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by Deb Shaw

Invitation to BAGSC adjunct exhibition.

Invitation to BAGSC adjunct exhibition.

In conjunction with “Weird, Wild, and Wonderful” The New York Botanical Garden Second Triennial Exhibition, the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC) will present a supplemental exhibition from August 1–9, in the Brody Botanical Center’s Banta Hall at The Huntington, featuring free public demonstrations, lectures about botanical art, and specimens of botanical curiosities. The BAGSC adjunct exhibition features 72 artworks by 37 members.

An exhibition of Botanical Oddities…
illustrations by the
Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California
in The Frances Lasker Brody Botanical Center
At The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens

August 1–9, 2015 (closed Tuesday)
10:30 am – 4:30 pm

We will have a reception for BAGSC members, our guests, and Huntington VIPs and staff at:
10:00 am this Saturday, August 1, 2015
before The Huntington opens to the public.

The “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” New York Triennial exhibition also will be open the entire time the BAGSC exhibition is up, August 1 – 9, except on Tuesday, when The Huntington is closed.
Weird, Wild & Wonderful exhibition dates:
June 13 – August 23
Exhibition open to the public weekends only and each day August 1–9
Additional exhibition information:
Exhibition information and hours posted at

Artists in the BAGSC exhibition include:
Bonnie Born Ash, Cristina Baltayian, Nancy Beckham, Melanie Campbell-Carter, Jan Clouse, Diane Daly, Estelle DeRidder, Nancy Grubb, Asuka Hishiki, Cynthia Jackson, Susan Jackson, Clara Josephs, Joan Keesey, Suzanne Kuuskmae, Teri Kuwahara, Patricia Mark, Lee McCaffree, Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, Kathy Morgan, Terri Munroe, Alyse Ochniak, Marilyn Parrino, Dolores Pope, Kathlyn  Powell, Lesley Randall, Veronica Raymond, Robyn Reilman, Norma Sarkin, Mitsuko Schultz, Gilly Shaeffer, Janice Sharp, Deborah Shaw, Beth Stone, Gayle Uyehara, Lori Vreeke, Leslie Walker, Jude Wiesenfeld.

Download the full invitation here: bagscExhibitionInviteF

by Beth Stone

It’s pre-dawn on Friday and we’ve loaded our sleepy selves into The Huntington van with Jim Folsom at the wheel. We’re off to see the flowers, the wonderful flowers of the LA Flower Mart!



Peonies, Clematis and Lilies oh my!


We could while away the hours, conversing with the flowers…


and it’s back to The Huntington with The Wizard!


by Melanie Campbell-Carter

Nepenthes! The very epitome of Weird, Wild, and Wonderful was the subject of a three-day pre-symposium workshop led by Mieko Ishikawa, a featured artist in the Weird, Wild & Wonderful exhibit currently on view at the Brody Botanical Center at The Huntington and also a Keynote Speaker at our symposium.

Mieko Ishikawa graciously traveled across the Pacific to join us here in Southern California. Her first event of the Symposium was her three-day workshop on Nepenthes. The Huntington botanical gardens staff kindly cultivated and provided living Nepenthes plants for the workshop, and Mieko provided Reindeer Vellum for her students’ paintings.

Meiko Ishikawa and Akiko Enokido unroll Reindeer Vellum to show the class what a whole skin looks like.

Meiko Ishikawa and Akiko Enokido unroll Reindeer Vellum to show the class what a whole skin looks like.

First Mieko treated us to a wonderful presentation about her adventures finding and painting the very special plants of Borneo. We then enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of The Huntington greenhouse where the Nepenthes were grown. Robert Hori of The Huntington and BAGSC’s very talented Akiko Enokido provided interpretive skills for the workshop.

Meiko demonstrating her techniques.

Meiko demonstrating her techniques.

After three days of intense study, graphite drawing on our vellum, and very careful application of watercolor on our drawings with extremely tiny brushes, we all had a much greater understanding of the stunning talent and achievements of Mieko Ishikawa. Her mastery of the structure of the plants, as well as her breathtaking artistic talent, gave all of us an enormous dose of inspiration to continue learning and painting!

Many, many thanks to everyone who made the workshop possible – including The Huntington gardens’ staff, the ASBA, the amazing BAGSC women who organized the symposium, and especially our tireless and patient instructor, Mieko Ishikawa.

Workshop participants with their Nepenthes paintings.

Workshop participants with their Nepenthes paintings.

by Beth Stone

photographs by Gayle Uyehara

An enthusiastic group of artists enjoyed three days with Elaine Searle for her class entitled “Liquid Shine…Sculpting Form with Light and Color”. This was one of two Weird, Wild & Wonderful pre-symposium classes held at The Huntington this week. Gilly Shaeffer searched everywhere until finally her artist’s eye found beautiful Italian peppers for our studies. The class explored the differences between Sheen, Shine and Liquid Shine learning a host of indispensable techniques and tips.


Elaine Searle (back of room) made good use of the projection system in The Engemann Applied Tech Lab for demonstrations. Even Jim Folsom stepped in to help by printing personal photographic pepper portraits (see sample in foreground).


Terri Monroe thoughtfully applying finishing touches to her pepper.


The class joins in a group status check mid way through the third and final day.


Elaine Searle (far left) treated the class to an overview of just a few samples of her beautiful artwork.

by Beth Stone

There are two georgeous Bat Flower (Tacca chantrieri) paintings featured in the Weird, Wild & Wonderful exhibition currently on display at The Huntington. The hauntingly beautiful flowers can measure up to 12″ across with “whiskers” up to 30″ long. Did I ever expect to see these jungle flowers in Southern California? Certainly not, but I must have forgotten I was in such a magical place! A whole row of plants appeared in The Huntington’s Banta Hall this morning!


Bring on the dramatic theater lighting and just watch how this villainess poses for the camera!


by Beth Stone
The LA Times dubbed the weather WEIRD, while plant lovers call it WONDERFUL!!

Symposium week is finally here! There are two great workshops underway — Mieko Ishikawa and Elaine Searle, and attendees are getting a preview as the Banta Hall displays are being assembled.


By Akiko Enokido and Deb Shaw

Akiko Enokido, Camellia japonica 'Kingyoba tsubaki', common name, Goldfish Camellia. Watercolor on vellum, © 2014, all rights reserved.

Akiko Enokido, Camellia japonica ‘Kingyoba tsubaki’, common name, Goldfish Camellia. Watercolor on vellum, © 2014, all rights reserved.

In addition to previous postings about BAGSC members’ acceptances, BAGSC member Akiko Enokido was also accepted into the 18th Annual International Show of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) at The Horticultural Society of New York.

Akiko sent this information about her painting:

The camellia cultivation started in 17th century in Japan. Goldfish Camellia is one of the old species. Most of the flowers are single layer, pink or white. But the foliage is appropriate to its name, and you can see the tip of the foliage split into three to five segments, which looks like a fishtail.

The leaves are unusually shaped and each leaf is different, showing different expressions and movement. These are really odd but lovely, even when they’re not in bloom. I picked one of the enchanting branch with leaves that looked like many fishes swimming and jumping.

Congratulations to Akiko and to all BAGSC members in the exhibition!

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