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by Lesley Randall (reporting from the conference) and Deb Shaw
The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) held their Conservation Conference in San Jose, California this past January 15 – 17, 2015. BAGSC members Joan Keesey won first place in the Botanical Art Exhibition with her watercolor of Salvia spathacea, and Lesley Randall took third place with her pen and ink drawing of Malva assurgentiflora. CNPS awards cash prizes of $500 for first place; $300 for second place; and $200 for third place, plus publication in the CNPS magazine, Femontia.
The CNPS conference was attended by about 1200 people—all of whom are passionate about California’s native plants. Bernard Halliwell and Kristin Jakob worked very hard to put the botanical art exhibit together and did a magnificent job. Although they had only a small space with which to work, the exhibit flowed very nicely. As always the standard of work was exceptionally high.
This year, the conference also included botanical art talks and demonstrations. Pria Graves gave a talk about The History and Tradition of Botanical Art; Lesley Randall taught a workshop on Pen and Ink Drawing of Plants; Nina Antze taught a workshop on Drawing Plants with Color Pencils; and Maria Cecillia Freemen taught Getting Started in Botanical Drawing and Painting.
Watch the blog as more images and information about the conference comes in. Congratulations to all for a successful conference, and kudos to Joan and Lesley!
by ASBA, posted by Deb Shaw
The Horticultural Society of New York and the American Society of Botanical Artists will be having a “Last Look Walkthrough” of the 17th Annual International Exhibition, with exhibition artists and juror on:
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Free for NY Hort and ASBA members
$5.00 for non-members
Join ASBA and The Hort, meet some of the artists and enjoy a seasonal cocktail during this reception and walkthrough of the annual exhibition. Each year ASBA’s Annual International presents the genre’s most established artists alongside emerging talents from around the world. Chris Murtha, Curator at The Hort calls botanical art “…a genre that is pushing well beyond scientific illustration and coming into its own.”
Artists Carrie Di Costanzo, Ingrid Finnan, and Monika deVries Gohlke will share their personal stories behind their work and offer a unique perspective on the work of their peers. They will be joined by exhibition juror Patricia Jonas, who will provide insight into the artwork selection process.
Registration for the “Last Look Walkthrough” can be found on Eventbrite.
Catalogs for the exhibition can be purchased for $20.00 through ArtPlantae.
The New York Horticultural Society is located at 148 West 37th Street, 13th Floor, New York, New York. The 17th Annual International is on display through November 26, 2014.
Jurors Patricia Jonas, Marco Polo Stufano, and Catherine Watters selected 42 artworks out of 215 submissions from around the world. BAGSC members Joan Keesey, Lesley Randall, and Deborah Shaw have artwork in the exhibition, and Lesley Randall won the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Award for Drawing & Prints. The ASBA has posted the artwork and the artists’ stories behind each piece. Click on the links and on the ASBA website to see the artwork and read the artists’ stories.
by Deb Shaw
A quick reminder to my original blog post: the California Native Plant Society (CPNS) is holding a botanical art exhibit in conjunction with their Conservation Conference, January 15-17 in San Jose. The entry deadline for submission of artwork is November 1, 2014. They would love to see our artwork there.
Artists are invited to enter original artwork in any two-dimensional medium that reflects the beauty and uniqueness of California flora and adheres to high standards of botanical accuracy. All entries must depict plants indigenous to California.
The Northern California Society of Botanical Artists (NCalSBA) will be helping with the exhibit and coordinating techniques demonstrations at the Conference. Lesley Randall will be coordinating BAGSC members who would like to help our NCalSBA counterparts. More to come on demonstration opportunities later!
by Deb Shaw
The 17th Annual International American Society of Botanical Artists opened on September 17, 2014 at The Horticultural Society of New York. The exhibition will run from September 17 – November 26, 2014.
Jurors Patricia Jonas, Marco Polo Stufano, and Catherine Watters selected 42 artworks out of 215 submissions from around the world. The exhibition includes works by artists from the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Israel, Japan, and the United Kingdom. BAGSC members Joan Keesey, Lesley Randall, and Deborah Shaw have artwork in the exhibition. A full-color catalog with all of the artwork is available at ArtPlantae for $20, plus shipping.
