You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2015.

posted by Deb Shaw

For those who follow the online award-winning blog “Colossal,” you make have seen the post “A New Japanese Painting Supply Store Lines its Walls With 4,200 Different Pigments“. A spectacular store design by architect Kengo Kuma uses bamboo to create beautiful open, airy spaces that display a stunning array of art supplies and tools like museum pieces.

One wall contains thousands of vials of every imaginable color (more than 4200 pigments), lending the name, Pigment, to the art supply store and laboratory, just opened in Tokyo. Pigment provides the latest colors, along with hard-to-find, rare pigments and tools used in art preservation, as well as brushes, special glues and binders, papers, canvas, wood frames and more.

Supplies are available online.

by Alyse Ochniak, posted by Deb Shaw

Leaves of the Quercus ruber (English Oak) outside the Botanical Ed Center. Photo credit: © 2015 Alyse Ochniak, all rights reserved.

Leaves of the Quercus ruber (English Oak) outside the Botanical Ed Center. Photo credit: © 2015 Alyse Ochniak, all rights reserved.

On October 24, 2015, BAGSC members enjoyed an informative class taught by Dr. Jim Folsom, Telleen/Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

The class focused on the growth and structure of trees. Students looked at branches from the Quercus ruber (English Oak), from outside the Botanical Ed Center, studying leaves and growth buds. Dissection and compound microscopes were used to bring tiny cell structures of oak leaves and bark into focus.

After studying the different cells and structures students enjoyed a walk with Jim looking at different growth habits, bark, leaves and acorns of different oak trees in the gardens.

Quercus suber, Cork oak tree, from looking at trees with Jim Folsom. Photo credit: © 2015, Alyse Ochniak, all rights reserved.

Quercus suber, Cork oak tree, from looking at trees with Jim Folsom. Photo credit: © 2015, Alyse Ochniak, all rights reserved.

The class ended with refreshments and discussion of the next workshop on January 17, 2016.

Hurry space is limited, if you want to sign up for the next workshop! The January 17, 2016 workshop is limited to 20 students, and will be held in the Engemann Applied Tech Lab, from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm. Cost is $10.00, payable at the workshop. Reservations are required, however; please RSVP to Alyse Ochniak. Reservations are first come, first served.

For more information about the New York Botanical Garden Triennial “Out of the Woods, Celebrating Trees in Public Places” visit the ASBA website.

Quercus suber, Cork oak tree, close up of bark. Photo credit: © 2015, Alyse Ochniak, all rights reserved.

Quercus suber, Cork oak tree, close up of bark. Photo credit: © 2015, Alyse Ochniak, all rights reserved.

The Huntington is located at: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, California, 91108.

About the instructor:
Jim Folsom, PhD., rides the demographic peak of baby boomers, having been born in southeastern Alabama in 1950. His lifelong love of plants is reflected in a BS in Botany from Auburn University, an MA in Biology from Vanderbilt University, and a PhD in research botany from The University of Texas at Austin. Though his research has centered on the orchid family, with much of the research time spent in Tropical America (including a year in Colombia on a Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Fellowship), Jim’s botanical interests are wide-ranging. As Curator of the Botanical Gardens at The Huntington in San Marino, CA, he dedicates much of his effort to educational programs that increase public interest and understanding of the science, culture, and history of plants and gardens. He lives at The Huntington with his wife, Debra (also a botanist) and children Molly and Jimmy. Jim was recognized as a Friend of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America in 1996, a Member-at-Large of the Garden Club of America in 1998, and presented a Professional Citation by the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta in 1999. The Garden Club of America awarded him their Medal of Honor in 2007.

by Gilly Shaeffer, posted by Deb Shaw

Heteromeles arbutifolia, Toyon by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2015, all rights reserved.

Heteromeles arbutifolia, Toyon by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2015, all rights reserved.

BAGSC members are invited to this Art Show and Sale at Gilly Shaeffer’s home, studio and garden this Sunday, November 22nd.

It will go from 9:30 to 5:00 p.m. Gilly’s show is part of the Arroyo Arts Collective Tour which takes place around northeast Los Angeles area every year. Gilly will have many years of her botanical painting work on display. Robert Layport-landscape oil painter, Cecile Decigaran-jewelry designer, Carol Yin and Kylie Ruan- potters will also be showing their work at Gilly’s during this event.

If you would like to buy a ticket to attend other art sites on this tour, you can do so online at You do not need a ticket to come to Gilly’s—all BAGSC members are welcome!

The show is located at Gilly’s: 825 Elyria Dr., Los Angeles, California 90065

by Maureen Horn, Librarian, Massachusetts Horticulture Society, via email from Danielle Rudeen, The Huntington, posted by Deb Shaw

"Cereus," by Mrs. William Duffield, 1892. Massachusetts Horticultural Society Library, Box 9, Repros (shelf locator). Gift of Mrs. Fiske Warren, March, 1943. Permalink:  This work is licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND).

“Cereus lemoinei,” by Mrs. William Duffield, 1892. Massachusetts Horticultural Society Library, Box 9, Repros (shelf locator). Gift of Mrs. Fiske Warren, March, 1943. Permalink: This work is licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND).

The Massachusetts Horticulture Society has announced that its botanical print collection has been digitized at the Boston Public Library and is ready to be viewed online.

The digitizing and posting of the collection is the culmination of three months of collaboration between the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the Boston Public Library, and Digital Commonwealth. More than 1,000 rare images from the oldest horticultural library in the nation are now available for viewing and use by members, scholars, historians, artists and the general public.

Mass Hort’s Botanical Print Collection contains more than three centuries of botanical illustration, dating from 1620 to 1969, offering an invaluable resource. Artists and the public can explore images that until now have been seen only by experts.

Tom Blake, Digital Projects Manager, Boston Public Library, commented that “Digital Commonwealth enables Massachusetts cultural institutions to develop a virtual presence, enhancing education and research by creating a community of support, offering professional advice, and facilitating collaboration. The Digital Commonwealth portal facilitates worldwide access to the cultural heritage of Massachusetts. Our repository provides an affordable option to organizations that are unable to host one locally.”

The Horticultural Library at Massachusetts Horticultural Society was the first in the United States.  It was established soon after the Society was founded in 1829 to share horticulture knowledge and beauty through its prints, books, extensive collection of seed catalogs, and other rare materials.

Noticing an interest in botanical prints, the Society mounted its first major exhibit in 1968. It continued with another exhibition in 1969, when a group of lily prints was shown to the North American Lily Society at its annual meeting.

Today, digitization and online access to special collections is an important strategy for any cultural heritage organization. With the help of Digital Commonwealth, Mass Hort’s Library will meet the 21st Century digital needs of students, researchers, authors and the public.

Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s botanical prints are available online at the Digital Commonwealth repository at . These images are available for the purposes of viewing and studying and not for commercial use.

Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Library collection includes more than 20,000 volumes at their library in the Education Center of the Elm Bank horticulture center and gardens. Additionally, the Society maintains 5,000 rare books, manuscripts, prints, seed catalogs, glass slides, and early transactions of horticultural institutions at a separate archival storage facility.

Many of the books transferred to the Chicago Botanical Garden’s Lenhardt Library Rare Book Collection in the early 2000’s by Mass Hort are now available online through the Illinois Digital Archives at; search on “Massachusetts Horticultural Society.”

by Deb Shaw

Image Credit: Detail, Sebastian Lopez de Arteaga, St. Michael and the Bull, c. 1650. Denver Art Museum Collection: Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer, 1994.27.

Image Credit: Detail, Sebastian Lopez de Arteaga, St. Michael and the Bull, c. 1650. Denver Art Museum Collection: Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer, 1994.27.

BAGSC member Deborah Shaw will be teaching a two-part introductory workshop at Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13, 2015, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, “What’s Cool (and Warm) about Red: Color Mixing in Watercolor.”

Taught in conjunction with the exhibition “The Red that Colored the World,” this consecutive two-day workshop will use the flowers and fruits of the season as the basis for learning to mix a full spectrum of reds, both warm and cool. Delve into warm, fiery reds the first day, and cool, velvety reds the next. Explore transparency, undercolor painting and palette mixing. Suitable for beginners to advanced artists.

Location: John M. Lee Court in Bowers Museum
Price: Member $24 | General $30 | Students $20 with valid I.D.
Materials provided with a $15.00 materials fee payable to the instructor the day of class, and/or feel free to bring your own favorite materials.

Proceeds benefit Bowers Museum Education Programs. Tickets are non-refundable, may be purchased online or onsite. Questions? Contact Bowers by email or by calling 714.567.3677.

The exhibition, “The Red that Colored the World,” traces the history of cochineal and the seductive visual nature of red. It explores the quest for the perfect, vibrant red, which culminated in the Aztec marketplace of 16th-century Mexico, where Spanish explorers first encountered the American cochineal bug. More than 100 objects, which have all been tested to ensure they contain cochineal, come from all over the globe, and include textiles, sculpture, paintings, manuscripts, decorative arts, clothing and more. The exhibition was organized by the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, and made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and circulating through GuestCurator Traveling Exhibitions. Articles about the exhibition can be found on the Bowers Museum site, including coverage by the PBS NewsHour.

Bowers Museum is located at: 2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, California 92706, 714.567.3600.

Deborah Shaw has a degree in fine art from Pomona College, The Claremont Colleges, where she also studied botany and native California flora. Ms. Shaw is an active member of the American Society of Botanical Artists, the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, and the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, and has taught art and botanical art at numerous venues, including The Getty, Virginia Robinson Gardens and Bowers Museum.

Deborah’s work has been displayed in juried and non-juried exhibitions, and is in private collections. Her work is in the permanent collection at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon University and other institutions. She has received numerous awards for art, illustration, design, product design and advertising. Her preferred media include graphite, watercolor, colored pencil, scratchboard, Illustrator and Photoshop.

by Clara Josephs and Deb Shaw

BAGSC members should have received an email blast with the election information and details about the BAGSC annual holiday party and annual meeting, coming up on December 5, 2015 at Janice’s lovely home. Festivities begin at 5pm. Spouses, family members, and friends are welcome! Please RSVP to Janice’s, and let her know what you will be bringing to add to the groaning table!

Results of the election of board members and known workshops and exhibitions for next year will be announced during the brief business portion of the evening. Please carpool if possible.

BAGSC fund-raiser

As usual, we will be having a silent auction to raise money for BAGSC and the wonderful events on the horizon for next year. Bring extra books, catalogues, art supplies and other fun or silly items you think BAGSC members might enjoy bidding on and taking home.

Email Kat, with what you would like to bring, so we can have the correct number of forms on hand. If you want to list your item(s) and a base value to start the bidding, that’s fine too, but not required. If you find items at the last minute, go ahead and bring those too. We’ll have some extra forms available for those last minute discoveries as we’re all cleaning up for the holidays.

Bring your artwork too

We love looking at what everyone has been working on. Bring your artwork to share.

Make it a weekend?

Extend the celebration by staying overnight in Pasadena and avoid driving home in the dark. There’s a lot to do on Sunday in Pasadena:

Where to stay Saturday night?
Don’t want to drive home late?

The Saga Motor Hotel hosted our guests for the Weird, Wild & Wonderful Symposium at The Huntington, and they have a special BASGC rate for Saturday night of $69 for single occupancy, or share a room with a buddy for $76 double occupancy. Rooms are limited. Be sure to ask for the BAGSC rate. Call them at 626 795-0431.

The Westin Hotel—just opposite City Hall—is quoting rates of $159 for a traditional-sized room with king bed. Better rates may be available through Expedia.

The Langham Hotel in San Marino has patio king rooms available for $390 inclusive of tax, which includes breakfast and valet parking.

These rates can change or become unavailable when rooms fill, so it’s best to book as soon as possible.

Why not consider sharing a room with a BAGSC buddy?

Looking forward to seeing everyone on December 5!

Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, posted by Deb Shaw

"Elegant Syrah," © 2015, Arillyn Moran-Lawrence. Pen and ink, 13-1/2"  x 19". All rights reserved.

“Elegant Syrah,” © 2015, Arillyn Moran-Lawrence. Pen and ink, 13-1/2″ x 19″. All rights reserved.

“Elegant Syrah” is a pen and ink drawing of  grapes from a Temecula vineyard. I found this interesting group of grapes on the vine at the Callaway Winery. I liked the way the grapes were embraced by the leaves. I sketched and photographed them and made some color swatches as I hadn’t decided which media I would use.

Francesca Anderson’s pen and ink work has always fascinated me so I decided that I would use pen and ink. I began with stippling on the grapes and had to decide to make each grape unique in some very small way so that I could happily reach the end of my work.

I entered “Elegant Syrah” In the 119th Annual Juried Exhibition of the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club. I worked for 10 years to finally qualify to be a full member of the club and have now been a member of the group for many years.

The Exhibition at the historic landmark National Arts Club in Manhattan”s Gramercy Park is the club’s major event.  $8,000.00 in awards are given. A Metropolitan curator also serves on the jury of awards.

A Preview Reception benefits a travel fund for curators from the Metropolitan to research collections across the country.

Catharine Lorillard Wolfe was a philanthropist and art collector who was the only woman in the group of men who founded the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Catharine Lorillard Wolfe was the first woman to be on the board of of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The Art Club with her name was established in 1896, to aid women and to counsel and help them exhibit their art. Now the club reflects the members’ professional standing and interests. For more information on the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, please see their website.

The National Arts Club is an historic private club in Gramercy Park, Manhattan. It is a National Historic Landmark.

by Ted Tegart, LA Arboretum, posted by Deb Shaw

If you love plants and like to draw, this workshop on botanical drawing is custom-made for you! Join instructor Cristina Baltayian for a three day workshop on drawing autumn leaves in colored pencil on wood.

Drawing is a fundamental skill in botanical art and its importance should never be underestimated. In these three days, you will:

  • Hone your observation skills
  • Be guided through sketching and line drawing exercises
  • Discover how to arrange shapes on a page and make a pleasing composition
  • Translate a 3-dimensional subject onto a 2-dimensional surface

This exploration in colored pencil on wood will show you how to start and finish a botanical portrait of a leaf. If your curiosity is piqued and you wish to investigate further, please join the on-going Tuesday Botanical Art classes from 10am-2pm.

Three Day Workshop:

Thursday November 12, Friday November 13, Saturday November 14

10am-3pm (includes lunch break)
$255 Arboretum members for workshop
$275 non-members for workshop (Includes Arboretum Admission)
You may bring your lunch or purchase it at the Peacock Café
ALL LEVELS WELCOME. SUPPLIES WILL BE PROVIDED AT THE START OF THE CLASS, although students may bring their own colored pencils if desired.
Pre-registration required: please call 626.821.4623.

Cristina Baltayian holds a Botanical Illustration Certificate from Cornell University. She has a background in drawing (graphite, charcoal, pen and ink), two-dimensional design, watercolor, and colored pencils. Her work is in public and private venues, and has been shown at Filoli, Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Chapman University, Virginia Robinson Garden and in an adjunct Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California group exhibition presented by the botanical gardens at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Gardens. She is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists, and The Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California.

by Beth Stone
029A wonderful series of weekly classes has just concluded at the LA Arboretum and Botanic Garden. This Otis College course was taught by Olga Eysymontt. Each class in the series built upon the preceding progressing from contour drawing to shading exercises then on to visualizing basic forms as they apply to increasingly complex botanical subjects. Artistic composition was also a theme throughout.

Copy (1) of 027For some students the material was brand new, for others it was review, for myself it certainly filled in some gaps. Without question, all the subject matter and techniques which Olga covered are foundational to botanical art.

Olga makes great use of a combination of demonstration, class discussion and one-on-one guidance. Each class included at least one opportunity to share our progress with and learn from one another. Each session concluded with a homework assignment. I found this particularly valuable and just the right level of effort to keep me engaged between classes. Practicing the concepts on my own really helped to reinforce each lesson.



By the end, each of us had several completed works…and one more work in progress to keep that momentum going.

Watch for Olga’s next series coming up in January 2016. I highly recommend it!


%d bloggers like this: