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

Monday, October 9, 2017

Late Summer in the Classroom #2


From our indigo class, egg tempera, Milvi Gill

Second sett of random images from our late summer classes can be found here.


Acorns and oak leaves, graphite by Sue Carr


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Late summer in the classroom #1

Pelargonium, pen and ink by Patti Hearn from the distance learning option class, Drawing on Tradition: Margaret Flockton, Story in Fine Line

We have been working hard in the classroom all summer long. This is the first post to show you a selection of finished and in progress work from the late summer classes. To see more photos connected to this posting, please click here.

Enjoy!
We posted earlier about Isabel Adams and the drawing on tradition class inspired by her. Here is one more image belonging to that series. Watercolor and Ink by Rebecca Swan

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Ratibida columnifera - completed


watercolor, by Işik Güner, our 2017 artist-in-resident

Cafe Botanique: Supplements: Are They Weeds or Seeds?

Helleborus orientalis 'Ivory Prince', watercolor and graphite by Susan Curnutte

Supplements: Are They Seeds or Weeds
Monika Nuffer, Pharm.D., Skaggs School of Pharmacy and the School of Medicine, University of Colorado

Join us in a discussion around the origins of medicine from botanical sources, the history of various plant uses and the continued interest in identifying medicinal properties from botanicals. Dr. Monika Nuffer will provide a brief background on some of the herbs grown at Denver Botanic Gardens, and answer questions about common herbal remedies.

 Monika Nuffer, Pharm.D. is a clinical pharmacist with expertise in Integrative Medicine.  She provides individualized consults where she evaluates and explains the safety and efficacy as well as pros and cons of different herbs and supplements patients are or are considering using. Taking her patients  complete medication profiles into account, she screens for interactions and duplications and helps to optimize pharmacotherapy treatment at The Center for Integrative Medicine (TCFIM). Dr. Nuffer holds faculty appointments at the University of Colorado in both the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and the School of Medicine.

Wednesday, October 11, 6:30-8 p.m.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Işik has started her residency at Denver Botanic Gardens


Işik Güner from Turkey has started today the second week of her 6-week artist-in-residency at the SBAI of Denver Botanic Gardens. She is focusing on Colorado native flora and currently illustrating Ratibida columnifera, the true representative of North American mixed grass prairies. In few days she will be teaching a 3-day master workshop on the Giant World on Tiny Details.
Click here to see few more pictures on her progress and process.

 "Live specimens and natural light are the two most important necessities for a successful illustration" says Işik 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Whimsy: Submissions deadline is on September 22nd, 11:59 MDT

Cockscomb (Celosia argenta), colored pencil by Susan DiMarchi

Please follow this link to the call for entries. and click this link to submit.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Inspired by Harriet Isabel Adams

(Rose of Sharon by Mary Francis, watercolor pencil and ink)

I recently blogged about Harriet Isabel Adams' work and our watercolor pencil class which got inspiration from her work. If you click here, you can see some of the plates which were developed during that class.  

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Congratulations Valerie Teska!

I Love Your Warts and All by Valerie Teska, Colored Pencil.

The Colored Pencil Society of America awarded one of the five Honorable Mentions to Valerie Teska at their 2017-2018 Annual Online Competition "ArtSpectations". You can see ArtSpectations' 359 participating works displayed here. Valerie is an active member of our community.
Congratulations Valerie!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Hemp

Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists (RMSBA) will exhibit at The Museum of Natural History at University of Colorado, Boulder. The opening reception is on Thursday, September 7th and the exhibit runs through February 28, 2018.
More about this exhibit here.

Cannabis sativa by Ida Pemberton (1890-1963) CU’s Museum of Natural History collections. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Cafe Botanique, September 6, 6:30-8 p.m.: Water Quality and Abandoned Mines

(Animas River Mine Spill 2015)

Abandoned Mines Across the West: Impacts on Water Quality
Lauren Duncan, Abandoned Mine Restoration Manager, Trout Unlimited

Lauren Duncan describes the extent of abandoned mines across the west and in Colorado and talk about how they impact water quality.  She also describes Trout Unlimited’s Abandoned Mine Lands program and shares her knowledge on the progress to address the problems that are impacting the water condition. 

Founded in 1969, Colorado Trout Unlimited (TU) is the state’s leading non-profit, non-partisan organization providing a voice for Colorado’s rivers to protect, conserve and restore our waters.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Denver Botanic Gardens – Gates Hall

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

World Art Drop Day on September 5th - Please participate!

From our weekend entry level graphite class in the beginning of August. (Still in progress by Mary Chen Fowler.)

All artists, (that means students and professionals, painters and cartoonists, sculptors and illustrators, animators and fine artists, photographers and print makers; EVERYONE who creates) this September 5th* is World Art Drop Day. Wherever you find yourself that day, drop a piece of your art and tell someone where to find it. The world needs this right now. We need to feel a little more... 