Congratulations to all of the artists in the exhibition and to the following artists who received awards at the opening reception:
The Horticultural Society of New York Best in Show: Annie Patterson
Eleanor Wunderlich Award for Excellence: milly acharya (Purple Passionflower)
Helen Gray Garber Award: Constance Scanlon
Susan Frei Nathan Fine Works on Paper, LLC Award: Asuka Hishiki
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Award for Drawing & Prints: Lesley Randall
Botanical art workshops are being held in conjunction with the exhibition, and a “Last Look” reception with featured artists and jurors will be held on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 from 6-8 pm.
The Hort is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. For further information, please contact Chris Murtha at The Hort, 212-757-0915 (x121) or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Carol Woodin, Director of Exhibitions, ASBA, email@example.com, 866-691-9080.
by Deb Shaw
The Irvine Fine Arts Center is holding an opening reception for “Paper Farm: Works on Paper” this Saturday, June 14, from 1–3 pm. Admission is free.
The exhibition runs from Saturday, June 14 through July 12, 2014, and features 47 artists’ works in ink, paint, pencil and watercolor of Southern California farm life and regional plants and animals.
BAGSC members Diane Daly, Clara Josephs, Joan Keesey, Terri Munroe, Mitsuko Schultz, Janice Sharp, and Deborah Shaw have artwork in the exhibition. Joan Keesey’s painting of Lupinus succulentus (Foothill Lupine) was used for the promotional materials for the show.
The Irvine Fine Arts Center is located at:
14321 Yale Avenue
Irvine, CA 92604
Hours are Monday – Thursday, 10 am – 9 pm, Friday from 10 am – 5 pm, and Saturday from 9 am – 5 pm. The Center is closed on Sundays. Admission and parking are free to the public.
For more information, visit the website by clicking on the link above, or call 949-724-6880.
by Deb Shaw
The Orange County Great Park is pleased to announce the opening reception for “Paper Farm: Works on Paper” to be held:
Sunday, May 4, 2014
Great Park Artists Studios
The exhibition will continue from May 4 until June 8, 2014.
ARTISTS STUDIOS HOURS
Saturdays & Sundays
“Paper Farm: Works on Paper” is an exhibition illustrating Southern California farm life and detailing regional plants and animals using ink, paint, pencil, and watercolor. BAGSC members Diane Daly, Clara Josephs, Joan Keesey, Terri Munroe, Mitsuko Schultz, Janice Sharp, and Deborah Shaw have artwork in the exhibition.
The Groves Antique Market has antiques, fine art and collectibles for sale, and is located on the runways behind the Great Park.
The Certified Farmers Market features fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, handcrafted artisan products, live music and entertainment, car shows, and a selection of gourmet food trucks. You can also explore the Farm + Food Lab and talk to UCCE Master Gardeners about home gardening tips. The Farmers Market will be open early May 4, at 8 am, and is dog and pet-friendly, too.
The Living Room Talks program will also take place in the Gallery at 1:00pm on that Sunday. The Living Room Talks at the Great Park Gallery provide a community gathering place for engaging conversations with local artists. Sunday’s artists include Bianca Barragan, a writer and one of five co-founders of the LA Zine Fest, and Yumi Sakugawa, a comic book artist.
Field trips for 1st grade students have been ongoing since March, and have included the art exhibition. The students have enjoyed the show and are inspired by the creativity.
Directions can be found on the website, and on each of the linked pages listed above. Parking and admission are free. And yes, there will be balloon rides, soaring 400 feet above the park. Availability to fly is on a first-come, first-serve basis and dependent on wind and weather conditions. Prices for balloon rides are: Adults (19 and older), $10.00; Children (18 and younger with paid adult), free; Children (12 – 18 years old, without paid adult), $5.00.
by Deb Shaw
The American Society of Botanical Artist’s (ASBA) contemporary botanical art show, entitled “Weird, Wild, & Wonderful” will open on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 in the Arthur and Janet Ross Gallery at The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). The exhibition will be on display to the public from April 19 – September 21, 2014, and admission is included in any all-garden pass.
The Second New York Botanical Garden Triennial invited artists to seek visually unusual plants and create works of art that celebrate the bizarre, yet beautiful flora of the world.
Jurors Lugene Bruno, Curator of Art, Hunt Institute; Jean Emmons, Botanical Artist; and Marc Hachadourian, Manager of the Nolen Greenhouses, NYBG, pored over the 240 entries, selecting 46 artworks by 45 artists from the United States, Australia, Canada, India, Japan and the United Kingdom. Shirley Sherwood, D. Phil, Caroline A. Wamsler, Ph.D., and Jean Emmons form the Awards Jury, which will meet on April 16 to select recipients of The New York Botanical Garden Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals. Recipients of The New York Botanical Garden Medals will be presented by NYBG CEO Gregory Long at the opening reception.
