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by Janice Sharp, posted by Deb 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.

The Arboretum Library is a wonderful space for exhibiting art. [See the BAGSC News blog posting about the Arboretum Library here.] BAGSC members have been invited to participate in an art show in this newly renovated space. Entitled “Capturing the Arboretum: The Art of Botanical Illustration”, the subject matter is plants growing in the Arboretum. This is a juried show and art will be juried on its botanical accuracy and “art appeal”.

This exhibition will open July 16, 2016 and run until December 29, 2016. A reception will be held in the library on Saturday, July 16, 2016 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

Questions? Contact: Janice Sharp.

Complete submission of up to three (3) artworks, forms, digital images and $35 entry fee are due by June 15, 2016. The official “Call for Entries” packet has been emailed to BAGSC members. Please contact Janice if you did not receive the Call for Entries packet.

Happy painting!

by Lesley Randall, posted by Deb Shaw

"Fragaria x ananassa 'Fragoo Pink'," Strawberry, watercolor by Mitsuko Schultz, © 2013, all rights reserved.

Fragaria x ananassa ‘Fragoo Pink’,” Strawberry, watercolor by Mitsuko Schultz, © 2013, all rights reserved.

BAGSC Call for entries for Edible Plants: Eat, Drink and Spice it up!

This BAGSC Exhibition at the San Diego Botanic Gardens will focus on all plants consumable. All life depends on plants, so let’s celebrate the diversity of plant life that is used in food, beverages and to enhance flavor. Draw or paint the weird fruit or vegetable found in the grocery store, the prize tomato from your backyard garden, an exotic spice or the essential ingredient of a beverage (such as hops!). If you can, include a recipe using your plant subject, or some information about how the plant is used.

All BAGSC members in good standing (dues paid) are eligible to submit up to three pieces of two-dimensional art work. High quality prints are acceptable, but no photos or digital enhancements please. Email images and entry forms to Lesley Randall. CDs of artwork can be mailed to Lesley’s home address along with the paperwork and entry fee. A full “Call for Entries” packet will be emailed soon to all BAGSC members.

Venue: San Diego Botanic Garden, Ecke Building

Dates: Sept 23rd through November 18th 2016

Submission Deadline: August 12th 2016

Entry fee: $35.00. Payable to BAGSC.

Framing and Matting: ASBA standard – light to medium, simple wood frame. White to off-white matt with no colored liner.

Notification of acceptance: August 19 2016. Though not a juried show, if space becomes an issue, selections will be made to show a diversity of subjects and to include as many artists as possible.

Happy painting, eating and drinking!

by Lesley Randall, posted by Deb Shaw

Nepenthes, mixed media by Lesley Randall, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Nepenthes, mixed media by Lesley Randall, © 2016, all rights reserved.

BAGSC member Lesley Randall will be teaching a mixed media class at San Diego Botanic Garden this July, 2016. The class will focus on the bold nature of pen and ink. Using ink, students will use strong lines to enhance shape and create movement. By adding watercolor, colored pencil or both, students will develop a striking design reminiscent of a woodcut. No experience is necessary for this class.

Mixed Media Botanical Art
Instructor: Lesley Randall
Saturday July 30th 9 am-4 pm
Cost: $75.00 for SDBG members; $90.00 for non-members
Register Online at

The San Diego Botanic Garden is located at: 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas CA 92024, 760/ 436-3036.

By Clara Josephs

The June 4 BAGSC quarterly meeting is approaching! We will meet at 9:45 am at the San Marino home of BAGSC member Cordelia for a tour of her unique and amazing garden. The tour should last about an hour. Please RSVP to Alyse, our secretary. She will send you additional details about the day.

After the tour we will travel to the Los Angeles Arboretum for the business portion of our meeting. We will meet under the library, down the ramp, in the Bamboo Room. We plan to start the meeting no later than 12 noon. Please bring a sack lunch and drink. Food is available at the Peacock Cafe, however, lines can be long on the weekend.

Your tour of Cordelia’s garden will be greatly enhanced by reading her article that explains the inspiration for the garden and some of the construction specifics that went into its creation. You should have received a blast email with the article, address and specifics. If not, please email Deb.

The last BAGSC quarterly meeting, with the tour of the UC Riverside Botanic Garden was cancelled due to rain. We have a lot to cover at this meeting. Looking forward to seeing you on June 4!

by Veronica Raymond, posted by Deb Shaw

Although not a BAGSC or ASBA workshop, the following may be interesting to all of us who are working on trees for the ASBA exhibition “Out of the Woods”.Dr. Matt Ritter, professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, will be teaching a workshop entitled, “Tough Trees Made Easy: Pines, Oaks, Eucalypts, and Figs.”

Here is the workshop description and information, by Dr. Ritter and Dr. Yost:

Learn to ID species in the most difficult groups of trees! Help support student research travel. At this workshop we will teach you the biology and important identifying characters of pines, oaks, eucalypts, and figs. This all-day workshop will include lecture and lots of hands-on lab time for you to test your knowledge and practice difficult tree identification. You will walk away with the skills and working knowledge needed to identify species in the largest and most confusing groups of trees in California. We’ll also send you away with all the reference materials you’ll need for future work with these ubiquitous trees.

Three workshop locations to choose from:

  • Palomar College, San Marcos on Tuesday June 28th, 2016
  • The Los Angeles County Arboretum, Arcadia on Thursday June 30th, 2016
  • San Jose State University, San Jose on Thursday July 7th, 2016

The workshop costs $120 and includes:

  • A workshop packet and illustrated materials for identification
  • Post workshop online identification and reference tools
  • Catered breakfast and lunch, coffee, tea, and refreshments
  • ISA Continuing Education Units (7 units)

100% of the workshop proceeds go to support student research travel to Australia. Learn new information while helping a Cal Poly student realize their dream!

Space is limited, register online or email Matt Ritter.


Workshop Instructors:

Dr. Matt Ritter: Winner of the WCISA R. W. Harris Award for Excellence in Education and author of California’s funniest book on trees.

Dr. Jenn Yost: Inspiring Professor of Botany at Cal Poly, where she teaches plant identification, ecology, and evolution.

by Melanie Campbell-Carter, posted by Deb Shaw

The Botanical Art Exhibit and Sale at the LA County Arboretum this past weekend was a great success!

Titled “the First Annual ARTboretum!”, twelve botanical artists (ten of whom are BAGSC members) exhibited 62 botanical works for three days at the Oak Room.  The twelve artists self-funded the show, with the Arboretum providing space in the Oak Room and on the Patio.

Over the three days, nearly 500 visitors enjoyed botanical art demonstrations, a viewer’s choice ballot, and a delightful reception on Saturday.  Awards were presented to Juanita O’Marah BAGSC, First Place, Citrullus lanatus dulcinea ‘Sugar Baby Watermelon’; Shae Gazzaniga, Second Place, Pelargonium cordifolium; and Robyn Reilman BAGSC, Third Place, Cynara cardunculus ‘Globe Artichoke’.

A full-color exhibit catalog was produced by the artists to help defray costs of the event, and a few copies are still available for $20 plus shipping through this link.

The artists wish to express their appreciation for the support of the BAGSC members who were able to visit the event. Congrats to all!

Click to see the slide show of artists with their paintings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

by Deb Shaw

Invitation postcard for "Looking for Flora," Roger's Gardens. Watercolor on vellum by Akiko Enokido, Camellia japonica 'Kingyoba tsubaki', © 2016, all rights reserved. Download the complete postcard here.

Invitation postcard for “Looking for Flora,” Roger’s Gardens. Watercolor on vellum by Akiko Enokido, Camellia japonica ‘Kingyoba tsubaki’, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Roger’s Gardens Fine Art Gallery will be hosting a juried exhibition of BAGSC artists, entitled “Looking for Flora: An Exhibition of Botanical Art” from May 21 – June 5, 2016.

Several exhibiting artists will paint in the gardens on May 21, from 12 pm – 4 pm, followed by a reception with the artists in the Art Gallery from 4 pm – 6 pm.

Exhibiting artists include: Diane Nelson Daly • Estelle DeRidder • Akiko Enokido • Cynthia Jackson • Arillyn Moran-Lawrence • Joan Keesey • Suzanne Kuuskmae • Lesley Randall • Gilly Shaeffer • Janice Sharp • Deborah Shaw • Grace Swanson • Ellie Yun-Hui Tu

Download the complete postcard here: Looking for Flora-Postcard-2

Roger’s Gardens is located at 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road, Corona del Mar, CA 92625, 949.640.5800. Hours are 9 am – 6 pm. Roger’s is dog-friendly.

Congratulations to all of the artists, and looking forward to seeing you at the Opening, May 21!

by Margaret Best, posted by Deb Shaw

BAGSC member Margaret Best has a painting in the newly released book ‘Florilegium’ to mark the bi-centennial of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney, Australia.

A Florilegium Society for the gardens was formed with Shirley Sherwood as the honorary Patron and Beverly Allen as president. One of the goals of the society was to produce a high quality book containing full-page works by various botanical artists to portray a diverse array of plants of significant importance to the garden. The complete exhibition of works is to be hung at the gardens from the end of July to November and is expected to travel to the Shirley Sherwood gallery in 2018.

This is a project of over three years in the making and the superb volume has just been released. The book showcases works by 41 Australians artists, 13 British artists, two South Africans, two Japanese and one each from the United States, Canada, Netherlands, France, Korea and New Zealand.

Leslie scouting out the tree, Schotia Brachypetala at The Huntington. © 2013, Margaret Best, all rights reserved.

Leslie Walker scouting out the tree, Schotia brachypetala at The Huntington Gardens. © 2013, Margaret Best, all rights reserved.

The only Canadian with a painting in the book is Margaret Best. She flew to Los Angeles in 2013, and with the help of Leslie Walker and Janice Sharp, Margaret was able to find a sole specimen of a Schotia brachypetala, in The Huntington Gardens. This is a South African native tree known in Australia as the ‘drunken parrot tree’. Wild parakeets are attracted to the gardens by the clusters of small red flowers that drip nectar. After a short period, the copious quantities of nectar ferments and causes the birds to become intoxicated!

Margaret working in Janice's studio. © 2013, Janice Sharp, all rights reserved.

Margaret working in Janice’s studio. © 2013, Janice Sharp, all rights reserved.

Graciously hosted by Janice, Margaret was able to work in her wonderful studio for a week to complete drawings, colour matching of flowers, leaves and pod specimens for a large study. More than year later, Margaret visited a remarkable specimen in Kirstenbosch Gardens in Cape Town. With the help of the curator Ernst Van Jaarsveld, she was able to acquire a small branch from the landmark tree. That caused a last minute composition change to include the textures of bark and new growth emerging from older parts of the tree.

The outstanding book contains many fine works by artists such as Jenny Phillips, Beverly Allen, John Pastorizia-Piñol, Anita Walsmit Sachs and many more notables. [A list of the Florilegium paintings and artists can be found here.] It is most definitely worthy of any serious botanical artist’s book collection. Ask Leslie and Janice – they have heaped accolades on its quality since recently receiving their copies!

The ‘Florilegium’ may be ordered by contacting Angela Lober, international phone 02 9552 1169 or by email. Payment can be made by cheque or direct deposit. Cheques are payable to: The Florilegium Society at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney Inc., and can be mailed with your contact and delivery information to: Ms Angela Lober, 12 Allen Street, Glebe NSW 2037

Congrats Margaret!


by Beth Stone

Boddy House Postcard from 1967.

Boddy House Postcard from 1967.

In the 1930’s Descanso’s Boddy House was built for E. Manchester Boddy, founder of Descanso Gardens, as a home for his family. It is situated majestically on a hillside with grand views of the San Gabriel Mountains. This elegant Hollywood Regency style mansion now serves as a museum preserving Descanso Garden history and continues as a location for entertaining in style.

In the Spring of 2015, BAGSC’s “A Passion for Camellias” exhibit was hung along an interior hallway of the Boddy House, leading to and spilling into the kitchen. The space is ideally suited to botanical art as it invites close observation and is sheltered from sunlight, protecting sensitive media. The botanical art style is very compatible with the feel of the mansion.

Boddy House: Photo by Beth Stone © 2013, all rights reserved.

Boddy House: Photo by Beth Stone © 2013, all rights reserved.

Artists Diane Daly, Estelle DeRidder, Clara Josephs, Joan Keesey, Patricia Mark, Mitsuko Schultz, Gilly Shaeffer, Janice Sharp, and Beth Stone contributed the artwork for BAGSC’s “A Passion for Camellias” exhibit which graced the walls of Descanso’s Boddy House for a full year.

On Monday May 9th the BAGSC Camellia artworks were taken down and a new exhibit celebrating roses was hung in their place.

Camellia Exhibit: Photo by Beth Stone © 2015, all rights reserved.

Camellia Exhibit: Photo by Beth Stone © 2015, all rights reserved.

BAGSC artists contributing to the new exhibit “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” are Bonnie Born Ash, Cynthia Jackson, Suzanne Kuushmae, Lee McCaffree, Marilyn Parrino, Gilly Shaeffer, Janice Sharp, Beth Stone and Ellie Tu. Thanks to the variety and quality of the artworks and the professional hanging the exhibit is lovely! “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” made its debute May 10th , timed to be on display for Descanso’s Rose Festival on the weekend of May 14th & 15th. BAGSC volunteers will demonstrate our art form during the Rose Festival.

Rose Hanging in Progress: Photo by Beth Stone © 2016, all rights reserved.

Rose Hanging in Progress: Photo by Beth Stone © 2016, all rights reserved.

The Boddy House is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays and is included with admission to Descanso Gardens.

Many thanks to Descanso Gardens, especially David Brown, Susan Armstrong and Cris Martinez for welcoming BAGSC artworks to the Boddy House. Thanks also to Paul Gellman for his thoughtful, professional hanging of the new exhibit.

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