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by Susan Eubank, Arboretum Librarian, Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden, and Deb Shaw

Party in the Stacks!
Please join The Arboretum library and other plant and garden aficionados for a beautiful evening celebrating the Arboretum Library. The Arboretum Library is distinct among libraries as a comprehensive and very special collection of more than 20,000 books on botany, botanical illustration, gardening, California native plants, landscape design, gardens around the world, agriculture, and more.

For one night only, there will be merriment in the Arboretum Library stacks, twilight music in the Arboretum, outside viewing of mid-century travel slides, and inside viewing of mid-century library landscape materials, various nerdy library things, a little nosh and a no host bar. View a wonderful art exhibit, with personal artist tours of the exhibit “The naturalist’s desk: language and landscape” And of course a book sale too!

Consider spending an evening with your fellow BAGSC colleagues supporting the Arboretum Library. All proceeds from the event support Arboretum Library programs.

For one night only, there will be revelry in the Arboretum Library stacks and music in the Arboretum twilight!

Arboretum Library Benefit and Book Sale
Proceeds fund Arboretum Library programs

Friday, May 4, 2017, 6:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

There will also be…

  • Light refreshments and a No Host bar featuring wine, beer, and literary spirits,
  • Projections of Sunset magazine’s photographer, William Aplin’s mid-century travel slides,
  • Displays of mid-century modern gardening and landscape architecture books,
  • Pamela Burgess will give tours of her exhibit the naturalist’s desk: landscape + language, and
  • First chance to purchase at the used book sale. Specialty books ready for their new owners.

You are invited!
Advanced Tickets: General Public $20, Members $15. Call 626-821-4623.

At the Door: General Public $25, Members $20

Members include:
BAGSC Members
Members of the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation
All plant, garden and landscape societies, all library organizations, and all botanic gardens and arboreta.

Questions? Contact Susan Eubank, 626-821-3213.

The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden is located at: 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007
arboretum.org

Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens Logo

 

 

 

 

by Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, posted by Deb Shaw

After choosing where you are going, find out what gardens are available to you. Choose at least three and label them:

  • Rugged (but wonderful),
  • Perfect (or almost),
  • Problematic.
Etlingera elatior, aka Pink torch ginger. Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens, Ginger and Heliconia Gardens, North Shore, Oahu. HI. Photographer: Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, © 2017.

Etlingera elatior, aka Pink torch ginger. Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens, Ginger and Heliconia Gardens, North Shore, Oahu. HI. Photographer: Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, © 2017.

I began studying endangered plants in Hawaii, when the ASBA Exhibition Losing Paradise?  was announced. I had three to four gardens I wanted to visit. One was the Lyon Arboretum, on the South Shore of Oahu, in the Rain Forest; Waimea Gardens on the North Shore of Oahu; and, Koko Head to the east of Honolulu. Ho’omaluhia on the East side of Oahu did not have endangered plants so I did not consider that garden in my plan. I also did not consider the small garden in Wahiawa nor several other gardens in downtown Honolulu. I focused on the three larger gardens.

I called the three major gardens ahead of my visit and contacted knowledgeable people with whom I made appointments. At the Lyon Arboretum I contacted Karen Shigematsu, Botanist. At Waimea I made an appointment with David Orr, Botanical Specialist. At Koko Head there was no botanist or specialist available. You are on your own with just the information on the plant labels in the specialized gardens.

These are three different gardens with three different personalities. This is true of all gardens all over the world. You can visit each of these three and decide on which one best delivers what you are looking for.

Rugged Garden Lyon, The Lyon Arboretum

This garden is very large and stunning as you walk out the backdoor of the Administration Building. It is rugged, however. Mosquitos and bugs like to bite you. Karen Shigematsu first showed me the nursery and then introduced me to the garden. The first garden has numerous plants to choose from. However, as you go deeper into the garden on the way to the falls you will find you need strong boots, a rain poncho, an umbrella and a map of the garden. Keep in mind that your cell phone may be blocked by the high mountains that surround the Lyon. If you have health issues you may want to check with the Administration Staff on the ability to make it to the falls and visiting the gardens along the way. There is a less difficult path close in area, to which they will direct you.

A back pack is the best way to carry items you will need to record plants of interest. Make it light as the trails are full of rocks and the heat or rain may wear you out. Rolling gear is only good in about a quarter of the Arboretum. There is no shuttle service, no food stands, and the toilets are in the Administration Building. You can buy t-shirts, books and more, in the Administration Building.

The Perfect Garden, Waimea

Arillyn Moran-Lawrence working on Stelechocarpus burahol, aka the Keppel Tree, while sitting on the steps in the Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens, Malesia Gardens, North Shore, Oahu, HI. Photographer: Michael Tyau, © 2017.

Arillyn Moran-Lawrence working on Stelechocarpus burahol, aka the Keppel Tree, while sitting on the steps in the Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens, Malesia Gardens, North Shore, Oahu, HI. Photographer: Michael Tyau, © 2017.