If any of our readers within the BI-community like to participate and hide the art around The Gardens (remember, the hiding place needs to be accessible for the public), please email Erin Bird a photo of the work and a note about where you placed it. She will share your photos and clues to all Denver Botanic Gardens social media.

This is how one of the participating artists from previous years in Denver wrote:

Make art and hide it somewhere.
• Take a photo of either the art or the hiding spot or a combination of both.
• Post the image, the city you dropped it in, and a hint on any social media of your choice. Be sure to included the hashtag: #artdropday
• Then move on, hoping someone finds it OR hang around and meet your new friend.
That's it!


It can be a sketch, little painted canvas, fiber arts, a book and the list goes on. Please follow this link and learn more.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Solar eclipse August 21, 2017

(please click to enlarge)

Countless amazing photos were taken and at least one painting made last Monday when the total solar eclipse swept the continental USA. This was the first total solar eclipse path from west coast to east coast since 1918.

This plein air painting was done during the 2 min 30 sec total eclipse phase plus a couple of minutes afterward at the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Nebraska (Randy Raak, gouache on casein prepared art board).

Friday, August 18, 2017

Color with Pencil and Brush

Gala apple with its gamut by Deanna Gammon, colored pencil

One of our regularly repeating elective offerings is following James Gurney's book Color and Light and focusing on botanical subject matter. The students learn about limited color palettes and gamut mapping. This method is found to be effective and helpful in Botanical illustration. See more images from this class by clicking here.
During the summer we have also completed several other classes both in watercolor and colored pencil. You can see some random examples of them in the BI-Facebook album Color with Pencil and Brush.
 Watercolor by Karey Swan 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Lichens Discovered through Colored Pencils!

David Morrison's work in-progress and the subject matter to the left with some colored pencils

David Morrison is a professor of art at Herron School of Art and Design, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. We had a pleasure to enjoy his tutoring over the past weekend. The students were thrilled to learn new methods applied with colored pencils mixed with watercolor pencils.
You can see work from this workshop by clicking here.
For this work magnifiers were needed!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Botanical Illustration in the Prime Vacation Time

Entry Level Pen and Ink by Janet Bell

In spite of the summer and vacation times our teaching schedule continues in the Hibiscus-classroom. Please keep in mind the availability of the spectacular specimens for your botanical drawings during summer and browse our summer/fall catalog for suitable classes. The online registration can be found by clicking here.

You can see more works from our recently completed entry level classes by clicking here. Even though our elective class' selection changes and is more season oriented, our required core classes repeat regularly throughout the year and you can begin learning anytime. 



Entry Level Graphite by Morgan Williams

Story of the 5 cherries by Valerie Teska, colored pencil. 
This plate is from the regularly offered Realism in Botanical Illustration class (more from this class shortly in its own post)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Billy Showell Workshops and Lots of Roses

Student work from one of the 3-day workshops

Billy Showell visited us during last week and we were able to offer two 3-day workshops. The students concentrated on roses and rose leaves, practiced how to capture the fragility and smooth texture of the petals and tightly packed staminodes with coiling forms.    
Lots of individual guidance
Workshop #1

One of the numerous demonstrations, this is part of the workshop #2
We are looking forward to get Billy back to teach dark, 'black' flowers - perhaps in 2019 (?!!!)
To see a few more images form the classroom, please click here.


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  - by Irene Young)

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)

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Agave, Bats and Tequila


(By Sally Grew, click the image to enlarge)

Did you know that nectar-feeding bats are the main pollinators for Agave tequilana? Agave is harvested for tequila and mezcal production right before blooming thus the reproduction of this plant is strongly restricted. This is also decreasing the food availability for bats. Tequila Interchange Project (TIP) advocates for the preservation of sustainable, traditional and quality practices in the industry and for incorporating bat-friendly practices in the production system.   
Here is Sally Grew's story board illustrating the relationship, and challenges for Agave and bats. 
(Panel #2, by Sally Grew, please click to enlarge)

(Panel #3, by Sally Grew, please click to enlarge)

Monday, June 5, 2017

SBAI will participate in Denver 2017 Comic Con: Comics for Scientific Storytelling

The School of Botanical Art and Illustration will participate in the Denver Comic Con with a panel discussion on Saturday, July 1st 12-noon – 1 p.m.: 

Drawing Science: Comics for Scientific Storytelling
Graphic novels present an interesting opportunity to introduce readers to challenging scientific ideas. Combining text with images creates an easy to understand platform that appeals to a wide variety of learning styles. Panelists address the process of scientific storytelling through botanic-based comic stories with a focus on pollinators.

Get your tickets now! Denver Comic Con at Denver Convention Center June 30 – July 2. The tickets typically sell out early!
We have recently completed a successful 5-week workshop on the topic “Pollinator's Journey” with the instructor Jay Peteranez affiliated with Pop Culture Classroom. 
You can see a few example panels from our workshop by clicking here


(part of Christine Hubbell's story about pollen wasps and Penstemon; please click to enlarge)