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by Leslie Walker, posted by Deb Shaw

Anita Walsmit Sachs in her studio. © Anita Walsmit Sachs

Anita Walsmit Sachs in her studio. © Anita Walsmit Sachs

Anita is an experienced Scientific Illustrator and teacher who is coming from the Netherlands to teach this very special class on October 12, 13, and 14. For a complete biography and an opportunity to see her work, visit her website.

Each student will select and bring to class a plant they wish to draw and get to know intimately.

The first day you will get to know the plant by study, making dissections, using a microscope and drawing.

The second day will be spent making a composition and deciding the technique you wish to work in.  This can be in pencil, watercolor or pen and ink which will make it  a scientific piece.

The last day we will try to finish our drawing or painting.

The teaching will be individual. Some experience would be nice.

The cost of this three day class on October 12, 13 and 14,  will be $300. The cost for non-members is $350. Space will be held upon receipt of a $50.00 non-refundable deposit. Final payment is due to Leslie by September 28. A list of materials and a suggested reading list will be sent by email, upon payment of deposit. Checks should be made out to “BAGSC” and sent to Janice. Questions? Contact Leslie until August 31 or Janice after August 31.

The class will be held October 12, 13 & 14, from 9:30 to 3:30 each day at Sally Jacobs’ Studio.

You don’t want to miss this wonderful opportunity. Class size is limited, so register as soon as you can.

by Leslie Walker and Bonnie Born Ash, posted by Deb Shaw

The next BAGSC Quarterly Meeting will be on Saturday, August 25 at Pat’s home. 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. There will be updates on our exhibition at Chapman University as well as news of upcoming classes. Lunch will be potluck style, so please let Pat or Leslie know what you are bringing. You are encouraged to bring your latest work to share – we’re always interested to see what everyone is working on!

RSVP to Pat or to Leslie by August 20. Directions will be sent out via email blast. We hope to see you on August 25!

Coffee at 9:30

I. President’s Report – Leslie Walker

  • Rancho Los Alamitos, May 30 Sales Visit

II. Secretary’s Report – Bonnie Ash

III. Treasurer’s Report – Janice Sharp

IV. Membership Report – Joan Keesey

V. Old Business

  • Chapman University Exhibition
  • Margaret Best Class
  • Akiko Enokido Farewell Party
  • Fabriano 5 Paper for Sale!!!

VI. New Business

  • Anita Walsmit Sachs Class: October 12, 13, 14, “Scientific Drawing in Pen and Watercolor”
  • Nominating Committee for Election of Vice President and Secretary


  • Deb Shaw: Demonstration and mini-Workshop on water-soluble graphite techniques (Note: Please bring any old/inexpensive brushes you may have that you are willing to ‘sacrifice’ to graphite. Deb will bring other supplies.)
  • Estelle DeRidder: Sketching and development drawings.

Open Session for Members to share recent work, new techniques, etc.

Potluck lunch.

See you there!

by Deb Shaw

Two important dates for your calendars!

1) The next BAGCS meeting will be at Pat’s on Saturday, August 25. Agenda, mini-workshop/demo topic and directions to come soon.

2) Anita Walsmit Sachs will be coming from the Netherlands to teach a BAGSC-sponsored class October 11, 12 and 13. Details and cost to come. Be sure to come to this exciting class.

by Jan Clouse

Jesselyn Cyr, Norma Sarkin and Leslie Walker in Margaret's class at the Huntington.

Jesselyn Cyr, Norma Sarkin and Leslie Walker in Margaret’s class at the Huntington.

Sometimes a perfect composition presents itself like a gift from heaven, but more often than not it is like Jacob wrestling with the angel—a struggle for a blessing. In her three-day workshop at the Huntington Garden, Margaret Best repeatedly returned to fundamental principles of composition, guiding the class through basic do’s and don’t’s. Each morning began with a slide show, lecture, and discussion that both guided and inspired us to create a pleasing and dramatic painting.

As always, Margaret dispels the notion right away that we will walk out the door with a “finished painting.” Rather her aim is that each student will have a thoughtfully composed finished drawing ready for color. Many of us had done our homework: we had selected appropriate specimens; most had done preliminary sketches, and some had transferred the sketches to paper. Yet under her tutelage we all drew or rearranged our sketches to improve the placement of the focal point. First consideration was the “rule of thirds” or Margaret’s magic grid.

We also looked at examples from traditional to contemporary painters who in various ways illustrated the basics of planning, focal points, cropping, color placement, contrast, and the use of positive and negative space. Yet Margaret always sent us back to consider our own works.

Speaking for myself, the process of looking at a variety of paintings and discussing them with nine other keen-eyed artists who all offered perceptive comments sharpened my eyes to assess the potential strengths and pitfalls in my own composition. I appreciated the fact that Margaret drew on the skills and talents of her students: individuals offered plant information to others, and Christina Baltayian even did a spontaneous colored pencil demonstration. Margaret is an exceptional artist, but she is also a masterful teacher notable for her ability to create an atmosphere where knowledge is readily shared.

I will admit that painting at the Huntington was an inspiration in itself, and indeed I gathered a couple of fallen bits from an oak just outside the Botanical Building, which turned out to be compositional gifts from heaven.

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