Waimea Gardens on the North Shore of Oahu is an example of the Perfect Garden. It has a retail shop, an outdoor restaurant, bathrooms, a shuttle to carry you to the waterfall for a swim, and gardens galore. All are scattered over this treasure of a garden on a paved trail with shuttles. The only problem is that the garden is in a valley and the cell phones do not work there.

David Orr, Botanical Specialist met me with a golf cart so we could cover a large area. He explained a great deal about the endangered plants and why so many are on the Red Lists. Hawaii has the most endangered place in the world, including animals, birds, insects and plants.

Ask if a guide is available to meet you on a special day, date and time. Carry bug spray, go in long sleeved t-shirts and long pants if you do not do well with bugs. Otherwise dress however you want. Any kind of shoes work in this garden. Have your small camera, iPad or cell phone with you. Carry a hand held battery charger with you as the gardens are superb and you will want many photos. If you find the perfect plant and don’t want to stand or sit on a rock go to WalMart and buy a cheap collapsible chair. You can always donate it and leave it behind when you fly home. Also, if you choose where you want to paint first and last you can then work on getting to the falls area and catch a ride back to the shop and restaurant area. One way is $5 and round trip is $10. There also are family rates available.

The Problematic Garden, Koko Head

Koko Head is an old volcano that is dormant. There is just the garden there and a gardner that is invisible. The last time I was at Koko Head you checked in with a man at a table at the entrance and you checked out when you left. There was no indication that any kind of help was available. I don’t know if the cell phone works well or at all at KoKo Head.

It is a long, hot dusty walk to the Hawaiian section, which is at the farthest point in the garden. Tackle this garden aggressively, but travel light. A small backpack with sketch pad, watercolor pencils and a water brush would be adequate. Be sure to take a bottle of water for you and your assistant. When you finally arrive at the Hawaiian Section, find your specimen, photograph your choices, and sketch and make color swatches. You can make notes about the plant from the ID labels that are below the plant. A red ID tag means the plant is endangered; a green/blue ID tag means it is not. Photograph the label so you have the information you need later.

The last time I was at Koko Head the garden was very young. I am sure you will find some nice growth there now. It is difficult to get to the plants at Koko Head, and there is no one to assist you. It would be difficult to work there alone. I fell down a small hillside in very soft dirt about 25 feet. I guess I could have been hurt but I wasn’t. However, a sprained ankle would have made it hard to walk a long way to your car.

Materials

  • Small camera, cell phone, iPad, small portable charger.
  • Sketch book, such as a Bee or Stillman & Birn, Mixed Media (both can accept watercolor).
  • Paper, 8-1/2 x 11 or smaller. Arches or Fabriano 300 lb watercolor paper can be bound into a book at Fed Ex or at an office supply store. These can be used for plein air studies in the field or in your hotel room/with photos from your iPad or cell phone.
  • Ruler, tape measure, water bottle, water brushes and three to four good watercolor brushes.
  • Pens that have their own ink supply (such as Gopie, Zig or Micron).
  • Mechanical pencil.
  • Small travel palette. Know the paint that you have in the palette. You can always shop for more paint at your destination. I have two great art supply stores that I go to in Honolulu.
  • I have tried colored pencils. I find they break and you need a good sharpener. I like watercolor pencils because you can translate that color to real watercolor paint.
  • Tombow markers with brushes. They are very strong colors but I have found them to be fun to do quick sketches and to work with on the plane. They don’t cause any problems. I carry 12 – 15 in a plastic box.
  • A small folding chair. These can be found at Wal-Mart, Rite Aid, Daiso, sporting/camping stores, any variety stores, or online.
  • Lightweight backpack. They sell some very nice lightweight backpacks in Honolulu. I bought a large one and a small-sized one made by Hawaii Island Spirit. I see them for sale in many places. If you plan on doing rugged hiking bring your own.

Things to Remember

It is not easy to work in a new environment with no desk, chairs, lighting or bathrooms. It is difficult to balance everything like paint, brush, water and paper when you are outside and the nearest place to put anything is the ground.

It also is dark in some gardens, and is hard to find what you are looking for if you have been directed to a particular plant. It can be wet and muddy.

Alpinia zerumbet. Shell ginger. Lyon Arboretum, Manoa Valley, Honolulu, HI. Photographer: Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, © 2017.

Alpinia zerumbet. Shell ginger. Lyon Arboretum, Manoa Valley, Honolulu, HI. Photographer: Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, © 2017.

You need a lot of things to make life productive so make sure you test things at home to see if they work for you. Get overly organized. Keep things light and manageable. If you have a collapsible chair, that is an advantage. If not, see if someone can lend you a TALL bucket.

Having someone to help you is advisable. You can always contact an Art Academy or High School and see if they have a list of students who want to make some extra money. Pay them well so that they will want to really assist you.

by Kat Powell, posted by Deb Shaw

Some of the workshop participants getting ready for a final critique with Carrie Di Constanzo. Photo by Teri Kuwahara, © 2018.

Some of the workshop participants getting ready for a final critique with Carrie Di Constanzo. L to R: Mary Jo Newman, Carrie Di Costanzo, Suzanne Bassani, Janice Sharp, Carol Readhead, Melanie Campbell-Carter, Kathlyn Powell. Missing from photo: Patricia Mark, Alyse Ochniak.  Photo by Teri Kuwahara, © 2018.

What a fabulous experience! We were honored to have the awe-inspiring Carrie Di Costanzo for a workshop on the use of gouache in botanical art. First of all, Carrie’s work is beyond exquisite — I suspect I was not alone in getting goosebumps while gazing at her originals. They are miraculous in their refinement and perfection. Although Carrie works her magic in other media such as egg tempera and watercolor as well, it is her masterful handling of gouache that we focused on for those wonderful three days.

We all had a choice of working on a large deodar cedar cone, kumquats on a branch, loquats on a branch, or tulips. One participant requested a cactus as a subject, and The Huntington very kindly supplied that subject as well.

Reviewing artwork with Carrie Di Constanzo. Photo by Kathlyn Powell, © 2018.

Reviewing artwork with Carrie Di Constanzo. L to R: Teri Kuwahara, Carrie Di Costanzo, Suzanne Bassani, Janice Sharp, Carol Readhead, Mary Jo Newman, Melanie Carter-Campbell. Missing from photo: Patricia Mark, Alyse Ochniak. Photo by Kathlyn Powell, © 2018.

Carrie demonstrated several ways of using gouache, as the medium is quite versatile. She showed her favored method of laying down a pale “wash” of her mixed paint that consisted of a highly controlled stippling using her amazingly fast feathery stroke of dilute gouache on a dry brush. Texture was instantiated from the start and retained throughout with this technique. Subsequent layers were laid down with generally successively more concentrated pigments with the occasional unifying dry brush wash over. She worked from light to dark in this method, somewhat reminiscent of watercolor.

She also demonstrated an approach using titanium white mixed to varying degrees into her colors to opacify and smooth the deposition of color and it had a depth and richness rivaling oils while retaining the luscious velvety matte surface of gouache. Indeed, in this approach, the handling is more like that of oils or acrylics and many renowned artists such as James Gurney use this method. [See some of James Gurney’s favorite gouache artists here.] Lights do not necessarily need to be retained and working dark to light is possible. Highlights and light structures such as Melanie’s cactus spines can be directly added on top.

Carrie showed us that gouache is like watercolor in re-solubility but has a higher pigment load, yielding greater opacity. It can be used in a watercolor way with wet, dilute translucent washes retaining the light of the paper, building up to a gorgeous matte depth of color. It can also, again, be used somewhat like oils or acrylics, with light pigments over dark. This allows for going over sections with many layers until one is satisfied, without harming the surface or looking overworked. Thus, you can push a painting further. One can also use gouache to exquisite effect on toned papers, like botanical artist Albert R. Valentien did. Carrie showed us how she creates a toned sheet for such an approach.

Carrie encouraged us to use the method that we felt most comfortable with and everyone had their own unique look to their paintings, and all were lovely. The medium was adaptable to each person’s individual style of painting.

A Little About Gouache:
Gouache has a history that goes back to the 9th Century. Illuminated manuscripts and Persian and Mughal miniatures were painted using opaque watercolors mixed with white or on white priming. Chinese white was also freely used in Western watercolors in the nineteenth century as “body colors”, distinguished by their beautiful precision (see, for example, the watercolor and body color work of William Trost Richards). For many subjects, such as landscapes, body color made it possible.

Zinc white (Chinese white) as a pigment had become available in Europe in the mid-19th century (although in use in Persia, India and China since at least the 12th century) and thus at least partially displaced the more opaque but very toxic lead white. It is no wonder that artists happily explored the possibilities of this new pigment! (Especially en plein air, once pigments were packed into tubes.) We are lucky to have access to nontoxic, very opaque titanium white (introduced 1921) as well as zinc white.

Gouache was favored by commercial artists during the twentieth century for its beauty, speed of drying, and matte surface which the camera loves — it is renowned for reproducing extremely well. It got a bit of a bad rap because of the fugitive quality of many of the paints then in use — pieces were made for the camera rather than the frame, so archival lightfast pigments were not always employed. Now, however, we have beautiful, fully lightfast gouache pigments available to us from numerous pigmenters. Also, the medium suffered some stigma in the pretentious “Fine Art” vs “illustration” controversy.

Technical instruction in gouache has become very difficult to come by over the last few decades, so I cherish the training we were so fortunate to obtain with a Master Artist like Carrie. I personally have longed for this type and quality of didactics for nearly half a century. Opacity is another dimension of control which enhances the ability to work the magic of mimesis.

Profound thanks to Carrie Di Costanzo, a real treasure both artistically and as a person, to the Education Committee for bringing her, to The Huntington for hosting us, to Patricia Mark for supplying subjects and to BAGSC for everything!

posted by Deb Shaw

Sally Jacobs' "Buddha's Hand (Lemon Fingers) Watercolor," 19x16. Part of Sally Jacobs' "Sundays at the Farmers Market" exhibition at the TAG Gallery in Los Angeles.

Sally Jacobs’ “Buddha’s Hand (Lemon Fingers) Watercolor,” 19×16. Part of Sally Jacobs’ “Sundays at the Farmers Market” exhibition at the TAG Gallery in Los Angeles.

BAGSC Member Sally Jacobs‘ exhibition, “Sundays at the Farmers Market” will be at the tag Gallery in its new location: 5458 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90036: April 17 – May 12, 2018

The Opening Reception is this Saturday, April 21, 5 – 8 pm

Artists’ Talk, Saturday, April 28, 3 – 4 pm
(includes a raffle for a print)

Drawing Class: “How to Draw a Leaf,” Saturday, May 5, 1 – 3:00 pm. Beginners welcome. Class size limited; contact Sally to register.

Jeanette Marantos, LA Times wrote an article about Sally’s exhibition for the Home & Garden section, entitled “This L.A. artist grows luscious fruits and veggies — in watercolor”. Read the article and see a slide show of all Sally’s paintings in the show.

Congrats Sally!

tag Gallery
5458 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
email: gallery@taggallery.net
310.829.9556
Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am – 5 pm

Sally Jacobs with an armful of inspiration.

Sally Jacobs with an armful of inspiration.

by Teri Kuwahara and Deb Shaw

BAGSC gathered at the Madrona Marsh Nature Preserve in Torrance for the January meeting to feature the ongoing mural project of BAGSC member Estelle DeRidder.

The interior of the meeting room walls in the Madrona Marsh Interpretive Center have been filled with Estelle’s paintings of the plants, animals and insects found in Marsh. She has spent countless hours capturing each plant in its native environment. The meeting was highlighted by featuring Estelle as our guest speaker, adding her wit and wisdom in starting and continuing this ambitious project. In addition to discussing her process and goals, Estelle also spoke about the challenges of creating such a large work, including determining scale, practical techniques, and interesting visitors (of the human, insect and avian varieties).

Estelle was recently honored by the Cultural Arts Commission in Torrance for her work on this mural. [See BAGSC News blog article about the award here.] The Marsh staff and volunteers from the Friends of the Marsh group were also present to support Estelle, a true indication of how much she is respected and admired. A video was made to highlight Estelle’s mural project for the Cultural Arts Awards ceremony and we were fortunate to view it.   It has now been posted on YouTube so members unable to attend the meeting can enjoy it, and can be found here: https://youtu.be/zExN3JWTcMY

Our sincere thanks go out to Estelle for bringing BAGSC to the attention of Madrona Marsh. Estelle’s mural can be viewed in the Interpretive Center, Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Additional thanks goes to Tracy Drake, Park Services Manager, Community Services Department, City of Torrance; Hilary and Dave Jamieson; and, Lance Hill for his wonderful photographs of the meeting.

The Marsh is located at: 3201 Plaza del Amo, Torrance, CA 90503.

Click on any image below to see larger images in a slide show format with full captions for each photo.

by Lee McCaffree and Deb Shaw

Filoli’s 20th Annual Botanical Art Exhibition is a celebration of spring flowers from their wonderful historic Garden. Artworks in the exhibition are from local and international artists (some of them graduates of Filoli’s Botanical Art Certificate Program) and are depicted in watercolor, colored pencil, pen and ink, oil, and graphite.

Jurors were Peggy Feidler, botanist, and Carol Woodin, botanical artist; curators were Lee McCaffree and Catherine Watters. The exhibition includes 44 pieces by 36 artists, including the curators and juror Carol Woodin, many of them artists who are exhibiting for the first time.

Awards:
Bourn Award for distinction with an emphasis on horticulture: “Sunflower Awakening” by Jeannetta vanRaalte
Roth Award for distinction with an emphasis on traditional botanical art presentation: Paeonia lactiflora, Pink Peony by Miksuko Schultz (and BAGSC member!)
Jurors Award for distinction with an emphasis on botanical art presentation: Papaver somniferum, Poppy by Jean Emmons
Jurors Award Honorable Mention: Tacca chantrieri, Cat’s Whiskers by Stephanie Law

The exhibition runs from February 23 – May 20, 2018.

BAGSC members in the exhibition include: Nina Anzte, Catherine Dellor, Joan Keesey, curator Lee McCaffree, and Mitsuko Schultz.  Carrie Di Constanzo has two pieces in the exhibition: Carrie will be coming to teach a BAGSC workshop in April, 2018, to be held at The Huntington Libraries, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

Click on any of the images by BAGSC members below to see a larger image. These paintings, as well as all of the artworks in the exhibition can be seen online at OnlineJuriedShows.com

In addition to “A Palette of Flowers,” the Filoli Florilegium is on display in its entirety throughout the House.

