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By Janice Sharp and Deborah Shaw

Akiko Enokido painted this Chorisia speciosa, Floss Silk Tree, at the Los Angeles County Arboretum. The LA Arboretum has introduced four varieties of Chorisia speciosa. © Akiko Enokido, 2009, all rights reserved

Akiko Enokido painted this watercolor of Chorisia speciosa, Floss Silk Tree, at the Los Angeles County Arboretum. The LA Arboretum has introduced four varieties of Chorisia speciosa. © Akiko Enokido, 2009, all rights reserved.

Starting in 1957 and continuing to the present, The Arboretum has been responsible for the introduction of plants to Southern California from around the world  (click here to download a list of the plants: LaArboretumPlantIntros). Many of these plants are now indispensible elements in our Southern California Gardens.

Recently, BAGSC members donated cards to make boxed collections for Richard Schulhof  (Arboretum CEO) to take as gifts for officials he met on a trip to South Korea. Most of the images used on these cards were of Arboretum Introductions. At the end of the trip a few remaining boxes were placed in the Arboretum Gift Shop for sale. The Gift Shop, Arboretum staff and Foundation Board members, as well as the general public, are very interested in having “Arboretum Plant” note cards stocked in the Gift Shop.

The Arboretum is a good friend of BAGSC, providing class space at very reasonable rates and access to a huge selection of plants. As a result, our members have already painted many plants on the Introduction list or will paint them in the future.

BAGSC is asking its Members to “donate” the use of images they may have, or will create, to be included in an “Arboretum Introduction” card collection. Deborah Shaw is setting up a project area for BAGSC members to upload their high-resolution images, or they can be mailed to her on disc. Each finished card will include:

  • the Name of the Artist with the appropriate copyright notice;
  • the plant name and the year it was introduced;
  • a description of the Arboretum;
  • and a description of BAGSC.

Images “donated” will be used ONLY for the purpose of this “Arboretum Introduction” card collection. BAGSC will produce and box the cards. They will be sold to the Arboretum Gift Shop at a modest markup over our costs of production. The profit will go to BAGSC’s general funds.

In addition, the Arboretum Library is to undergo an extensive facelift in the near future. When the work is completed we hope to have an art show featuring the Arboretum Introduction artwork.

If you are interested in participating in this project contact Janice Sharp or Deborah Shaw. Deb will email instructions for uploading images to the web project area.

by Janice Sharp, posted by Deb Shaw

It’s the end of Summer, but it’s still hot here in Southern California. By popular demand, we’re posting Janice’s easy frozen treats:

1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup plant-based milk (almond, soy or rice)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 ripe bananas
2 cups oatmeal (old fashioned)

1. Puree maple syrup, milk, vanilla, cocoa powder, and bananas. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add oatmeal and mix well.
2. Place a thin layer of Grape-Nuts in ice-cube trays (about 1.5 trays). Place the mixture in the trays and add another layer of Grape-Nuts on the top.
3. Freeze. After the treats are frozen pop them out of the trays and place them in a container. Store in the freezer.

Enjoy while taking a break from painting!

by Jill Berry, posted by Deb Shaw

Magnolia, by Cristina Baltayian, colored pencil, © 2011, all rights reserved

Magnolia, by Cristina Baltayian, colored pencil, © 2011, all rights reserved

Cristina Baltayian’s popular Colored Pencil classes are now also being held on Saturday, and she is now offering a Colored Pencil class for children, so plan on coming to the Arboretum and enjoying a beautiful day!!! Jill

USING COLORED PENCILS in Botanical Art (Adults)
Cristina Baltayian, Instructor
At the Arboretum, 301 North Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA 91007
Held in the Conference Room in the main administration building

Saturdays, 2012 from 10am – 4pm (includes lunch break)

August 18
September 15
October 13
(No class in Nov.)
December 15

This class will explore flowers, fruits, vegetables and more, using colored pencils techniques to get beautiful, painterly results.

$  95  Arboretum members per Saturday
$115  Non-members per Saturday
Pre-registration required; please call 626.821.4623 or email Jill.

Cristina  Baltayian has a background in drawing (graphite, charcoal, pen and ink), two-dimensional design, watercolor, and colored pencils. Her work has been shown at Filoli, the Los Angeles County Arboretum, and Chapman University. She is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists, and the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California.

  • A supply list will be provided upon registration.
  • You may bring your lunch or purchase it at the Peacock Café.

Cristina Baltayian, Instructor
This class for children ages 9-13 will use pencils to develop observation and fine motor skills, focusing on color mixing and drawing techniques while using objects from nature and everyday life.

4  Thursdays:
September 6, 13, 20, 27
October 4, 11, 18, 25
3:30pm  –  5:30pm

Minimum 5 children, Maximum 10
10% discount for siblings

$145  Arboretum members per month
$160 Non-members per month
Please call the Class Registration number at 626.821.4623 to register.

In addition to the art background described above, Cristina has taught art classes in private schools to elementary and high school students.

posted by Deb Shaw

BAGSC member Margaret Best will be teaching classes in various parts of the globe for the remainder of 2012, and into 2013. See below for descriptions and links to more information:

Mixing Natural Green and Painting Leaves (SOLD OUT!)
September 26-28, 2012. Filoli, San Francisco.

Three-Day Weekend Workshops (and more) – October 12-14, 2012, and November 23-25, 2012
These intensive 3-day workshops involve assigned subjects or specific technical aspects aimed at assisting participants in the creation of traditional botanical art studies. The selected subjects range from introductory level to advanced study.

The locations of the 3-day Weekend Workshops will be in and around Calgary and will be indicated in the description of each individual workshop as it is confirmed. Please bring your own lunch and refreshments other than coffee and tea, which will be provided. More information, costs and payment by credit card or PayPal can be made on the Traditional Botanicals website. Various evening botanical workshops and Saturday workshops are available in Calgary as well. See the Traditional Botanicals website for details.

Fabulous Foliage – Watercolor
November 2-5, 2012
Bermuda Society of Arts, Hamilton, Bermuda
A 4-day intensive workshop using the incredible variety of shapes and colors of tropical and subtropical leaves of Bermuda, capturing natural green colors, and achieving realistic surface texture, venation, leaf curl, and foreshortening. If you have always wanted to master the art of painting leaves, this is a class not to be missed. For more information, costs and payment, contact the Bermuda Society of the Arts.

Painting in Morocco (including lectures by Ethnobotanist Gary Martin)
– April 22-30, 2013.

BAGSC member Jan Clouse at Margaret Best's Tuscany Workshop, from Quench Trip Design.

BAGSC member Jan Clouse at Margaret Best’s Quench Trip Design Tuscany Workshop, 2012.

This incredible botanical art opportunity has been arranged in conjunction with Quench Trip Design. Gary Martin, renowned ethnobotanist and the author of Ethnobotany: A Methods Manual will give lectures. Enjoy five nights in luxury accommodations, three nights in a mountain retreat, meals prepared by gourmet chefs and highly personalized instruction from Margaret Best. More information, costs, and itinerary can be found at the Traditional Botanicals website (click on the “Blog” link for information)  and at Quench Trip Design.

by Elaine Searle, posted by Deb Shaw

BAGSC member Elaine Searle is a botanical artist and experienced instructor from the UK who has taught extensively in the USA.  By popular demand she has extended her 2013 Italian painting holiday to 10 days. A day excursion to medieval Fabriano to learn how to make paper is included. Previous visits have attracted students of all levels from UK, USA, Europe, the Caribbean and Japan.

Non-painters are also most welcome as the national park setting is perfect for nature walks, independent sightseeing with a hire car or simply lazing by the pool with a good book.

10 Day Botanical Painting Holiday in Umbria, Italy
May 29-June 8, 2013
1,380 Euros per painter sharing, 980 Euros per non painter sharing, 150 Euros single room supplement.

Includes 10 nights in a family owned ‘agriturismo’ hotel, all meals, wine with evening meal, daily tuition, 24-hr access to the studio and a full day excursion to Fabriano. Paint local flora (even native orchids) or vibrant veggies with guidance. Or for those who would like more specific drawing and watercolor technique instruction choose one of Elaine’s mini-projects with full color handouts (ideal for less experienced). Elaine is on hand to demonstrate and assist.

The hotel is situated in breathtaking countryside and is noted for its hospitality and good food. You can paint as much or as little as you wish.

Download the ESearle_2013Umbria brochure to see details about the 10 Day Botanical Painting Holiday in Umbria, Italy.

More information and booking, go to

by Suzanne Kuuskmae, posted by Deb Shaw

Sala Tree Flower, by Suzanne Kuuskmae, © 2012 all rights reserved

Sala Tree Flower, by Suzanne Kuuskmae,

Iris, by Suzanne Kuuskmae, © 2012 all rights reserved
Iris, by Suzanne Kuuskmae, © 2012 all rights reserved

© 2012 all rights reserved

Two botanical paintings by Suzanne Kuuskmae, Iris, and Sala Tree Flower,  were selected for the upcoming Exhibition at the Palos Verdes Art Center at the Peninsula Center, Silver Spur Drive, Palos Verdes. The Gallery is open every day from 9:30 to 4:00 p.m. Selections were made for the Small Treasures Show at the same address and I was thrilled to see that yet another botanical of Hibiscus showing various parts of the flower was selected along with a pastel landscape of Lake Bled, Slovenia. If you get a chance, come on up to see this show that has drawn from a very varied array of art pieces. The reception was held Friday, August 31, from 6 – 8.

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