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by Leslie Walker

Pool of water at the garden

Pool of water at Aerie Art Garden.

On Saturday, February 27, 2010, BAGSC members (and their guests) have been invited to spend the day at a private garden in Palm Desert. The “Aerie Art Garden” is 2.5 acres of cultivated native desert flora on a 20-acre piece of land. On this property can be seen many desert dwellers with legs and wings. We will have free run of the 2.5 acres for the day to wander, sketch, paint or what-have-you. There are shaded areas where we can have our usual potluck lunch, paint, and hang out. The garden also includes art galleries, sculptures and palms.

Blooming cactus

One of the many flowers blooming at Aerie Art Garden.

Bring your cameras, sketching and painting gear along with binoculars, stools or chairs and umbrellas to sit in the garden and draw if that is what interests you. Bring food for a pot-luck lunch and prepare to enjoy the day. The gate will close by noon, so it’s best to arrive early (between 10:00 am and noon). Carpooling is encouraged, of course!

Go to the website to learn more about the place.  The map on the site will lead your way to join us. See you there!

by Akiko Enokido

The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon University has an International Exhibition every three years, the opening reception coinciding with the ASBA conference.

They seek fine artists and illustrators who are not  represented in their collection. The exhibition for Fall 2010 is the 13th since the Institute was established in 1964.

Sadly, the curator of art, Mr James White has stepped down from his position due to health reasons. His assistant,  Ms. Lugene Bruno has taken over his position. I know her only via telephone, but she seems to be a wonderful person.

They requested I send six slides from my works painted within the last two years (they accept up to dozen slides or transparencies), a letter and a resume.

Camellia Japonica, © 2009, Akiko Enokido

Camellia Japonica, watercolor, © 2009, Akiko Enokido

A week later, I received an e-mail from Ms. Bruno informing me that that they had accepted my Camellia Japonica painting.

I painted this piece last spring. I had painted camellias before, but this time I tried to focus on creating the texture of the shiny leaves in watercolor. I showed my work to Jenny Phillips when I took her class at the Huntington Library. She gave me some advice which was very helpful. Thank you, Jenny.

I’m not perfectly happy yet with this piece but I’m glad my effort was acknowledged.

The opening will be held on September  23 at Hunt Institute Gallery, 5th floor, Hunt Libarary, 4909 Frew Street, Carnegie Mellon University. The artwork will be on display until December 21st. I hope you can come and see the exhibition. The ASBA Annual Conference will be held September 23-25.

As much a course in “art for botanists” as “botany for artists!”, this weekend workshop at the height of the desert blooming period, will provide some very exciting plein-aire drawing and watercolor painting. Pen & ink and watercolor rendering, focus/perception skills as they relate to plant identification. Detailed dissection and field work.

April 9, through April 11, 2010
Botanical Illustration of Native Desert Flora Weekend Workshop
Art X454.5 (1 unit), REG # 094-SCF-F60, (credit & non-credit)

Desert Studies Center, University of California-Riverside (UCR), Mojave National Preserve

Instructor: Donald Davidson

Fee: $325 individuals/ $305 each couples, family members / $295 with PINE discount. Includes room and board. To register, contact UCR extension, or call 951-827-4105.

Scans are not required for judging, only for publicity and/or custom postcards if you would like them. Judging will be done from the original artwork, which is due March 14, 2010 (entry forms are due February 27, 2010).

Additional details about where to drop your artwork for judging will follow to those who have entered.

Sorry for the miscommunication on judging. Deb tried to be smart, but was outfoxed by the Prez  🙂
(easily done!)

by Leslie Walker

Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California Botanical Art Show at the Arboretum Library, April 1 to June 30, 2010.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden
301 No. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia CA 91007

Jurors: Olga Eysymontt, Susan Eubank, and Jim Henrich

Eligibility: Open to all BAGSC members.

Subject: Botanical specimens.

Media: Two-dimensional original botanical art or illustration.

Submissions: Up to 3 works of art that are the sole creation of the exhibiting artist. All media must be hand applied by the artist.

Submission Deadlines:
Entry form: February 27, 2010.

Download entry form: ArbLibShowEntryForm (Word document). Contact Deborah Shaw if you have problems downloading or opening the entry form file.

Artwork: March 14, 2010.

Fees: $35.00, for all entries (1 – 3 originals)

Presentation: Artwork no larger than 36″ x 30″, framed with white or off-white matting and no liners. Plexiglas (acrylic) glazing only. Light to medium brown, simple “L” (gallery frame) profile framing, wired for hanging with D-ring wire hangers, no sawtooth.

Sale of Works: Works may be for sale but may not be removed until the close of the exhibition. 35 percent of the sale price will be retained by The Arboretum.  All participating artists may also have prints, note cards, etc. for sale with 35 percent of the sale price retained by The Arboretum. Accepted artwork must be delivered to The Arboretum by March 14, 2010; all additional sale items (prints, note cards, etc.) must be delivered to The Arboretum by March 31, 2010.

Publicity: Scans are requested for judging, which may be used for publicity purposes. Artists may also be interested in ordering postcards with their own artwork advertising the show at a cost of  $30 per 100 cards. Scans must be sent to Deborah Shaw and received by her February 27, 2010. These postcards will be delivered at the March 20, 2010 BAGSC meeting. Call or email Deb for questions about custom postcards.

by Leslie Walker

I have been using American Frame for all my framing needs for more than ten years along with members of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, Southern California Chapter.

Whether ordering online, or by phone, at 1-800-537-0944, it is very easy to obtain a catalog, or  a frame, complete with acid free mat and mounting boards, and acrylic (plexi) glazing. The complete kit is shipped to your home within a week. When you place your order, be sure to tell American Frame you are a member of The Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California. They will then credit BAGSC with a 5 percent rebate on each purchase.

The Basics style frame, AF106 natural & AF112 pecan meet the ASBA standard frame requirements and will also meet the framing requirements for The Arboretum Library Show. To put the artwork and frame together, follow the framing videos on the American Frame site. Use only the two D-ring wire hangers and framing wire; do not use sawtooth hangers. Framing this way is a very simple process and will save you money and take very little time. I suggest you all try it.

FREE California Native Plant Landscaping Workshop
January 24, 2010, 9 am – 2 pm

Join Back to Natives for a free native plant landscaping workshop at Deborah Shaw’s house. Participants will learn how and why planting native plants is beneficial, and learn how to plant natives (although participating in planting is not required).

The landscape will consist of drought-tolerant locally native plants in mulched beds, with no water-hungry turf grass. The design also incorporates a dry creek bed that will harvest rainwater, allowing it to percolate through the soil to the aquifer below reducing run-off and preventing pollution.

Native vegetation requires less water and maintenance, and no fertilizer or pesticides. Many native butterfly and bird species are dependent on the habitat provided by native vegetation, and the plant selection has been chosen for butterfly and bird habitat, and for future illustration purposes. Three endangered species are part of the habitat. Come learn about the process of designing and installing a native plant landscape from start to finish! To RSVP, call Back to Natives at 949-509-4787 or send an email to All are welcome.

This is the recipe for the pumpkin that I brought to the BAGSC holiday party. Although by no means low cal, it’s very easy to do and is a dramatic presentation. I’ve also made it with acorn squash and different types of cheeses. It’s on the Gourmet website, and is here as our tribute to Gourmet! Enjoy.

1 (15-inch) piece of baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices (7 oz total)
1 (7-lb) orange pumpkin (make sure it’s a “sugar” pumpkin for eating, not the jack-o-lantern kind for carving)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère (6 oz)
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Emmental (6 oz)
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 450F with rack in lower third.

Toast baguette slices in 1 layer on a baking sheet in oven until tops are crisp (bread will still be pale), about 7 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle (3 inches in diameter) around stem with a small sharp knife. Scrape out seeds and any loose fibers from inside pumpkin with a spoon (including top of pumpkin; reserve seeds for another use if desired). Season inside of pumpkin with 1/2 tsp salt.

Whisk together cream, broth, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a bowl. Mix together cheeses in another bowl.

Put a layer of toasted bread in bottom of pumpkin, then cover with about 1 cup cheese and about 1/2 cup cream mixture. Continue layering bread, cheese, and cream mixture until pumpkin is filled to about 1/2 inch from top, using all of cream mixture. (You may have some bread and cheese left over.)

Cover pumpkin with top and put in an oiled small roasting pan. Brush outside of pumpkin all over with olive oil. Bake until pumpkin is tender and filling is puffed, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

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