Filoli Historic House & Garden is A Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is located at 86 Cañada Road, Woodside, CA 94062, (650) 364-8300.

Congratulations to the award-winners and all the participants!

by Gilly Shaeffer, posted by Deb Shaw

I recently had a wonderful opportunity to teach a workshop during the California Native Plant Society 2018 Conference that was held at the LAX Marriott Hotel in early February. The attendees at the conference were from all over California. They are a very energetic, enthusiastic and passionate group of people who are committed to protecting the plants and open spaces in our state. Since I live in an area of Los Angeles where many residents are also committed to protecting natural areas and encouraging the cultivation of native plants. I was looking forward to teaching at this venue and thought that a workshop that would be an Introduction to Botanical Art would be well received by this group and I was right.

It is always fun to share an appreciation and love for a subject with those who are attending my class. In this case, it was my love for Botanical Art. This class was intended to introduce botanical art to those who were interested and wanted to know and do more.

The class started with an introduction to the materials used to create this art. Class attendees received a list of recommended books to inspire and to give step by step drawing exercises to begin the process. Workshop attendees did exercises to learn how to shade with graphite to create a value scale which would be preparation for creating three dimensional forms using light to dark shading.

The next portion of the class was focused on line drawing and some of what this entails. We did drawing warm up exercises then contour drawing. I wanted those attending the class to have as much “hands on” experience with drawing, as possible. They were shown how to use the plexiglass view finder, also called the “Leonardo Frame” as a drawing aide.

Workshop participants applied their skills to drawing Toyon berries and leaves. Photo by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2018.

Workshop participants applied their skills to drawing Toyon berries and leaves. Photo by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2018.

Next, the group learned about how establishing a light source can be very important in the shading of their drawing. I showed them how to establish a source of light coming from the left and how it would hit the object that the artist is shading. Those in the class shaded a sphere and a cylinder. After doing this shading, the information about shading was applied to shading a branch and some berries.

Seeing as the class members were all fans of our California native plants, this was a great opportunity to to have them shade Toyon branches with some leaves and berries applying the concept of light coming from the left.

The class members did remarkably well with this drawing and shading exercise and to my delight seemed keenly interested in learning how to do more in the future.

by Tania Norris, posted by Deb Shaw

BAGSC handouts for "Portraits of Bonsai from The Huntington Collection." Cover image, Ficus retusa, watercolor on paper, © 2018 Anna Suprunenko. Brochure and photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2018.

BAGSC handouts for “Portraits of Bonsai from The Huntington Collection.” Cover image, Ficus retusa, watercolor on paper, © 2018 Anna Suprunenko. Brochure and photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2018.

The Botanical Center at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, is the location for the BAGSC exhibition ‘“Portraits of Bonsai from The Huntington Collection.” The paintings received many admiring comments from the public and participants at The Huntington’s Bonsai-a-Thon held the weekend of February 24 – 25, 2018.

Demonstrations during the two-day event were given by Olga Ryabtsova, Mitsuko Schultz and Tania Norris. The questions and comments from the viewers were many and varied. They ranged from ‘how do you?’, ‘I could never do that’, ‘are they for sale?’ and ‘where do I find classes?’ etc. People were really interested and appreciative of our participation.

Amazing Bonsais everywhere! Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2018.

Amazing Bonsais everywhere! Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2018.

The wonderful and patient Bonsai master, Ted Matson, gave a long plug for BAGSC before he started the auction of bonsai for the attendees. He mentioned how BAGSC members had come weekly to paint The Huntington Collection. Ted also mentioned the upcoming ASBA “Out of the Woods” art show at the Brody Center (May 18, 2018 to August 27, 2018) and was most complimentary about the BAGSC paintings.

Olga Ryabtsova (L) and Mitsuko Schultz (R) demonstrate in front of the BAGSC wall of Bonsai Portraits. Photo by Jude Wiesenfeld, © 2018.

Olga Ryabtsova (L) and Mitsuko Schultz (R) demonstrate in front of the BAGSC wall of Bonsai Portraits. Photo by Jude Wiesenfeld, © 2018.

It was also wonderful to see many BAGSC members attending the event. A few additional BAGSC demonstrators or BAGSC members who could answer questions would have been appreciated. Don’t be shy — all levels of expertise are appreciated at our outreach events, and seasoned BAGSC participants are always on hand to lend a hand.

Jude Wiesenfeld with her painting Juniperus Californica, © 2018. Photo by Mitsuko Schultz, © 2018.

Jude Wiesenfeld with her painting Juniperus californica, © 2018. Photo by Mitsuko Schultz, © 2018.

Thank you to Ted Matson and The Huntington for this wonderful opportunity; and kudos to all BAGSC papticipants!

by Teri Kuwahara and Deb Shaw

Photo from the Friends of Madrona Marsh website. Photo credits: Tracy Drake, Mark Comon, Mike Griffiths and Suzan Hubert.

Photo from the Friends of Madrona Marsh website. Photo credits: Tracy Drake, Mark Comon, Mike Griffiths and Suzan Hubert.

Congratulations to the City of Torrance and the Madrona Marsh, winner of the Rose Parade’s Mayor Award for the most outstanding float submitted by a city!

“Making a Difference” was the theme for the 128th Rose Parade. Gary Senise was The Grand Marshal—the actor is best known for his portrayal as Lt. Dan in “Forrest Gump,” as well as his ongoing work with veterans. Tournament of Roses’ Judges awarded twenty-four floats with official honors in a variety of categories.

The Madrona Marsh Preserve makes a difference in the City of Torrance. The Marsh was highlighted in this year’s Tournament of Roses float, “Protecting Nature… The Madrona Marsh Preserve“.

The Torrance Rose Float Association Committee selected the theme from designs submitted by Torrance high school students during their annual design contest earlier this year.

Come see the Madrona Marsh Preserve at the next BAGSC meeting
Come get a first-hand look at the Marsh that inspired the float!

Our first BAGSC quarterly meeting of 2018 will be a special day. On Saturday, January 13, 2018, we will be meeting at the Madrona Marsh, in the Nature Center to see the amazing mural created by our member Estelle DeRidder. Estelle was recently honored by the City of Torrance for her work. She will talk to us about her ongoing work at the Madrona Marsh, from her initial project and grant from the ASBA, to the process she is using to create this record of plant and animal life at the marsh.

Following Estelle’s presentation and a brief break for a BYO sack lunch, we will head across the street for a guided tour of the marsh and an open-ended time to sketch.

Read about Estelle’s work and the awards from the City of Torrance Arts Commission in other articles on the BAGSC Blog.

Coffee will be at 9:30, followed by our business meeting before our program begins. Please plan to wear walking shoes, hat and weather appropriate clothes, bring your sack lunch (coffee, tea and water available), and your sketching supplies, including a small stool if you would like.

RSVP to Clara Josephs or email her with any questions.

Guests are welcome!

The Madrona Marsh Preserve is located at 3201 Plaza del Amo, Torrance, CA 90503.

by Deb Shaw

The American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) has announced the selected artists for Botanical Art Worldwide: America’s Flora, a groundbreaking collaboration between botanical artists, organizations, and institutions around the world.

This worldwide exhibition and its events will call attention to the importance of conserving our planet’s botanical diversity. Each participating country will provide digital slide shows of up to forty works, to be compiled with all other countries’ images and shown at each venues during the run of each exhibition. Opening events, lectures, demonstrations, webinars, workshops and other events will be held (with some shared online), so visitors can learn more about contemporary botanical art and the earth’s floristic regions and botanical wealth.

For the US exhibition, the jurors were: Susan T. Fisher, Botanical Artist and Educator; Patricia Jonas, Author and Editor; William McLaughlin, Plant Curator, US Botanic Garden; and, Susan Pell, Ph.D, Science and Public Programs Manager, US Botanic Garden. The jurors selected 46 artworks from more than 200 submissions, including artwork by BAGSC members Mitsuko Schultz, Gilly Shaeffer, and Deborah Shaw. A complete list of artists can be seen on the ASBA website. All artworks feature native plants of the US, and images will be available on the ASBA website once the exhibition opens.

The ASBA, in collaboration with the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., will present the juried exhibition of plants from around the United States, staged in the U.S. Botanic Garden’s gallery space. After remaining on view at the U.S. Botanic Garden through October 2018, the exhibition will then travel through the end of 2019. Similar exhibitions will be held in more than twenty other countries.

A Worldwide Day of Botanical Art will be held on May 18, 2018, with events held for 24 hours, following the sun from venue to venue.

Participating countries include: Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada,  China, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Several other countries are in the planning stages and will be announced.

Some goals of the exhibition include:

  • Presenting a unified message about the ability to link people with plants through botanical art.
  • Acknowledging and building upon the increasing connections between botanical artists worldwide.
  • Increasing appreciation and understanding of the world’s plant diversity and its interconnectedness.
  • Raising awareness about the worldwide movement in botanical art.
  • To engage in a project to document some of the wild plant species of the world.

Click here for Botanical Art Worldwide Exhibition Info and Participating Countries  Be sure to return to the ASBA website to see updates about the artists and the exhibitions.

Congrats to all the participating artists, organizations, and institutions from around the world!

Click any of the images below to see an enlarged image with artwork information.

by Kat Powell and Deb Shaw

The year 2017 isn’t over just yet, which means there is still time to join the copyright community in asking your Congressional Representative to cosponsor H.R. 3945, the CASE Act of 2017. This bipartisan bill (how rare is THAT these days!!) was introduced on October 4, 2017 by Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Tom Marino (R-PA),  Doug Collins (R-GA), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Judy Chu (D-CA), and Ted Lieu (D-CA). H.R. 3945 will create a Copyright Claims Board, which, similar to Small Claims Court, will provide a simple, quick and less expensive forum for copyright owners (we artists!) to enforce our copyrights.

For many botanical artists, artists, photographers, illustrators, authors, songwriters, filmmakers and other creators who own copyrighted works, enforcing our rights is simply not feasible. Litigation is expensive and, even when it’s undeniable that our copyrights have been violated, frequently, we simply can’t afford to go to court. In effect, the U.S. copyright system currently provides creators with rights but no effective remedies.

The majority of  copyright owners that are affected by piracy and theft are independent creators with small copyright infringement claims. The CCB will establish an alternative forum to the Federal District Court for copyright owners to protect their work from infringement.

It’s important that Congress hear from creators like us on the importance of protecting our rights and creating a small claims court.

The Copyright Alliance has made it easy to contact your Representative  to ask him/her to support H.R. 3945 by asking them to cosponsor the bill. The Copyright Alliance has a quick and easy tool on their website to help you find all of your Representatives. They also have provided a sample letter you can email or send, but it is easy to modify it or use your own if you prefer. The important thing is to let your voice be heard on this critical issue.

To send your letter, please click here.

Information about H.R.3945, and links that answer questions can be found here. You can join the Copyright Alliance—it’s free, and they do not sell or give away members’ information.

 

by Deb Shaw

The Third New York Botanical Garden Triennial, Out of the Woods: Celebrating Trees in Public Gardens is on display at the The New York Botanical Garden, in Bronx, New York from November 18, 2017 – April 22, 2018. Information about the exhibition, including images of all the artworks is on the ASBA website.

Forty-four artworks were selected from more than two hundred submissions, depicting one of the planet’s most important and beautiful resources: trees. Each of these subjects have been found in botanical gardens and arboreta throughout the United States and around the world.

Artists have been working on this project for the past three years, not only capturing images of trees, but also drawing attention to the institutions that shelter them: botanical gardens and arboreta. A central goal of the exhibition is to highlight the role of botanical gardens and arboreta in the research/scholarship they provide, as well as their education and outreach to the public.

The artists respond aesthetically to these inspiring subjects, and have depicted everything from seedpods to branches and bark to an entire forest floor. Each artist has written a statement about their artwork; artists’ statements can be read on the ASBA website.

Jurors for the exhibition were:

  • Joanna Groarke, Director of Public Engagement and Library Exhibitions Curator, The New York Botanical Garden
  • Todd Forrest, Arthur Ross VP for Horticulture and Living Collections, The New York Botanical Garden
  • Robin A. Jess, Past Executive Director, ASBA
  • Barbara Macklowe, Photographer, former Principal, Macklowe Gallery

Congratulations go to all artists participating, including BAGSC artists Akiko EnokidoDeborah FriedmanAsuka HishikiOlga Ryabtsova, and Mitsuko Schultz. (Clicking on the names of the artists goes to their artist’s statement page on the ASBA website; click on any of the images below to see them enlarged in a slide show format, with artist and painting information.)

Congratulations to the award-winners:

Gold Medal:
Asuka Hishiki, Black Pine Half-Cascade Style Bonsai, Pinus nigra
Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama, Japan
Oil on Paper

Silver Medal:
Lucy Martin
Bigleaf Maple with Inky-Cap Mushrooms, Acer macrophyllum, Coprinellus sp., University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley, CA, Gouache on Paper

Bronze Medal:
Ingrid Finnan
Snake Branch Spruce, Picea abies ‘Virgata’, The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY, Oil on Paper

Honorable mentions:
Beverly Allen
New Guinea Dinner Plate Fig, Ficus dammaropsis, The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Sydney, Australia, Watercolor on paper

Alexandra Negoita Vulcu
Bigleaf Magnolia, Magnolia macrophylla, Hortus Conclusus, Stone Ridge, NY, Watercolor and acrylic ink on paper

Barbara Oozeerally
Stone Oak, Lithocarpus pachyphyllus, Caerhays Estate, Gorran, St. Austell, England, Watercolor on paper

Beverly Fink
Tree Aloe, Aloe thraskii, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, FL, Watercolor on paper

As with previous New York Triennial exhibitions, Out of the Woods will be traveling after the closing date at The New York Botanical Gardens, including coming to The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in May, 2018. Watch for future postings of lectures and other activities at The Huntington that will occur around the exhibition. BAGSC Members also will host a concurrent exhibition of local artists around the same theme at the Brody Botanical Education Center at The Huntington.

The current traveling schedule includes: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, CA, May 19 – August 27, 2018; Foundry Art Centre (in time for the next ASBA conference), St. Charles, MO, October 5 – December 28, 2018; Tucson Botanical Gardens, Tucson, AZ, January 25 – April 13, 2019; Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska, MN, May 9 – August 13, 2019.

Front cover of exhibition catalog, featuring Leiden’s 300-year Old Liriodendron tulipifera, by © Esmée Winkel, watercolor on paper.

Front cover of exhibition catalog, featuring Leiden’s 300-year Old Liriodendron tulipifera, by © Esmée Winkel, watercolor on paper.

Exhibition catalogs may be purchased on the ASBA website for $12.00 ($10.80 for NYBG members). The full-color, 60-page catalog features all of the artwork in the exhibition as well as essays illuminating the pivotal importance of living collections in the conservation of the planet’s trees, and the continued significance of botanical art in the 21st century.

 

by Deb Shaw

The 20th Annual International Exhibition by American Society of Botanical Artists and The Horticultural Society of New York was on display from November 09 – December 21, 2017 at The New York Design Center. Congratulations to all ASBA artists who participated, including BAGSC members Asuka Hishiki, Joan Keessey, Lesley Randall, Olga Ryabtsova, and Mitsuko Schultz.

Forty-six works from more than 200 submissions were chosen, including artists from the United States, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom. Jurors were: Susan Fraser, Director, Mertz Library, The New York Botanical Garden; David Horak, Curator of the Aquatic House, Brooklyn Botanic Garden; and, Esther Klahne, Botanical Artist.

The New York Design Center hosted the 20th Anniversary exhibition and reception.

If you weren’t able to see the exhibition or the opening in person, you can still view the artwork online on the ASBA website, as well as read statements about their work from each of the artists.

Congratulations to the award winners (artist’s names listed below are linked directly to their statement page):
Mariko Ikeda (Screw Pine), The Hort’s Best in Show Award, $500
Annie Patterson (Cardoon Seedhead), ASBA Eleanor Wunderlich Award of $500
Monika deVries Gohlke (‘Blackcurrant Swirl’ Datura), Helen Gray Garber Award of $500
Martha Kemp (Ornamental Gourd 2), Brooklyn Botanic Garden Award for Print or Drawing of $250
Linda Medved Lufkin (Sunflower x 2), Richmond and Lili Bates Award for Excellence of $300

In recognition of an Artist by a Fellow Artist
Honorable Mentions (4):
Olga Ryabtsova (Bird of Paradise)
Liz Shippam (Merryweather Damsons)
Mitsuko Schultz (Pink Peony)
Tammy McEntee (Shenot Crown of Thorns Gourd)

Click any of the images below to see an enlarged image and a slide show of BAGSC members in the exhibition. Congrats to all!

by Gilly Shaeffer, posted by Deb Shaw

There are many workshops to be held before the California Native Plant Society 2018 conference begins on Tuesday, January 30, through Wednesday, January 31, at the LAX Marriott.

There will be two botanical art workshops given by BAGSC members:
Gilly Shaeffer will teach “Introduction to Botanical Art Techniques”
Tuesday, January 30, from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm.

Olga Ryabtsova will teach “Black & White Drawing Techniques in Botanical Illustration”
Wednesday, January 31, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

See complete information about these two workshops below.

Deadline to register January 14, 2018. To Register, go to https://conference.cnps.org/registration/

Introduction to Botanical Art Techniques
Tuesday, January 30, 1:00 PM-4:30 PM
Instructor: Gilly Shaeffer, Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, American Society of Botanical Artists
Registration: $50 Attending the Conference / $70 Not Attending the Conference

Matilija Poppy, Gilly Shaeffer, watercolor on paper, © 2017.

Matilija Poppy, Gilly Shaeffer, watercolor on paper, © 2017.

Botanical art starts with a good drawing. Through demonstrations and hands-on practice, participants will learn ways to create line drawings of plants. We will focus on the need for close observation when creating botanical art. Class will begin with an overview of the materials used to create botanical art and how they are used, including pencils, drawing paper, erasers, magnifiers, watercolor brushes, paints, and watercolor paper. Next participants will be introduced to shading from light to dark to create three dimensional forms. Exercises will further participants’ understanding of form through creation of their own three dimensional forms. An introduction to the importance of a light source in drawing plant forms will be included. Class will conclude with time to sketch from natural forms so that class participants can apply the concepts presented during the class to their actual plant drawings.

This workshop is designed for people who have an interest in learning more about how to draw and eventually paint plants, and will be taught at a beginner level.

Participants will receive a list of reference books for the beginning study of drawing. Handouts will be provided covering basic points made in the class which will include exercises that can be done at home. A variety of books that are highly recommended in the study of botanical illustration and watercolor will be available to look at during class, as well as recent exhibition catalogues.

Please plan to bring (more details will be provided to registered participants—the cost for these materials should be around $15 for those who do not yet own them):

  • Strathmore drawing paper pad 400 Series
  • