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by Deb Shaw

Buddha’s Hand, Citrus medica var. sarcodactylus, watercolor by Akiko Enokido, © 2011, all rights reserved.

Buddha’s Hand, Citrus medica var. sarcodactylus, watercolor by Akiko Enokido, © 2011, all rights reserved.

The Awards for the Filoli Botanical Art Exhibition have been chosen, and Akiko’s painting, Buddha’s Hand, Citrus medica var. sarcodactylus has been awarded the Juror’s Award. This award was chosen by the Art Exhibition jurors, Kristin Jakob and Susan Fisher for distinction  in botanical art representation.  The Award will be given at the Reception on June 30.  Congratulations Akiko!

by Sue Kuuskmae

There are still a few openings left for Mike Sibley’s “Drawing From Line To Life Workshop”; a 3-Day Graphite Pencil Workshop focusing on botanical subjects, June 24 – 26 at the Torrance Airport Zamperini Field meeting room. The cost for the workshop is $385 and there is a full description of the class on his website. All materials will be provided. Sign up on Mike Sibley’s website, or contact Suzanne Kuuskmae.

by Bonnie Born Ash

Susan Frei Nathan, lecturing at the Huntington.

Susan Frei Nathan, lecturing at the Huntington. Photo by Leslie Walker.

Susan Frei Nathan, ASBA Board Member and gallery owner specializing in contemporary botanical art, presented a workshop to BAGSC members on Thursday morning, April 28 at the Huntington Library. She summarized her career working with antique and contemporary botanical prints, watercolors, and drawings. In 2002 she established Susan Frei Nathan Fine Works on Paper, which represents botanical artists, offers consultation for private and corporate collections, and provides professional services including appraisals and expertise on conservation. Susan reviewed the current market values for botanical art and cited examples of sales prices for antique and contemporary botanical art.

She advises artists who are new to botanical art begin with small works and hone their skills. As technical ability improves, artists may challenge themselves to larger, more complex works. She recommends that artists choose subjects for which they have a passion, consider a “specialty,” and create a series of works of the same subject, all with the intention of developing a “body of work.”

With the intention of selling work, Susan advises artists to focus on regional plant life, the most popular subjects to collectors. Artists need to be aware of conservation issues in their choice of materials, and provide detailed descriptions for their mixed media works. She recommends that works on paper be handled with care – use cotton gloves. In finding the right gallery to represent your work, familiarize yourself with the galleries in the community that represent natural history related work. To exhibit your work publicly, consider ASBA juried exhibitions, the New York Botanical Garden, The Hunt Institute International Exhibition of Botanical Art and Illustration, and check Susan’s website for additional links.

As Curator for the Sutton Collection, Susan described the development of the collection and discussed the exhibition at the Hunt Institute, Botanicals:  Environmental Expressions in Art, the Alisa and Isaac M. Sutton Collection. We were delighted to each receive a copy of the exhibition catalogue at the conclusion of Susan’s presentation. The workshop was followed by individual meetings with artists in half-hour sessions to discuss technique, composition, color and subject matter.

by Akiko Enokido and Deb Shaw

Akiko Enokido and her family attended the opening of the Green Currency show at the New York Botanical Gardens, where Akiko exhibited her Pomegranate, Punica granatum. Although the days were hazy and a little cold, they enjoyed their trip to New York, where the sun came out in the afternoon and the artists were treated to a tram tour of the New York Botanical Garden. Cherry Blossoms and Magnolias were in full bloom, and the daffodils were strikingly beautiful against the green fields.

The opening of the Exhibition was so well attended (and crowded!) it was difficult to even move, let alone see all the artwork! The artwork was all painted to a very high standard, and Akiko reports learning a lot from the exhibited work.

In the first juried show in the United States, the gold medal went to Beverly Allen; the silver to Asuka Hishiki (unfortunately, she could not come to New York), and the bronze went to Ingrid Finnan. Karen Kluglein’s Corn was listed in the Botanical Garden’s collection. Beverly Allen’s coconut was huge, with dyanamic composition and elegant color. Karen and Ingrid got also honorable mention award for their other work in the show.

Dr. Shirley Shirwood and Akiko Enokdo at the NYBG and ASBA "Green Currency" opening.

Dr. Shirley Shirwood and Akiko Enokdo at the NYBG and ASBA "Green Currency" opening.

Dr. Shirley Sherwood attended the opening and Robin Jess introduced her to Akiko! (Thanks, Robin!) She spoke about the exhibition, and how wonderful of all the works are. Carol Woodin and the ASBA would like to bring this exhibition to other cities if the artists agree on a plan.

The Green Currency Exhibition has been so successful, it has been extended through August 21. For updates on the exhibition visit

An audio tour for the show is now available online.  It is very easy to access and use. The audio tours can be accessed from the NYBG Audio Tours page, where you can hear each of the artists talk about the subject of their painting in their own words. (You’ll hear Akiko’s daughter doing a wonderful job reading Akiko’s piece.)  The exhibition was linked to the NYBG; visitors can listen to the artists’ audio from their cell phones, and plants growing in the gardens that appear in the exhibit have been identified with special signage.

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