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A group of members of the Colored Pencil Society is planning a three day class with John P. Smolko, CPSA, an award winning colored pencil artist and teacher. He teaches a textural style using expressive line and a huge variety of color.

He advocates daring to be different and experimenting with various color combinations. The dates for the class will be either November 2,3,4, or 9, 10, 11 of 2009 and will be held in Redondo Beach at the home of one of our members. We are seeking 10 – 12 participants, but if many more show interest, we could probably accommodate a larger group at a local art supply store in the South Bay Area. The cost for the three days is estimated to be $200 but could fluctuate a bit depending on enrollment. If you have any questions, contact Sue Kuuskmae. You should send a deposit check for $100 to hold your spot. Please include your e mail address, mailing address, phone number, and name.

Jenny Phillips will be teaching a Botanical Painting Class again at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens March 30, 31, April 1, 2 & 3, 2009. The classes will be held in the Botanical Building from 9:00-3:30. The cost of the class is $525 for BAGSC members and $575 for non-members. Spaces are being reserved as a $50 non-refundable deposit, payable to BAGSC. Contact Leslie for details. The balance payable to BAGSC is due March 1, 2009.

by Sue Kuuskmae

If anyone is contemplating a trip to Turkey, and would like to see our write up and pictures, they can take a look at our group web site.  The address is:    

This trip was done through Grand Circle Overseas Adventure Travel, and we had a great time.  If any of you take a trip on Grand Circle, you should give them my name when you sign up; and you will get a reduction in price on your trip.

by Sue Kuuskmae

There will be an art show/sale at Villa del Sol d’Oro in Sierra Madre on Saturday, November 29, 2008, from 12:00 to 6:00.  This beautiful Italian-style estate located at 200 N. Michillinda Avenue is rarely open to the public, so come on out to see both the art work and the house. This charity art show is sponsored by ARA Project and will benefit impoverished children in Armenia.

BAGSC members Cristina Baltayian and Suzanne Kuuskmae will be among the exhibitors.

August 1 – 3, 2008

Renaissance Hotel

Seattle, WA

By Suzanne Kuuskmae

The evening before classes began the Hospitality Room was a gathering spot for picking up art supplies donated by several vendors as well as an impromtu demonstration by Ester Roi of her Icarus Drawing Board which features two working zones: a warm zone and a cool zone. You can learn more about this technique at: or by calling Ester at (949) 481-4010.

I had signed up for both classes and the first one was with Carlynne Hershberger entitled, “The Unconventional Portrait. We first created a colored background using colored pencils and mineral spirits. All of this was totally new to me because as a botanical artist, I am always working on a white background and the only portrait I am doing is an exact portrayal of plants and flowers. I did a portrait of my granddaughter complete with various symbols of activities that are very important to her at her age of 11. I finished it at home and am happy with the result. Also, I prepared several other sheets of paper with various colors in the background and am working on a huge hydrangea flower; quite a bit off track from my usual work but most rewarding.

The second class was with John Smolko entitled, “The Scribble – Colored Pencils and the Expressive Line.” In this class we did a very large letter imposed on a circular background of scribbled colors going from light in the center to darker tones toward the outside. After laying down the various fields, then one mixes in the adjacent color to make for a smooth transition. In the afternoon we were free to use the scribble line technique on a painting of our choice. My painting was one of water lilies, which I am working on to finish at home. This is a technique I think would be helpful to work further with as it encourages the artist to add lots of colors, which allows for a most pleasing effect. I know that John has recently retired from teaching and would love to come to Los Angeles to give a week long class. Maybe that will be my project for 2009, planning a class with John Smolko.

The hotel was quite comfortable and the delicious luncheons supplied on the days of the classes was salads and sandwich fixings. The dining room, which was at the top of the hotel, gave us a fantastic view of the surrounding area while we enjoyed eating and talking with our fellow artists. Seattle certainly has quite a bit to offer, and my husband and I did a harbor tour, went to the top of the Space Needle, visited Pike Market, and had an interesting dinner down at Pioneer Square. I cannot report on the banquet because I was not able to attend due to a prior commitment with friends who live outside Seattle.

The art exhibition was spectacular where it was hung at the World Trade Center. The art work displayed showed a good cross section of subjects and did justice to the talented members of CPSA. The convention was a rewarding experience!

The California Native Plant Society is now preparing for the CNPS 2009 Conservation Conference: Strategies and Solutions January 17-19 2009 at the Sacramento Convention Center, Sacramento California.

Among the many objectives of this conference is to “foment a greater understanding and appreciation of California’s unique flora”. A juried botanical art competition and exhibition will contribute to this goal. 

  • 1st Prize – $750, artwork published in Fremontia, & 2 complimentary tickets to Conservation Conference banquet.
  • 2nd Prize – $500, artwork published in Fremontia, & 2 complimentary tickets to Conservation Conference banquet.
  • 3rd Prize – $250, artwork published in Fremontia, & 2 complimentary tickets to Conservation Conference banquet.

“Conference Choice” – (voted on by conference attendees) Published in the CNPS 2009 Conservation Conference: Strategies & Solutions Proceedings.

Criteria Artists are invited to enter original artwork in any two-dimensional medium that reflects the beauty and uniqueness of California flora and adheres to high standards of botanical accuracy. All entries must depict plants indigenous to California (no introduced plants, please!). They must be botanically correct and species specific, accompanied by the scientific name.

Please download the Botanical Illustration Entry form or request a form from: CNPS Botanical Illustration Contest, 2707 K Street, Suite 1, Sacramento, CA 95816. Please type or write legibly on the entry form. All fields must be completed including: name of artist, full mailing address, phone number with area code, email, brief description of subject matter, medium, title and dimension of framed or matted work.

Deadline for submission November 1, 2008

Arillyn Moran-Lawrence’s Hibiscus arnottianus, an endangered Hawaiian Hibiscus, will be in the Wildling Museum’s juried exhibition and competition.  Titled “Endangered Species: Flora and Fauna in Peril” will open June 22, 2008 at the Los Olivos site.  The show will remain at the Wildling Museum until September 14th.  Then the painting, drawings and sculpture will be sent to the Department of the Interior, Washington,DC.

Their exhibition will open November 1, 2008 and close on February 28, 2009.  The tour continues on to Denver and the Wildlife Experience Museum. That exhibition opens May 9, and closes July 12, 2009.

Prizes will be announced at the Wildling Museum on June 22, 2008.  First Prize is $10,000, Second Prize is $5,000 and Third Prize is $2000.


DEADLINE: July 11, 2008

Juried Fine Art Exhibition: Juror: D.J. HALL, internationally renowned realist figurative painter.  $1000 total cash awards.  Open to all artists over the age of 18, working in fine art media, who can hand deliver artwork.  2-D and 3-D.  2-D max. 48”h x 36”w, Sculpture max 30 lbs.    $30/3 images (slides or CD-R), $5/each additional, 6 max.  Exhibition: Aug. 13- 30. 2008. Reception: Aug. 16. 20% commission on sales.  For Prospectus, send SASE to TAG Gallery, 2903 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404,

Contact information: or 310-829-9556.


“Seductive Strands”

  “Seductive Strands”,  Watercolor , Ophiopogon planiscapus, Black Mondo Grass


Arillyn Moran-Lawrence’s painting “Seductive Strands” is in the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, Members’ Exhibition in the Broome Street Gallery, New York City.  “Seductive Strands” is a watercolor botanical painting of Ophiopogon planiscapus, commonly known as Black Mondo Grass.  The painting received a second place award in watercolor.  This is a Members’ Exhibition that covers all genres, and not a botanical show.  The show runs from March 24th to April 13, 2008.  The Broome Street Gallery is located at 498 Broome Street, New York City, New York.

Desert Studies Center in the Mojave National Preserve, Zzyzx, CA

(California State University College of Extended Learning)
Friday, April 4, 7pm, through Sunday, April 6, 3pm.
Contact: (909) 537-5975, 3910 for ART 1509
Schedule # 43453CQ (credit)/43452CQ (non-credit)

Registration deadline: April 1, 2008

Donald Davidson-Instructor

BAGCS member Kathy Dunham was selected as the poster artist for the 2008 Southwest Arts Festival in Indio, CA. The January 25-27 show is in it’s 22nd season. With over 260 artists this is a must see show for collectors and art lovers. Kathy’s painting “Matilija Poppies” is the subject of the poster. A natural subject for the festival, this California native wildflower is named after the Indian Chief “Matilija”. Of course, a wonderful love story accompanies the flower. Show hours are 10-5; Friday – Sunday January 25-27, 2008.

Kathy’s upcoming workshops:

February 16th & 23rd, 2008 “Botanical Watercolor” The Living Desert, Palm Desert, CA 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. online registration @

March 10-14, 2008 “Creating Dynamic Paintings in Watercolor” Palm Springs Art Museum 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. online registration @

May 14-26, 2008 “Painting and Sketching in France” The Dordogne Region, France (south of Bordeaux). 12 days of enjoying and painting the French countryside. The flowers, local markets, the scenery. Most meals, lodging, ground transportation, instruction included. More information @

For those artists who may be interested in learning about gilding with 23K
gold. A free opportunity is being offered at the Getty Museum.

Each Thursday through January 17, artist Sylvana Barrett will be giving a
detailed demonstration of fine art gilding on parchment from 1:00–2:00 p.m.

This will be followed at 2:00–3:00 p.m by a demonstration of painting,
including the paint making process as it was done during the Renaissance.

Since the demonstrations are free, seating is limited and no reservations
are required, it would be a good idea to show up early. Parking at the Getty
is $8.00 per car. Admission is free.

This a demonstration, not a hands-on class. I have taken a number of classes
with Sylvana Barrett at the Getty and at the Huntington. She is excellent at
clearly conveying complex information.

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