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By Leslie Walker

Plumbago auriculata painting

Plumbago auriculata, watercolor by Margaret Best, © 2011, all rights reserved.

At one time blue pigments were amongst the most expensive and difficult to obtain. Unlike red pigment, the challenge was not one of permanency but availability. Technology has eliminated many of the former problems related to this color. But in the range of blue paints now available to the artist, what are the best choices and most specifically which ones serve the specific needs of the contemporary botanical artist? For an in-depth study of the color blue, exercises to help you discover which blue pigments will provide you the best colour matches for botanical subjects, join Margaret Best for this 3-day workshop in another of her series designed to expand your understanding of available pigments. You will also learn how to use blue effectively in the highlights and shadow areas of your paintings and your knowledge gained will be used to create a single flower study.

Class location is at Sally Jacobs’ new studio in LA. An email blast will be sent out with directions; for questions, please contact me. Classes will be April 15, 16 & 17, 2011, 10 am – 4 pm. Bring a bag lunch as there are no nearby places to eat. Cost will be $275 for BAGSC members and $300 for non-members. Space will be held for a non-refundable $50 deposit sent to Leslie Walker. Final payment is due April 1, 2011.

Questions? Call or email Leslie.

Iris "Fleur de lis", watercolor by Arillyn Moran-Lawrence

Iris "Fleur de lis", watercolor by Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, © 2011.

Arillyn Moran-Lawrence’s, Iris “Fleur de lis” will be in the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club’s show at the Salmagundi Club in New York City.  The show will be March 20th to April 1st, 2011, at 47 Fifth Avenue, NYC. The reception will be Friday, March 25th, from 6-8 pm.

Congratulations Arillyn!

By Sue Kuuskmae

Wendy Hollender demo

Wendy Hollender demonstrating during her colored pencil class. Photo credit: S. Kuuskmae, 2011.

Wendy Hollender of the New York Botanical Garden arrived from her snow-bound farm near New Paltz, NY, on Sunday, February 13, and stayed with me in Manhattan Beach as she got acclimated to our time zone before her workshop began.

The class was held at the Creative Arts Center, Manhattan Beach, on February 14 & 15 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Wendy stressed doing the form of the plant first and thinks about color only after that is complete. We began by doing the shading of a small fruit that we found on some local bushes as she demonstrated the technique of giving a 3-dimensional look. She also gave a demonstration of how to do a few different kind of leaves before she set us loose on giving it a try.

The second day we were given a demonstration of correct perspective and then worked on whatever drawing we had brought with us. Wendy walked around stopping at each desk continuously so that we all felt we got lots of attention. This is one of the good aspects of her teaching style as she never gets bogged down with one student for an inordinate amount of time. At the end of our second day, we all visited each desk to hear Wendy’s comments about each piece of work and her suggestions for improvement. This was quite educational for all.

As we had several out of town participants from San Diego, we had a dinner out on Monday night, which was lots of fun. Arlene Weinstock of the Colored Pencil Society joined us for a delicious meal at a local Lebanese restaurant. I hope that when Wendy comes out this way again, I will get enough notice so that I can once again get together a workshop for those who are interested in colored pencil skills.  For a good review of Wendy’s methods, take a look at her new book, “Botanical Drawing in Color – A Basic Guide to Mastering Realistic Form and Naturalistic Color” which can be purchased on line at

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