You are currently browsing the daily archive for March 4, 2016.

by Deb Shaw

Cover, "A Botanical Reader for the Curious Gardener", James P. Folsom, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Cover, “A Botanical Reader for the Curious Gardener”, James P. Folsom, © 2016, all rights reserved.

It’s here! Jim Folsom, has just published his ebook as of February 29, 2016: “A Botanical Reader for the Curious Gardener.”  The Reader is a wealth of resources; Jim’s Botany for Artists is just one chapter in a line-up of content that Jim lists in his introduction:

  • Introductions (Chapters 1, 2, and 3) explain the organization of the Reader, suggest places and activities of interest, and lay out overarching themes that pervade the study and cultivation of plants.
  • The Literature Review presents some commonly available texts and resources, suggesting which might be most useful for different readers.
  • In Botanical Terms is a series of short essays dedicated to highlights that showcase topics fundamental to plant science and eliminate barriers presented by useful but arcane botanical terminology.
  • Conversational Botany is a Primer that tells the story of plants in textbook-style.
  • Issues – Plants, Politics, & Practice includes background and discussion of topics that are part of today’s public discourse as well as transcriptions of presentations I give on current topics.
  • An annotated Plant Trivia Timeline gives snippets of plant-related stories and discoveries in chronological sequence, so as to provide historical context to plant use and cultivation.”
  • Hands-on Discovery suggests particular plants and instructive techniques that will help students make their own observations and learn-through-doing, which is the most effective and delightful method.

    Excerpt From: James P, Folsom. “A Botanical Reader.” James P. Folsom, 2016. iBooks.

Chapter from "A Botanical Reader", listing "Botany for Artists" as one of the sections. James P. Folsom, © 2016.

Chapter from “A Botanical Reader”, listing “Botany for Artists” as one of the sections. James P. Folsom, © 2016.

Easy to read, this is a book of RESOURCES. In addition botany, horticulture, gardening, food, and the secret world of plants, Jim introduces his readers to his favorite Plant Destinations (where we can see the “wonders of the plant world”) and compiles a list with descriptions of the books we should have on our shelves and the websites we need to have bookmarked in our browsers.

ASBA and BAGSC members will be treated to a three-part series, starting in the March issue of The Botanical Artist, excerpted from Jim’s chapter, Botany for Artists.

The ebook is downloadable for free from iBooks, at  It’s listed in the category of Life Sciences, and is available on the iPad, iPhone and Mac. Search in iBooks under “A Botanical Reader” or “James P. Folsom” and it will come right up. The print length is 332 pages. 

Jim Folsom lecturing during the "Weird, Wild & Wonderful Symposium." Photo by Clara Josephs, © 2015, all rights reserved.

Jim Folsom lecturing during the “Weird, Wild & Wonderful Symposium.” Photo by Clara Josephs, © 2015, all rights reserved.

About Jim Folsom, Telleen/Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

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 Patricia A. Mark, posted by Deb Shaw

Aristolochia californica, California Pipevine, watercolor by Lee McCaffree, © 2016, all rights reserved. This painting by Lee was part of the "Weird, Wild & Wonderful" exhibition.

Aristolochia californica, California Pipevine, watercolor by Lee McCaffree, © 2016, all rights reserved. This painting by Lee was part of the “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” exhibition.

Do not miss out on two classes coming soon to the LA Arboretum, taught by Lee McCaffree: A Painting! What do you See? and Completing a Painting. I had the opportunity to take these classes from Lee at Filoli, and are excited about taking them again.

These classes are both exceptionally informative! “A Painting! What do you See?” will cover a variety of techniques to view paintings (both yours and others) with objective eyes. Every picture tells a story. As individual artists it’s easy to miss issues related to composition, specimen accuracy, painting skills, light source, focal point, and color. Gentle, kind (and fun) guidance will open your critical eye, enabling you to identify issues and improve your work. Class time will be spent on viewing paintings from the botanical art world, and examining our own works. We will have class time to make adjustments on our works in progress.

Completing a Painting is a “must attend”! As an artist I find myself continuously asking,”is this complete”? “Have I overworked an area? What have I missed? Is the form strong, not only on individual leaves or flowers, but on the painting as a whole? Is the perspective accurate? Do areas transition from light to dark smoothly? Are brush strokes visible, the shadows appropriate, my edges clean? How do I sign and label my work for a juried exhibition or for a commissioned sale? And what are those jurors looking for anyway?” So many questions, all focusing on completing a wonderful painting! There will be class time available during this workshop to work individually on any of your present works-in-progress.

Saturday, March 19, 2016
A Painting! What Do You See?

Sunday, March 20, 2016
Completing a Painting

Both classes will be held at the Los Angeles Arboretum, from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm. Each of these important subjects will be conducted in a friendly, Participants can take one class or both!

Cost: One class: BAGSC members, $100.00/non-members, $120.00, Both classes: BAGSC members, $200.00/non-members, $240.00

Maximum number of participants (in each class): 15

To Register: Send checks, made out to BAGSC, in full, to BAGSC Treasurer Janice Sharp. Cancellations up to two weeks before the class date will be charged a $30.00 cancellation fee.

You can see the original BAGSC News blog posting about the class here, including materials list and Lee McAffree’s bio. Don’t miss this great opportunity to take this rare workshop.

by Jody Williams, posted by Deb Shaw

OA Gallery logo

OA Gallery logo

A new ASBA exhibition opportunity has materialized rather quickly:  OA Gallery, a fine art gallery specializing in representational art is hosting an international exhibition of botanical art open exclusively to members of ASBA in June, 2016.

The Beauty of Botanicals 2016
A Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Botanical Art
by Members of the American Society of Botanical Artists

They are offering a $1000 (US) prize for Best in Show and will be contributing 20 percent of sales to ASBA, as well as providing opportunities to promote ASBA and ASBA membership in conjunction with this event.

We are also excited that Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson, President of the Missouri Botanical Garden has agreed to be on the selection jury for this exhibition.

OA Gallery, Call for Entries, The Beauty of Botanicals 2016. © OA Gallery, 2016, all rights reserved.

OA Gallery, Call for Entries, The Beauty of Botanicals 2016. © OA Gallery, 2016, all rights reserved.

Entries are due soon: April 3, 2016.  As this is a gallery exhibition, you may enter artwork that has been exhibited in prior exhibitions, including ASBA exhibitions.

OA Gallery is located in Kirkwood, MO, a charming suburb of St. Louis with neighborhoods of turn-of-the-century homes, a thriving business community, and an active interest in the arts and gardening. OA Gallery has joined ASBA as an institutional member and one of their partners, Steve Morris (whose work was recently accepted into Filoli’s next exhibition) is an individual member of ASBA.

We hope that this will be a step toward increasing awareness of botanical art in the St. Louis region, already a world renowned hotbed of activity in the plant sciences, horticulture and agriculture, and lay some groundwork for our ASBA conference in St. Louis in 2018.

You can see the call for entries on the ASBA website or on, which OA Gallery is using to handle entries. More information about the exhibition can be seen on the following websites:

ASBA website
Online Juried Shows website
OA Gallery website

by Patricia Kernan, posted by Deb Shaw

Focus on Nature logo

Focus on Nature logo

The submission deadline to enter the Focus on Nature: Natural and Cultural History Illustration Exhibition is March 16, 2016. The exhibition’s goal is to include diverse subjects, ranging from botanical and natural history art to subjects in geology and human culture.

The jury will be facilitated by the New York State Museum, but the exhibition will take place at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York, December 3, 2016 – April 9, 2017. Please visit the FON website for information and entry form.

%d bloggers like this: