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Join us as we tour both venues for the 2008 ASBA Conference. We will begin at the Huntington with a tour of the botanical center to view the classrooms and the exhibit spaces we will be using. We will then travel to the Pasadena Hilton to view the meeting spaces and the hotel in general. Here we will have lunch at Trevo’s restaurant and learn how to use Basecamp, the easy-to-learn and wonderful web-based project management application set up for our use by Deborah Shaw.

Join us and other conference volunteers as we kick off Conference Year 2008!

Schedule and Agenda:

9:30 a.m.
Meet at:
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108
Park in public parking area and meet your fellow conference committee members in the drop-off area outside of the botanical center. Tour of the classrooms and exhibit spaces.

11:00 a.m.
Leave Huntington and carpool to Hilton. (Parking at the Hilton is $8/vehicle. Members can leave their cars at the Huntington if they want to avoid parking charges at the Hilton. Please let us know if you would like to be included in the carpool arrangements, or if you would like to be a driver. Tania Marien and Deborah Shaw can each take six members in their cars.)

11:30 a.m.
Meet at
Hilton Pasadena
168 South Los Robles Avenue
Pasadena, California, USA 91101
Tel: 626.577.1000
Fax: 626.584.3148
Tour of the classrooms and banquet hall.

12:30 p.m.
Lunch at the Hilton’s Trevo restaurant. Lunch is in the range of $15 – $18. Demonstration of Basecamp computer program to manage conference planning and tasks.

Please RSVP to Tania Marien at

By Julie Schneider Ljubenkov (posted by D. Shaw)

A note to BAGSC members from the BAGSC Executive Board: Julie has the same email address, phone number and post office address as is listed in the roster. BAGSC is contributing a gift certificate to Target so that Julie and her husband can get things they need. If anyone would like to add to the gift certificate fund, please send checks made out to “The Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California” or “BAGSC” to Deborah Shaw, Treasurer. Please put a reference on the check to Julie and/or the fire. We will also be taking up a collection of art supplies for Julie at the January 19th BAGSC meeting. If you have any extra supplies please bring them to the meeting. Our thoughts and support are with Julie, her family and all of the victims of the fires as they work to put their lives back together.

Some of Julie’s artwork can be viewed on the BAGSC web site, at: This BAGSC gallery page has additional links to view Julie’s work on other sites as well.

On the night of October 23 we were asleep. Upon retiring we had felt fairly safe: all the big fires in San Diego County were at least 15 miles away and the wind was not blowing in our direction — plus the wind had died down and it was a beautiful, clear autumn afternoon. We did get a few things ready to evacuate earlier that day, since we thought it would be typical that some nut would try to start a fire here and it would be wise to be ready. We’ve been evacuated twice before in the last 13 years. It is a very tiring experience — like moving — so we didn’t do a complete job getting stuff ready to go because we were very tired. At 3:50 a.m. my husband woke up and opened the window, smelled smoke and saw an orange glow in the eastern sky. The winds had picked up and again were howling. We knew this meant we were probably going to lose our home and that we needed to get out quick. We called our next door neighbors and they had just woken up too.

We threw clothes and prescription drugs in waiting suitcases and made a total of three trips to each of our cars with the stuff we had waiting by the door — mostly stuff to keep us working. My husband is a marine biologist; he grabbed his microscope and some of his most important literature for identifying animals. For me, this was a couple of sketch books; some computer disks; some stuff for teaching which had been packed up already for next week’s classes; some botanical and landscape prints I had packed for an upcoming engagement; plus, our pre-packed fire suitcase with all our important papers and some photographs.

Those trips to the car took ten minutes. Within that time the flames surrounded the house on three sides. There was a large fire funnel tornado on the hill above the house which advanced towards us. Luckily our driveway was only burning on one side, and as we backed into the flames we knew the house would be gone. We filed down the dirt road behind other fleeing neighbors. There were no fire fighters in sight and no evacuation calls.

Our friends, the Marx’s (Wes Marx is author of Frail Ocean) had called us previously wondering how we were fairing with the winds and the fires. At 4:15 a.m. on the way out, unable to reach my husband on his cell phone and wondering if he had actually got out behind me, I pulled over to the side of the road and called them. They let us stay in their downstairs apartment for three weeks and took care of us for the first week, as we were zombie basket cases for a few days. They shopped for us, picked up our prescription drugs, and took us to the relief centers to get us started on the recovery process.

With the help of the insurance company, we are currently renting a small place while our manufactured home gets rebuilt. We hope to be back to our property in May 2008.

People have asked us what we need. Here is our current list. We don’t want anyone to feel compelled to get us anything, but maybe if you have two of something, or you would like to get us something on the list that would be wonderful. We know our insurance will not cover replacing the contents of our home, and we don’t qualify for FEMA or SBA, so we appreciate anything anyone wants to give us.

Here’s our current list:

  • Mattress pad, California King
  • Pillow liners, king size
  • Stepping stool for indoors
  • Wire brush (for cleaning up charred and burnt stuff)
  • Bottle brush, large and small sizes
  • Kitchen serving trays/or for eating (2 to 4)
  • Basting kitchen tool
  • Bread maker
  • Clothes line with wooden clothes pins
  • Indoor clothes drier/rack (wooden or metal)
  • Letter opener (2)
  • Colored folders with pockets for class outlines (10)
  • Copy holder for computer typing
  • Book ends
  • Head sets and microphone for landline phones
  • Blank cassette tapes
  • Electric pencil sharpener
  • River walker shoes, women’s size 7
  • Warm down coat – women’s medium size 12
  • Warm down coat – men’s XL or XXL
  • Women’s cotton socks, dark colors
  • Fax machine
  • Topo map program of California on CD for a PC computer
  • Pictures from magazines or calendars of flowers, landscapes, and animals (for my classes – we use these as image libraries)

I also miss all my 60’s and 70’s rock and roll music:
Elton John, The Beatles, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Gordon Lightfoot, ELO, Supertramp. Right now I can listen to both cassette tapes or CD’s.

Our very efficient and proactive Membership Chair, Joann Leonard sent out her annual email reminder notice for membership dues in early December. (Thank you Joann!)

You should be receiving your quarterly December 2007 issue of the ASBA newsletter soon, which announces a membership dues increase for 2008 of $20.00 for the national portion of the dues, approved at their annual Board meeting in Pittsburgh this past September.

At the BAGSC meeting in October, it was voted to keep our local chapter portion of the dues the same (please see your October BAGSC minutes).

What does this increase mean to you as a member of the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California? It means that the cost of a dual ASBA/BAGSC membership will be $85 in 2008 ($60 ASBA + $25 BAGSC). Please send a check for $85 to Membership Chairperson, Joann Leonard at her address in the BAGSC roster, in order to continue your participation in two exciting international organizations. (The exceptions are those new members who joined the Guild in November and so have already paid their dues for the coming year.)

International members will pay $100 in 2008 ($75 ASBA + $25 BAGSC).

To the record number of BAGSC members who have responded promptly and early this year (thank you all!), please send your additional $20.00 to Joann. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you have not yet had an opportunity to visit our website, please do so. As a member of the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California you are entitled to your own gallery page where you can exhibit up to three images of your artwork on the website. Guidelines for submission can be found on the website. Just click the link “For Members Only.”

Thank you. We wish the best to you and yours during this season, and look forward to an exciting 2008.

Our BAGSC blog is a success! We’ve had a total of 812 visits. Our best day ever was the first 24 hours of our launch, when we received 234 visits. A warm welcome to those of you who have signed up to be contributors, and we’d like to encourage all of you who are “thinking about it” to join in anytime.

For those artists who may be interested in learning about gilding with 23K
gold. A free opportunity is being offered at the Getty Museum.

Each Thursday through January 17, artist Sylvana Barrett will be giving a
detailed demonstration of fine art gilding on parchment from 1:00–2:00 p.m.

This will be followed at 2:00–3:00 p.m by a demonstration of painting,
including the paint making process as it was done during the Renaissance.

Since the demonstrations are free, seating is limited and no reservations
are required, it would be a good idea to show up early. Parking at the Getty
is $8.00 per car. Admission is free.

This a demonstration, not a hands-on class. I have taken a number of classes
with Sylvana Barrett at the Getty and at the Huntington. She is excellent at
clearly conveying complex information.

Botanical Paintings from the garden of HRH The Prince of Wales

An exhibition at the Gallery of the New York School of Interior Design
January 23 – April 12, 2008

The Gallery of the New York School of Interior Design will exhibit 75 watercolors of plants, fruits and vegetables growing in the garden at Highgrove, the Gloucestershire residence of HRH The Prince of Wales. The works on view have been painted by some 55 international artists and depict a selection of botanical varieties from the 15 acres of Highgrove’s garden. The show, organized according to botanical classification, marks the first public display of the watercolors, which are owned by A. G. Carrick Limited and loaned with the kind permission of HRH The Prince of Wales.

Named after the Latin word for a collection of pictures of garden flowers, the Highgrove Florilegium unites two of the Prince’s passions – horticulture and painting – and is produced by some of today’s leading botanical artists. The works in the Florilegium revitalize the art of botanical drawing and painting, which can be traced back to the ancient Greeks but became especially popular during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

HRH The Prince of Wales purchased Highgrove in 1980 and has been working to transform its grounds to reflect his gardening interests, and adhere to strict organic principles. Managed without the use of any artificial materials, chemical fertilizers or generically modified organisms, the garden at Highgrove is considered one of the finest gardens of our time.

Alecto Publications Limited of London has been commissioned to produce a two volume facsimile in a limited edition of 175 copies, the first volume of which will be available in 2008. The Prince’s Charities Foundation will receive a royalty on the sale of the books to support its activities.

The New York School of Interior Design is most grateful to HRH The Prince of Wales for giving permission for the watercolors to travel to New York so that they can be enjoyed by the American public.

The School also wishes to thank Condé Nast’s House & Garden for its support of the exhibition and the related public programs that will focus on horticultural and sustainable topics.

Public programs scheduled in conjunction with the exhibition include:

• Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 6pm
David Howard, Head Gardener for HRH The Prince of Wales, on the Garden at Highgrove.

• Wednesday, February 20, 2008 at 6pm
Martin Lane Fox, architect and internationally acclaimed garden and landscape designer, on Garden Structure.

• Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 6pm
Patrick Bowe on Gardens of the Roman World, one of the eight books he has authored or co-authored on garden history.

• Wednesday, April 9, 2008, at 6pm
Professor David Cadman, urban land economist, writer, senior fellow and former chairman of the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, on Beauty as the Informing Principle of Sustainability.

• In addition, the Friends of Horticulture at Wave Hill will hold three lectures at the School on January 30th with Patricia Jonas, curator of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Florilegium Collection; February 27th with Alexander Redford on the Jardin de Metis in Quebec; and March 19th with garden designer Pepe Maynard.

The Gallery of New York School of Interior Design
170 East 70th Street (between Lexington and Third Avenues), NY
Gallery Hours: Mon – Sat, 10 am – 5 pm, Closed Sundays & Holidays
Access: Free admission, open to the public, and wheelchair accessible
Public Info: 212.472.1500

Founded in 1916, New York School of Interior Design is New York’s only private, not-for-profit college devoted entirely to interior design education.

Deborah Shaw

Note: A longer version of this article with detailed instructions has also been posted as a permanent “page” as one of the links across the top of the blog. Please click on the “How to Blog” tab in the upper right.

It’s finally here. The BAGSC Blog now officially replaces our quarterly newsletter. The advantage of our blog is that it allows us to really be a community — our members can comment and discuss articles; contribute stories and reviews; and let other members know about “calls for entries”, galleries, openings, and learning opportunities.

A big thank you to Sasha McMullen for contributing the funds to secure our blog URL address; to Margaret Best for allowing us to use part of a new painting (that hasn’t even been exhibited yet) for the first header; and to Clara Josephs, Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, and Suzanne Kuuskmae for contributing our first articles. An additional thank you goes to all of you for your patience in the time it’s taken for me (Deborah Shaw) to get this out.

How to read the blog:

We already have quite a bit of content posted. Only ten articles show up in the main window at a time. After that, the information is automatically archived by date and by the categories on the left side. Click on each category name to see all of the articles in that category. You can also search by any keywords you remember. The articles will always be in the archives; you’ll be able to go back and find previous information. Please explore the categories to make sure you don’t miss anything. If you click on the images, they’ll open in a new window at a larger size. (They may take a little while if you have a slower connection.)

In the “How to Blog” tab in the upper right corner, you’ll find instructions on how to:

  • Keep in touch
  • Please comment
  • Become a blogger yourself
  • Another way to contribute
  • Put your artwork in the header

To our members who aren’t connected to cyberspace:

No worries. We’ll periodically print out the blog and mail it to you.

Happy blogging to all!

Co-sponsored by the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and BAGSC

Saturday and Sunday

January 26th and 27th, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Whether you are a beginner who is interested in exploring botanical art, or are at a more experienced level, Margaret can help you improve your observational and technical skills to produce a scientifically accurate, yet appealing artwork. This workshop will focus on watercolor. Participants can purchase plants from the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden nursery, or bring a favorite specimen from home. Come and enjoy this great opportunity in the glorious setting of Santa Barbara.

$125, members of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and/or BAGSC
$145, non-members

For registration, a materials list and further information, please call (805) 682-4726, ext. 102

BAGSC members may also contact Leslie Walker or Deborah Shaw with questions.

BAGSC member Irene Horiuchi was accepted into the Watercolor West XXXIX Annual Juried Exhibition with her painting Silent Watch. The exhibition is in Riverside, through January 26.

Watercolor West XXXIX Annual Juried Exhibition
Riverside Art Museum
December 6, 2007 – January 26, 2008
Monday – Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm

Directions and general information can be found at:

Guest Speaker, Linda Doll
The Watercolor Artist in the Digital Age
Saturday, December 8, 2007
3 pm – 5 pm

Exhibition Opening Reception
Saturday, December 8, 2007
5 pm – 7 pm

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