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by Deb Shaw

IMG_2009The first “Day of Art” at Roger’s Gardens, originally planned for January 26 was postponed due to rain. It will be held, however, this Saturday, February 2, from 9 am – 4:30 pm.

Fifty artists will be painting and demonstrating in the gardens, including BAGSC members Bonnie Born Ash, Diane Daly, Clara Josephs, Suzanne Kuuskmae, Tania Marien, Pat Mark, Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, Alyse Ochniak, Janice Sharp and Deb Shaw.

BAGSC will have a table about botanical art, as well as an interactive table to explore plants, fruits and vegetables. Tania Marien and Deb Shaw will teach a workshop to the public on drawing flowers and leaves in pencil.

Plein aire painters will also be painting and demonstrating in the garden, as well as leading workshops. The event is free, open to the public, and can be enjoyed by all ages.

Roger’s Gardens is located at 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona Del Mar, CA 92625, 949.640.5800. “Bite Me Foods” food truck will be parked at the Victory Garden in the back parking lot from approximately 11 am to 2 pm.

rglogosmAnd, of course, the beautiful selection of plants in the nursery will be open.

Bring friends and family and see you there!

by Clara Josephs, posted by Deb Shaw

Before: The BAGSC crew arrives and unpacks artwork.

Before: The BAGSC crew arrives and unpacks artwork. Thank you to all the BAGSC members (and supporters) who came to help!

The Chapman show, “Drought Tolerant Beauty”, is up and it is stunning! There are  59 pieces by 18 of our members. The art is arranged through the gallery areas by drought tolerant mechanisms.  Dr. Jennifer Funk’s students have written wonderful commentaries to accompany the groupings.

Our Artist Reception is Thursday evening, February 7 from 7 – 9 pm.

In addition to the tasty hors d’oeuvres and adult libations, Dr. Funk will talk briefly about her involvement with restoration ecology and drought tolerant plants.

Sorting artwork into drought-tolerant categories.

Sorting artwork into drought-tolerant categories.

Plan to attend with your family and friends. Even if you don’t have a piece in the show, you will enjoy seeing this collection of works by our members. You will see work that was inspired by Anita Walsmit Sachs’  workshop, works in a variety of media, and some very unique ways of composing challenging subjects.

Take time to notice the framing. Almost all the paintings were framed to ASBA show specifications, using a blonde L profile frame. Many of the frames are the Dick Blick renewable bamboo frame we recommended. Several frames are “look-alikes” that blend perfectly with the Dick Blick frame. Do you like the standardized framing look? Proponents say it helps focus attention on the art, and give the art a more professional, less “décor” appearance. Let us know what you think!

Pausing to admire the beautiful art.

Pausing to admire the beautiful art.

If you would like to demonstrate during the reception, please call or email Diane Daly. If you weren’t able to paint for the show, demonstrating during the reception is another great way to participate!

Don’t forget to WEAR YOUR BAGSC NAME TAG! If you don’t have one, please let Deb Shaw know and she will bring one for you.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on the evening of February 7.



Dr. Jennifer Funk, ecologist with Chapman University, helps categorize the art.

Dr. Jennifer Funk, ecologist with Chapman University, helps categorize the art.

Laurie Gates Cussalli, Chapman University, demonstrates the hanging wire system.

Laurie Gates Cussalli, Chapman University, demonstrates the hanging wire system.

The "Succulent Leaves" Category is up on the wall, waiting for signage and labels.

The “Succulent Leaves” Category is up on the wall, waiting for signage and labels.

The exhibition continues on the other side.

The exhibition continues on the other side.

by Joan Keesey; photography by John Keesey, posted by Deb Shaw

Joan Keesey in Fern Canyon at Descanso Gardens with Coast Live Oaks

Joan Keesey in Fern Canyon at Descanso Gardens with Coast Live Oaks

Yesterday John and I visited Descanso Gardens to check out the two art exhibitions currently on display there. In the Sturt Haaga Gallery the exhibit, “The WILD Flowers”, is a collection of works by seventeen contemporary California artists. Concurrently, contemporary botanical illustrations are being presented in the Boddy House; these paintings are provided by five members of the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC): Joan Keesey, Sue Kuuskmae, Gilly Shaeffer, Janice Sharp, and Deborah Shaw.

It was a beautiful clear and crisp day, and although it is still winter, Descanso Gardens was very lovely; the magnificent Coast Live Oaks (Quercus agrifolia) provide the perfect canopy for the garden’s remarkable collection of Camellias, many of which were blooming.

Penelope Gottlieb, "Flowers Gone WILD"

Penelope Gottlieb, “Flowers Gone WILD”

I hadn’t really expected to like the exhibit, “The WILD Flowers”. I couldn’t conceive of how an artist could invent flowers that were more wild and astonishing than real flowers, but the pictures were very imaginative, technically accomplished, and fun. Many of them, like Potentilia multijuja by Penelope Gottlieb, included recognizable flowers and plants. I was told that Ms. Gottlieb always includes a flower that is no longer in existence.

Gary Brewer, "Flowers Gone WILD"

Gary Brewer, “Flowers Gone WILD”

Maura Bendett, "Flowers Gone WILD"

Maura Bendett, “Flowers Gone WILD”

There was one video that had bubble-gum and aqua colored slime dripping from slowly opening lilies—not sure what that was all about.

Sue Kuuskmae in the Gunroom.

Sue Kuuskmae in the Gunroom.

The botanical paintings by BAGSC members were very thoughtfully displayed and illuminated in the Hall and the Gunroom of the Boddy House. Without knowing that I was involved the docent was very enthusiastic about and complementary of our

More Action in the Gunroom -- Gilly Shaeffer & Janice Sharp.

More Action in the Gunroom — Gilly Shaeffer & Janice Sharp.

pictures. Several visitors took pictures of our pictures. I am impressed and proud that BAGSC has been able to provide quality paintings for the three concurrently running botanical exhibitions in Southern California: “Botanical Visions” at the San Diego Botanical Garden, “Drought Tolerant Beauty” at Chapman University, and “Contemporary Botanical Illustrations” at Descanso Gardens.

Sue Kuuskmae, Deborah Shaw & Joan Keesey in the Hallway.

Sue Kuuskmae, Deborah Shaw & Joan Keesey in the Hallway.

by Tania Norris, posted by Deb Shaw

Virginia Robinson Gardens has announced two upcoming botanical art classes: Anne-Marie Evans and Jenny Phillips.

Anne-Marie Evans

Anne-Marie Evans

Anne-Marie Evans (seated) assisting a student.

February marks the thirteenth annual botanical art class with the renowned Anne-Marie Evans. There will be two classes:
February 4 – 8, 2013 and
February 11 – 15, 2013
9:30 – 3:30 daily

The classes will be two separate weeks, but students may participate either week or in both  weeks as the flower painted will be judged and the winnerʼs painting included in the Virginia Robinson Gardenʼs Florilegium.

Price per week is $595. for members and $675. for non-members. A deposit of $100.00
per week, which is non-refundable, may be made but as space is limited, the full amount must be received by February 1.

Jenny Phillips

Jenny Phillips lecturing and demonstrating to a class.

Jenny Phillips lecturing and demonstrating to a class.

Jenny Phillips, one of the worldʼs foremost botanical artists and teachers, will return for two sessions:
April 10 – 13, 2013, and
April 15 – 19, 2013
9.30 – 3.30 daily

The price for the three day session is $375. for members and $425 for nonmembers. The five day session is $595. for members and $675. for non-members. A deposit of $100. per session, which is non-refundable, may be paid. The balance is due by April 5, 2013.

All painting subjects to be announced for both classes, and a supplies list will be sent to all participants.

Coffee, tea and water will be provided but please bring your own lunch.

To pay by credit card, contact Bianca at the Virginia Robinson Gardens at (310) 550-2068 or send a check made out to: Friends of Virginia Robinson Gardens, 1008 Elden Way, Beverly Hills, Ca 90210.

Please contact Tania Norris if you have any questions.


by Deb Shaw

There’s been a change in the meeting date for February. It will now be on February 9th, instead of February 2. A group email blast will be sent out shortly with details and the agenda for the meeting.

So, the BAGSC quarterly meetings for 2013 plus the holiday party are now as follows:

  • February 9
  • April 20
  • June 29
  • September 14
  • and the December 7 Holiday Party (no meeting included, just eating, drinking, and enjoying ourselves)

Let us know of any workshops or presentations you would like to see at one of the meetings.

Keep your eyes peeled for blog and email announcements of classes, workshops, activities and exhibitions. Next year will start off with a lot happening in January, and lots more to come. It promises to be an exciting year!

by Janice Sharp

JANUARY 15 – MARCH 31, 2013 at
Descanso Gardens in the Sturt Haaga Gallery

The WILD Flowers, Nature ReimaginedThe WILD Flowers presents work by 17 contemporary artists who live and work in California.  The show was conceived and curated to complement the exhibition When They Were Wild, which opens March 9, 2013, at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.  

Running concurrently with the WILD Flowers are works of contemporary botanical illustration provided by the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California.  This exhibit is presented in the Boddy House’s Heritage Gallery and features selected works by Suzanne Kuuskmae, Joan Keesey, Janice Sharp, Deborah Shaw, and Gilly Shaeffer.

Both exhibits are free with admission and open during regular business hours: the Sturt Haaga Gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Mondays.

by Diane Daly and Deb Shaw

The Chapman University exhibition and opening reception are coming together! Diane Daly was interviewed by Julie Bawden-Davis for the Old Towne Orange Plaza Review. Read the column “Botanical Art” in Garden Clippings.

Front side of Announcement/Invitation postcard for the "Drought Tolerant Beauty" exhibition at Chapman University.

Front side of Announcement/Invitation postcard for the “Drought Tolerant Beauty” exhibition at Chapman University.

The announcement postcards/opening reception invitation have been printed for “Drought Tolerant Beauty: Artists and Students Respond to California’s Changing Environment”.

The 5″ x 7″ postcards are available for BAGSC members to send to their mailing lists. Please let Deb know the quantity you would like to receive by Friday, 18 January. A BAGSC team will package them all up on the weekend and put them in the mail for you by Monday.

by Lesley Randall, posted by Deb Shaw

Botanical Visions, an exhibition of botanical art by ten members of the Botanical Artist Guild of Southern California (BAGSC), opens this weekend in the Ecke Building of the San Diego Botanic Garden. Guild members produce scientifically accurate as well as beautiful botanical pieces. The exhibit will feature paintings, drawings and prints in watercolor, pen and ink, graphite and colored pencil.

Come meet the artists at the opening reception, Saturday, January 12th, 2013, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. The reception is free and open to the public.

The exhibit will be open during regular garden hours, January 13 – March 23, 2013.

Exhibiting members include: Estelle DeRidder, Linda Ericksen, Polly Jones, Joan Keesey, Lesley Randall, Gilly Shaeffer, Janice Sharp, Deborah Shaw, Mitsuko Schultz and Patricia Van Osterhoudt.

The garden is located at 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas, California. Exit off of the 5 freeway and head inland (up the hill). Turn left on Quail Gardens Drive. Go roughly 200 yards; the driveway is on the left (there is a big sign.)

by Janice Sharp, posted by Deb Shaw

As you know, BAGSC has produced the first round of the Arboretum Introduction card collection. To get a very good rate for the production of the cards we bought a relatively large number.

We would like to offer members the opportunity to buy copies of the cards, with envelopes and boxes at a price of:

$2.00 per card, in packs of 5 (5 different cards/pack), $10/pack; or,

in packs of 10 (2 cards each of the 5 different cards/pack) $20 per pack.

The cards are beautiful and include a description of the Arboretum, BAGSC, the image and artist on the back. This is a very good price for high quality cards (I know I cannot produce cards at this price). See the original article about the cards, with an image, at

If you would like to buy cards contact Janice Sharp with the number of cards you want to purchase.

We are continuing to print additional cards as members paint the LA Arboretum introductions. Please contact Janice with information about any paintings you are doing. A list of LA Arboretum introductions can be found on our blog at:

A map of the introductions is at:

by Deb Shaw

A quick summary on the statistics for our BAGSC News blog for 2012:
We had a total of 18,000 views of our blog in 2012, from 111 countries in the world.

The most visitors came from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, but we also had many visitors from Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Korea, France, Germany, Turkey, Greece and even Slovakia, the United Arab Emirates, Syrian Arab Republic, and Mozambique among others.

The busiest day of the year was December 13th, when we had 206 views.

If you haven’t yet hit the “Follow” button to have the BAGSC News blog come to your mailbox, please do so. If you have any ideas for articles, or news you want to share, please let me know.

Happy New Year, and Happy Painting!

by Veronica Raymond, Bonnie Born Ash and Pat Mark, posted by Deb Shaw

Veronica, Bonnie and Pat all gave us a heads up about an upcoming exhibition at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, “When They Were Wild: Recapturing California’s Wildflower Heritage”.

The exhibition is a collaborative project of The Huntington, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, and the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants. “When They Were Wild” traces the unique diversity of California flora as depicted by artists, scientists, and horticulturalists for more than a century. Artwork by amateur naturalists, who were also talented artists, including Alice Brown Chittendon, Clara Mason Fox, and James Milford Zornes are complemented by herbarium (plant specimen) collections, publications, and ephemera.

This exhibition of more than 200 items tell the story  of the botanical ecological and horticultural legacy of California plants, and how many of them migrated from wildflowers to domesticated garden plants.

The exhibition is in the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens from:
March 9 – June 10, 2013
The Huntington is located at 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, California, 91108.

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