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by Tania Norris

Rosa Canina, Rosehip, watercolor by Margaret Best

Rosa Canina, Rosehip, watercolor by Margaret Best, © 2010

Margaret Best will be back at Virginia Robinson Gardens to teach a 3‐day workshop “A Single Flower Portrait”, October 5, 6, and 7.

The purpose of the workshop is to bring together all the skills taught at the workshops at Virginia Robinson Gardens throughout the 2010 series in a single flower study.

To prepare for the 3-day class and maximize on the class time with Margaret, it is recommended that students select a single flower subject that is not complicated and that will be able to be completed in the allotted time. Try to limit the outer dimension of the complete work to a maximum of 7.5 inches by 9.5 inches, so any preparatory drawing on tracing paper or in a sketch book should be sized accordingly. If the selected flower does not meet this dimension  in life‐size, there is a strong possibility that the required exercises will not be completed during the class.

Select a single flower on a stem with at least one full leaf (attached if possible). You may have more than one leaf and a bud if you wish, but the goal of the class is to complete all three elements to the final detail stage flower, leaf and stem. Per the homework provided following the composition class, you should complete six different compositional sketches (thumbnail sketches) of your selected flower and related parts. If you did not attend the composition class, take time to position and sketch your subject thoughtfully in six different ways with maximum eye appeal.

The following schedule will form the basis of the 3‐day workshop:
Day 1: Review prepared compositions with Margaret and complete final drawing on quality paper. Light tables are provided.
Day 2: Commence color washes to build form and chroma.
Day 3: Complete chroma and form on all three required elements and add the final details.

If you were not able to attend the details class, Margaret will be happy to demonstrate certain techniques again that pertain to the subjects selected for this final workshop.

For a full schedule of Botanical Art classes, and to register for this class, please visit the Virginia Robinson Gardens website, or call them at (310) 550-2068. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Tania Norris.

by Tania Norris

The Virginia Robinson Gardens Botanical Art program started nine years ago and has been carefully nurtured by renowned teachers from England and Canada.
We are now privileged to have one of Southern Californiaʼs botanical artists and authorities on morphology and botany, agree to present a one-day class at Virginia Robinson Gardens:

Tania Marien, “Plant Morphology and Economic Botany”
One-day class, Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

10 am – 3 pm
Course fee: $60.00 for Friends of Robinson Gardens
$75.00 for non-Friends
$25.00 is non-refundable if for any reason the student has to cancel
Checks should be made payable to: Friends of Robinson Gardens,
1008 Elden Way, Beverly Hills, Ca 90210
Payment may be made by credit card by calling (310) 550-2068
The Plant Morphology Reg Form must be filled out and returned to the Friends of Robinson Gardens address.

Tania Marien is a long time member of the American Society of Botanical Artists as well as the local chapter the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California. She has taught botany at the Getty Museum and for other institutions and schools. She is a very knowledgeable young woman that will bring life and excitement in to knowing how to make your paintings botanically correct. She will provide a booklet to keep for reference and during class we will use dissecting kits and magnifying lens as well as microscopes.

This we can promise you – school was never like this class and should be fun and enjoyed by all.

A materials list will be sent to all registered students prior to the class as well as parking instructions. The class will be held in the Pool Pavilion from 10am to 3pm. For a full schedule of Botanical Art classes, please visit the Virginia Robinson Gardens website. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Tania Norris.

by Janice Sharp

Deborah Ravin Demonstration

Deborah Ravin demonstrating technique during her class.

Deborah Ravin taught a BAGSC-sponsored class, August 19 – 21, 2010 at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

Beatrix Potter display.

Beatrix Potter display.

Beatrix Potter is well known for her “Peter Rabbit” children’s books featuring her pen and ink/watercolors illustrations, however, Beatrix was also an accomplished botanical artist. Her detailed renderings of fungi and lichens were scientific trendsetters in the era before microscopic photography was an option.

Beatrix Potter’s interests lay with botanical art, particularly in the study of mycology. Her investigation and discovery led her to develop theories expressed in her paper “On the Germination of the Spores of Agaricineae.” (Poculum). Her paper was submitted to the Linnean Society on March 18, 1897. However, her theories, like those of any other woman, were not taken seriously. The paper was withdrawn with the understanding that it needed “more work”.  One hundred years later, the Linnean Society wrote an official apology for the sins of historic sexism.

Today, 450 of Beatrix Potter’s scientific, archaeological, and botanical art comprise the Armitt Collection in Cumbria. Tania Norris treated us to a close-up of a Beatrix Potter original that is in her personal art collection.

Deborah led us through a series of a variety of methods for applying ink and watercolor to illustrate our botanical drawings.

Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea during class.

The class featured a treat of afternoon tea with Almond-Cardamom Scones (baked by Jill Carlson to whom we are all very grateful-the recipe is on the BAGSC Blog under the “Recipes” section or can be viewed by clicking the link).

Deborah also shared a recipe for “Black Walnut Ink” which is also on the BAGSC Blog (or can be viewed by clicking the link).

Our artwork, accomplished during class.

Our artwork, accomplished during class.

Julie Schneider Ljubenkov will not be sending out her newsletter this season, but wanted to let everyone know about upcoming classes. Some are for just for fun and learning, some are for college credit, and there is one class offered for children. They are listed below:

For teachers that need credits beyond their masters:
University of La Verne Professional Development Courses, Independent, home study courses. Students have up to one year to complete their course(s). Julie offers some excellent courses for teachers or for life-long-learners, including: Drawing to Enhance Learning; Integrating the Arts for Teaching and Learning; The Impressionists; The Music and Life of Mozart; Beethoven: His Life and Music; The Impressionists; Monet: Painter of Light and Color; The Art and Life of Georgia O’Keefe. Many other courses in all subjects are offered. 1-800-793-6533 or Request a catalog or enroll. 3 units courses are $285.00

Shinto Arch, recovering landscapes with Jan

Shinto Arch, recovering landscapes with Jan, made in the "Introduction to Mosaic Sculpture" class.

