botanical Art and Illustration Program has an art sale for the benefit of the BI program. This will happen in the Gardens’ Lobby Court between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. All the art is donated by the students. Saturday, November 22nd is a free day at the Gardens.
Monday, November 17, 2008
The Winter and Spring 2009 catalog is out! You can browse through 52 courses and I can guarantee that there is something for everybody, both for you who already graduated and likes to be challenged, and for you who just found out about the program and know nothing about illustration but is fascinated of the absolutely beautiful results.
You can find the complete catalog here, if you wish to look at the list of classes we are offering, you can see them here. The instructor pages will be updated shortly. Material lists will be available on-line by December 1st. Registration starts December 15, 9 a.m.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Over 100 Colorado artists captured the beauty of the Mile High City September 6-15, 2008. This resulted to the 2nd Annual Denver Plein Air Arts Festival Exhibition in Denver Public Library (November 14 – December 31).
Opening Reception: November 13th, 6-9 p.m. in Denver Public Library (10 West 14th Avenue Parkway, Level Seven).
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
In Russia, mushroom hunting is a favorite pastime (even more so than fishing) for many people—men and women, old and young, are crowding 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. But the intense picking is causing a serious decrease in the mushroom population, and remote forests are being disturbed by 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 fungi watercolors are energetic surrounded by all the debris from the forest: pine needles, dead leaves, scraps of moss, twigs and young toadstools scattered over the paper. 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.
Denver Botanic Gardens – Morrison Center
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Next year again, you can spend an unforgettable time with fellow botanical illustrators in the Amazon.
Further information please see:
Margaret Mee's Centennial Amazon Trip. May 18 - 24, 2009
Dulce Nascimento's 11th Botanical Illustration Trip in the Amazon, May 25-31, 2009
Eco-tour with Snorkeling in the Amazon, July 20 - August 2, 2009
You can also contact Lorraine Kaminsky Martins directly by email or see her website .
Saturday, October 18, 2008
(Crataecus by Libby Kyer)
Constance Sayas and Libby Kyer are among the artists who have created works for the Florilegium in 2008.
(Material published with Brooklyn Botanic Garden Florilegium Collection’s permission, October 11, 2008)
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Few, if any, fields of interest are more dichotomized than that of mycophagy, the eating of fungi. You either love the mushrooms or hate them. There seems to be no middle ground. When the subject of a mushroom poisoning comes up, almost invariably someone will ask, "Why would anyone eat that?" This talk, "Why People Eat (the Wrong) Mushrooms", addresses that question using actual cases that Marilyn Shaw have encountered over the last 30 years as a consultant to the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center. In general we estimate that somewhere around 100 of the thousands of mushroom species are edible, and an equal number are poisonous to some degree. Really dangerous, life threatening species comprise a rather small percentage of those. All of those other thousands of species are simply inedible for one reason or another. It is curious that this concept is understood with reference to green plants without question, while it seems so puzzling to the general public when the subject is mycology.Marilyn Shaw’s talk will help even the complete neophyte understand, a little better, the mysterious world of mushrooms.
Marilyn Shaw is Mycology Consultant to the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center. She is also the chair of the Toxicology Committee and of the Education Committee of the Colorado Mycological Society.
Denver Botanic Gardens – Morrison Center
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
The 2008 BI-graduates' Year Book May They Always Flourish is available for purchase through Lulu. All proceeds go to the Botanical Illustration program.
Today the BI program celebrated all the 2008 graduates at the graduation ceremony in DBG. We are incredibly proud of you.
If you have not yet seen the Annual Student Show at Denver Botanic Gardens, please visit and enjoy!
