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

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)

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Illustrated Urban Garden


(Please click to enlarge)

An urban garden can take on many forms—tiny backyard plots, community gardening in city parks, guerrilla gardening on vacant lots, indoor hanging gardens, rooftop growing, vertical gardens, patio container gardens, or a full urban farm.
According to the USDA about 15% of the world’s food supply is now grown in urban centers. Growing fruits and vegetables is the biggest emphasis of the movement, but backyard chickens and goats, rain water collection, pollinator gardens and beekeeping are also on the rise. (More...) 
Gallus gallus domesticus, (Barred Plymouth rock rooster), watercolor and gouache by Randy Raak