More information about the exhibition, including the complete list of accepted artists can be found on the ASBA website. The exhibition catalog is available in The New York Botanical Garden’s shop in the garden, or online from ArtPlantae. ASBA members receive a discount on the catalog.
Five BAGSC members had works accepted into the “Weird, Wild, & Wonderful” exhibition: Margaret Best, Akiko Enokio, Joan Keesey, Lisa Pompelli, and Deborah Shaw.
Margaret Best had her watercolor of Tillandsia bulbosa accepted. Margaret wrote that she wanted to send thanks to Leslie Walker, Debbie Friedman and Deborah Shaw for helping her access Jeffrey Kent’s incredible Bromeliad collection near San Diego, where she discovered this remarkable specimen. This was one of the few paintings of Margaret’s that was not destroyed in the Calgary flood last June, which makes the painting as weird, wild, and wonderful as the subject matter.
Akiko Enokido painted Tacca chantrieri, also known as “Cat Whiskers” or the “Bat Flower” in watercolor. She writes that it is named after the long bracts that emanate from the flower scape. This flowering plant is part of the yam family, Dioscoreaceae, which grows in the tropical forest of Yunnan Province, China, India, and East Asia. In such places, the roots are used as food. She found this mysterious plant at The Kyoto Uji-city Botanical Garden in Japan, blooming inside the green house in mid-June. She says, “I was just fascinated by the shape and the process in which the “cat” developed.”
Joan Keesey painted a watercolor of Sarcodes sanguinea, the Snow Plant. The Snow Plant, native to Western North America, and found from Oregon through California into Baja California, and is one of the first plants to appear in the Sierra Nevada in early spring just after the snow has melted. Because the landscape is still wintery and bleak, the Snow Plant is a real treat to find. The brilliant red color is quite shocking and unexpected. The botanical name, Sarcodes sanguinea, means bloody flesh. A really good fresh plant can look almost manufactured like a toy made out of bright red, red-orange, or rose-colored plastic.
Joan writes that the Snow Plant is a member of the Heath Family (Ericaceae) and a mycotrophic (fungus eating) plant. It is unable to photosynthesize and is a parasitic plant that derives sustenance from mycorrhizal fungi that attach to the roots of trees. The Snow Plant does not, however, kill the fungi. They have a symbiotic relationship; the Snow Plant provides fixed carbon to the fungus, and in return the fungus provides mineral nutrients, water, and protection from pathogens. The Snow Plant takes advantage of this mutualism by tapping into the network and stealing sugars from the tree, the photosynthetic partner, by way of the fungus.
Lisa Pompelli painted Scadoxus puniceus, an African Blood Lily, in watercolor. She stated, “I look forward to seeing this strange flower appear in my garden each year and I hope to get seeds from it someday. This is the first time I have entered one of my botanicals in an ASBA show, and I am thrilled to be included.”
Deborah Shaw painted a watercolor of Pisolithus tinctorius, also know as the Dog Turd Fungus, Dead Man’s Foot, or Dyemaker’s Puffball. Pisolithus tinctorius is frequently described in the literature as the least attractive of all fungi. P. tinctorius starts out as a ball shape when young, but then grows into bizarre monstrous shapes like stumps or giant molars. It is an ectomycorrhizal fungus that gets its nutrition in a mutualistic association with tree roots—an association that helps trees access scarce nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphate. It inhabits poor and disturbed soils, can withstand drought, high temperatures in the summer, acidic soils and soils contaminated with heavy metals and mine tailings. It is so beneficial to tree growth it is widely used in reforestation projects.
Congratulations to all! Weird, Wild & Wonderful promises to be an exciting show!
by Deb Shaw
BAGSC members Nina Antze, Joan Keesey, Patricia Mark, Mitsuko Schultz, Gilly Shaeffer, and Deborah Shaw have been accepted into the 16th Annual Botanical Art Exhibition at Folili in Woodside, California. There were 167 entries submitted this year from 68 artists and the jurors selected 65 for this exhibition.
The Exhibit will be on display from Tuesday, April 8 through Sunday, June 8, 2014. In addition to the 65 contemporary works displayed in the Visitor and Education Center, select pieces from Filoli’s three major florilegia collections, the Filoli, the Banks’ and the Highgrove will be on display in the historic House during the same period.
The Artists’ Reception is scheduled for Thursday, April 10 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Artists will be on hand to share their expertise and experiences. Prints, matted originals and note cards will be for sale. An after-hours Garden visit will be available that evening as well. The reception is free, but reservations are required by Friday, April 4. Register online or by calling Member Services at 650-364-8300 x 508.
Additionally, a lecture titled Plant Portraits: The California Legacy of A.R. Valentein will be presented Thursday, April 10, 2014, 3:00 pm–4:30 pm by Margaret Dykens, Director of Research at the San Diego Natural History Museum. A nominal fee of $25.00 for Filoli members; $30.00 for non-members will be charged. A book sale of the 212-page catalog by the same name and book signing will follow the presentation.
Register online for the lecture, or for both the lecture and the reception, or by calling Member Services at 650-364-8300 x 508.
Congratulations to all! From the list of participating artists and works, it promises to be a wonderful exhibition.
by Joan Keesey
Consider the “campi fiori,”
Arrayed in their natural glory.
Their existence is brief
Unless an artistic thief
Memorializes their story.
John Keesey, June 2013
John and I just returned from Umbria, Italy, where I took Elaine Searle’s Botanical Art Class. We stayed for eight days at a resort, Il Collaccio, in the mountains near the walled hill town of Preci and adjacent to the Monti Sibillini National Park. The views of the mountains and valleys were beautiful; the fields were filled with wildflowers: red poppies, small wild orchids, fringed hyacinths, buttercups, and many flowers that I had never seen before.
We were a group of 13 including Elaine: four Americans including Deborah Friedman and myself from BAGSC, six women from Britain, three ladies from Finland, Japan, and Trinidad respectively. We stayed in a lovely stone building in which the studio was also located. Il Collaccio provided all of our meals. They were very good, especially the lunches which were interesting, varied and served outside if the weather permitted.
There was no assigned subject. We could paint wildflowers, vegetables from the local market, or roses growing on the wall of our building. I chose to paint the poppies and a small orchid called the Bee Orchid.
Elaine gave a demonstration every morning on one of the selected subjects. We worked from 9:30 am until 1:00 pm when lunch was served. After lunch Elaine was available in the studio if we wished to continue painting, or we could take the afternoon off for a hike in the hills or a visit to one of the many Umbrian hill towns.
On one of the days we had a group outing to Spello, another beautiful walled town, and Fabriano where we were given a tour of the Fabriano Museum. Fabriano not only makes high quality art paper, they also make the paper for the Euro. We were shown how paper was originally made by hand in the 16th century and their extensive collection of watermarks. At the end of the tour we all made a piece of paper.
It was a great trip—an opportunity to see a really beautiful part of Italy, to meet new and interesting people, and to concentrate on drawing and painting without the many distractions and obligations of daily life.
By Joan Keesey; Photography by John Keesey, posted by Deb Shaw
On Thursday, April 18th, John and I attended the Artist’s Reception at Filoli. We spent the morning checking out the exhibit and looking at the garden, always beautiful, but sensational in the spring. The garden is a series of “garden rooms” similar to the Hidcote Gardens in England; each room is surrounded by a hedge of shrubs or trees and usually contains a fountain or pool. Each “garden room” has a color scheme. I spoke with one of the volunteer gardeners who said that the colors change with the seasons and from year to year, but each year there is a master plan. The first garden you see is the sunken garden. This year it is cobalt blue and white columbine, cerulean blue forget-me-nots, and hansa yellow tulips. The wisterias that climb up the brick walls of the Georgian style house were all in bloom and spectacular.
There were also many bushes with a very small, quinacridone red azalea that was quite stunning. It was a perfect day.
There were 64 works of botanical art by 50 artists including the two jurors, Carol Hamilton and Susan Fisher. The Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC) was very well represented with seven artworks by five artists—Alison Denning, Joan Keesey, Sue Kuuskmae, Mitsuko Schulz, and Deborah Shaw.
We went back for the Artists’ Reception at 5:00 pm. It is always very pleasant with wine, very nice appetizers, and the opportunity to meet other botanical artists. Carrie DiCostanzo won the 2013 Roth Award for distinction with an emphasis on traditional botanical art presentation with a beautiful picture of “Ponderosa Pine” (Pinus ponderosa). Maria Cecilia Freeman won the Juror’s Award with an exquisite picture of “Tan Oak” (Notholithocarpus densiflorus), and Ingrid Finnan won the Horticulture Aware with a delicate picture of “Dandelion” (Taraxacum offivinale).
by Deb Shaw
Botanical Visions, an exhibition of botanical art by the Botanical Artist Guild of Southern California opened on January 12th in the Ecke Building of the San Diego Botanic Garden.
The exhibit features paintings, drawings and prints in watercolor, pen and ink, graphite and colored pencil. BAGSC member Lesley Randall organized this wonderful exhibition of ten BAGSC artists: Estelle DeRidder, Linda Ericksen, Polly Jones, Joan Keesey, Lesley Randall, Gilly Shaeffer, Janice Sharp, Deborah Shaw, Mitsuko Schultz and Patricia Van Osterhoudt.
The artwork was hung the day of the opening artists’ reception in the Ecke Building. The light-filled, open-beamed room is used as a classroom, so the artwork will have lots of exposure for the duration of the show, from January 13 – March 23, 2013.
Lesley Randall, Leslie Walker, Estelle DeRidder, Joan Keesey (and BAGSC helper John), Polly Jones (and husband), Patty Van Osterhoudt (and BAGSC helper Chris), Janice Sharp, Mitsuko Schultz and I were all on hand to hang the show. Linda Ericksen joined us for the reception.
Formerly called “Quail Gardens”, the San Diego Botanic Gardens are absolutely beautiful, and this is a wonderful time of year to see them. Although the gardens are extensive, with different sections devoted to plants from different parts of the world, each section feels like an intimate treasure, with delightful surprises around each bend of the path.
The exhibit will be open during regular garden hours January 13 – March 23, 2013.
Thank you Lesley!
by Deb Shaw
In October, 2012, when we posted the “Stipple, then Tipple” article about Anita Walsmit Sachs’ BAGSC class, we also posted a request for additional artwork as students completed their drawings. (See https://dbshaw.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1448&action=edit for the original article.)
Joan Keesey emailed Tania Norris’ pen and ink beautiful Sunflower from the class. Thank you Joan and Tania for sharing a wonderful drawing!
by Joan Keesey; photography by John Keesey, posted by Deb Shaw
Yesterday John and I visited Descanso Gardens to check out the two art exhibitions currently on display there. In the Sturt Haaga Gallery the exhibit, “The WILD Flowers”, is a collection of works by seventeen contemporary California artists. Concurrently, contemporary botanical illustrations are being presented in the Boddy House; these paintings are provided by five members of the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC): Joan Keesey, Sue Kuuskmae, Gilly Shaeffer, Janice Sharp, and Deborah Shaw.
It was a beautiful clear and crisp day, and although it is still winter, Descanso Gardens was very lovely; the magnificent Coast Live Oaks (Quercus agrifolia) provide the perfect canopy for the garden’s remarkable collection of Camellias, many of which were blooming.
I hadn’t really expected to like the exhibit, “The WILD Flowers”. I couldn’t conceive of how an artist could invent flowers that were more wild and astonishing than real flowers, but the pictures were very imaginative, technically accomplished, and fun. Many of them, like Potentilia multijuja by Penelope Gottlieb, included recognizable flowers and plants. I was told that Ms. Gottlieb always includes a flower that is no longer in existence.
There was one video that had bubble-gum and aqua colored slime dripping from slowly opening lilies—not sure what that was all about.
The botanical paintings by BAGSC members were very thoughtfully displayed and illuminated in the Hall and the Gunroom of the Boddy House. Without knowing that I was involved the docent was very enthusiastic about and complementary of our
pictures. Several visitors took pictures of our pictures. I am impressed and proud that BAGSC has been able to provide quality paintings for the three concurrently running botanical exhibitions in Southern California: “Botanical Visions” at the San Diego Botanical Garden, “Drought Tolerant Beauty” at Chapman University, and “Contemporary Botanical Illustrations” at Descanso Gardens.
by Janice Sharp
The WILD Flowers presents work by 17 contemporary artists who live and work in California. The show was conceived and curated to complement the exhibition When They Were Wild, which opens March 9, 2013, at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.
Running concurrently with the WILD Flowers are works of contemporary botanical illustration provided by the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California. This exhibit is presented in the Boddy House’s Heritage Gallery and features selected works by Suzanne Kuuskmae, Joan Keesey, Janice Sharp, Deborah Shaw, and Gilly Shaeffer.
Both exhibits are free with admission and open during regular business hours: the Sturt Haaga Gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Mondays.