Introduction to Mosaic Sculpture UCSD Extension, 858-534-3400, or email (request a catalog, enroll, or see the class description) Art 40385, 3 units, $275.00 (early enrollment: $250.00). Class is from October 5 to December 10th, 2010.  Tuesday evenings, 6:00 to 9:00 PM Room 128 at the Extension Complex.

Mosaics for All Levels Mira Costa College Community Services, non-credit adult courses.  Oceanside campus, room 7001 (Horticulture Building).  5:30 to 8:30 PM, 7 Monday evenings, October 4 to November 15th. $109.00 plus a $35.00 materials fee. To see the course description or to enroll go to: 760 795-6820.  Email at:, or see the website. You can enroll by phone or internet with a credit card 24 hours a day.

Gardening and Landscaping with California Native Plants City of Escondido, Community Services Department and Department of Recreation, 3 Thursday evenings, October 14th to November 4, 6:00 to 8:30 PM. $65.00  There will also be Saturday morning field trip to a native plant garden and nursery on the Saturday immediately following the end of the course. The course is described in the 2010 Community Services Department Brochure or on-line at:  Email: Call the offices at: 760 839-4691

Cartooning for Children (ages 8 to 13) City of Escondido, Community Services Department and Department of Recreation, 4 Thursday meetings, October 14th to November 4, 3:30 to 5:00 PM. $49.00. The course is described in the 2010 Community Services Department Brochure or on-line at: Email: Call the offices at: 760 839-4691.

Hope to see you soon and I look forward to doing another newsletter for the upcoming Spring 2011 courses and other noteworthy events and news.

by Leslie Walker

The Rancho Los Alamitos Gardens in Long Beach have invited us to participate in their “Garden, Gourmet and Gallery Series” Autumn Events on
Saturday, October 16, 2010, from 9:30am – 5:00pm
6400 Bixby Hill Road, Long Beach, California 90815
(562) 431-3541

The day will feature a lecture on Perennials and Bulbs by John Schoustra, Landscape Architect, and, of course, the drawings and paintings of the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California.

Members of BAGSC who wish to display and sell their work, prints, cards, etc are welcome to sign up now. Participating members will be required to arrive at 9:00 am to set up, stay until closing and assist in take-down. Rancho Los Alamitos will provide a box lunch for those participating. They would also like to have some artists painting and demonstrating. This will be a good opportunity to meet some new people and introduce ourselves. Rancho Los Alamitos is a lovely garden and house where our work will show off nicely.

If you would like to join us, email your name and agreement to work this event to Leslie Walker. Include the number of paintings, etc. you plan to bring, and if you wish to demonstrate. Also we will need to bring our own display/sales things and take care of our own sales. Additional details about sales, etc., will be available at the end of September/beginning of October.

The next BAGSC Quarterly Meeting will be on Saturday, October 2, 2010, at the home of Pat Mark. Please join us for the meeting and special program that follows. Members are encouraged to form car pools!

Coffee will be ready at 9:30 a.m. and the meeting begins promptly at 10:00 a.m. The Agenda 10-2-10 includes updates on upcoming classes and exhibition opportunities. Lunch will be potluck style, so please let Pat know what you are bringing. We are always interested to see what everyone is working on and you are welcome to bring your latest work to share.

After lunch we will visit Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, a short drive from the meeting. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for seniors. This is a garden devoted to California native plants, and has a display of the sculpture of Pamela Burgess, a nature based artist.

RSVP to Pat, or phone her by September 30. Directions will be sent out via email blast. We hope to see you on October 2!

by Deborah Shaw

Chinese Brush Painting, Bamboo, Gloria Whea-Fun Teng

Chinese Brush Painting, Bamboo, by Gloria Whea-Fun Teng, © 2009, all rights reserved.

BAGSC Member Gloria Whea-Fun Teng will be teaching a new class at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Gardens:
Introduction to Chinese Brush Painting.

4 Thursdays: October 28-November 18, 2010
1-3pm / Oak Room
Gloria Whea-Fun Teng, Instructor
$120 members / $130 non-members

Pre-registration required.  For reservations or information, please call (626) 821-4623 or email Jill Berry at the Arboretum.  If there is a conflict with a date, please let Jill know.

In this introductory course the student will learn the difference between Chinese brush painting and other watercolor painting. The class will teach the beginning painter to use Chinese brushes and ink to create beautiful paintings on rice paper. At the end of this course, a completed painting will be ready to be framed and displayed. Gloria, the instructor, is a very talented artist who has taught a variety of courses over the years. She has also studied botanical illustration at Otis College of Art & Design.

1. Week one: Introduction to Chinese brush painting: includes how to mix color, brush painting style and techniques, how to use the brush on rice paper, practicing on newsprint first, and how to paint a bamboo branch. 1st assignment: bamboo branch

2. Week two: Bamboo branch with leaf: using black ink, learn to paint a bamboo leaf, single leaf, double leaf and how to paint a set of leaves. The student will learn how to control the water with brush. 2nd assignment: bamboo branch and leaf

3. Week three: Flower: Rose: how to paint flower stems and buds; start to use color, practicing on a single petal flower, including different angles and shapes; learn the techniques of painting multiple layers of petals and different leaves. 3rd assignment: Flower: Rose

4. Week four: Final Critique: bamboo painting in black ink, and rose in color. Student will complete one painting in the class, and it will be ready to frame when the course is finished.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch Gloria’s grace and skill executing a Chinese brush painting, now is your chance to learn this beautiful technique.

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