2008 Graduates: Charlotte Bucher, Leaan Williams, Marlene Haviland, Julie Fletcher, Peggy Turchette, Cynthia Rothbard, Annie Reiser, Gai Swanson, Joan Sommerfeld (in front). Absent from the picture Barbara Flowers, Beth Lovold, John Maske, Stephanie Mokris, Julie Ann Terry and Eleanor von Bargen.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Dhinakar Kompala is in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His undergraduate education was at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and his graduate education was at Purdue University. He is a recipient of the Presidential Young Investigator award from National Science Foundation.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
In the nature many odd things happen during the fall. When about half of the chlorophyll has broken down anthocyanin production and accumulation begins. We know that anthocyanins are responsible for the red colors in the plants – however, in the science world there are numerous theories of the ecological function of this reaction, and that is still an unraveled puzzle. Read more about the fascinating Nature’s Palette in David Lee’s book about The Science of Plant Color.
All we know for sure that anthocyanines are not poisonous:
Rosehips are commonly used for culinary purposes especially in Northern Europe.
Monday, September 15, 2008
A excellent example what a Botanical art and Illustration graduate can do: educate travelers!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Last weekend we had a very successful guest workshop with Sally Yu Leung form the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA.
The three day workshop was wrapped up with the demonstration of the Chinese Tea Garden in the home of Diana Lee and Roy Stahlgren. Before leaving the gorgeus garden we were also served tea in their beautiful Tea House. You can see more images here…
(Finished Piece by Katherine McCrery)
Monday, September 8, 2008
Meet the Students - Meet the Artists -Celebrate the 2008 Graduates - Please join us for reception October 5, 2-5 p.m.
Also in the program
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Loja Saarinen, wife of Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen, was an award winning sculptor when she met her husband. As a young woman, she had been trained in all the womanly arts of the day, cooking, sewing, weaving, dressmaking and embroidery. Upon her marriage to Eliel, at the time, one of the foremost architects in Finland, she gave up her sculpting career and devoted all her energies to furthering his. To this end she learned to design in many media, but textiles became her primary expression. She borrowed from her knowledge of traditional ryijy rug weaving and, working with her husband on designs, developed a modern expression of the old art, abstracting elements and working them into her tapestries and carpets.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Denver Botanic Gardens – Gates Hall
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
In 2007 Botanical Art and Illustration Program contributed to a educational outreach program at NOAA (please see November 18th 2007).
The activity and poster are now available on-line. This exercise involving both illustrations and science is a part of the POET program (Protect Our Environmental Treasures) which is series of activities designed for middle and high school students.
With this contribution the Botanical Art and Illustration Program also earned the nomination for 2008 NOAA Environmental Hero Award.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
California Native Plant Society will organize a Conservation Conference in Sacramento in January 2009. As a part of the Conference a juried Botanical Art Competition and exhibit will be arranged. Please see the details here, and note that the first price is $750. Many of the native plants in Colorado are also native in California, check out the native plants and rare plants. Please considere participating, entry form and instruction for the entry are here.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The Annual Student Art Show - Highlights from the Botanical Art and Illustration Program - will hang from September 6 to November 4 (Call for entries and Entry form); the certificate awards ceremony and reception will be held on Sunday, October 5th 2008, 2-5 p.m. in the Gates Garden Court at Denver Botanic Gardens. Students and their families are cordially invited to attend.
Please Note that the entry form needs to be in tomorrow, August 20th! You can also email the information to the coordinator.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
The goal of the Rare Plant Conservation Initiative is to conserve Colorado’s most imperiled native plant species and their habitats through a collaborative partnership effort. Fifteen public and private partners have come together to take the conservation of native rare plants in Colorado to a new level by developing a statewide plant conservation strategy, prioritizing species, sites and conservation needs, securing on-the-ground protection for plant species and their habitats, and seeking state recognition and long-term funding for plants.
This project is funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, with additional support and match from the Colorado Native Plant Society, Colorado Natural Areas Program, Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Denver Botanic Gardens, and the Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust.
Betsy Neely is working on statewide conservation initiatives and regional scale conservation planning. She is facilitating the RPCI, working closely with the Colorado Natural Heritage Program and other partners.
Denver Botanic Gardens – Waring House
6:30 – 8 p.m.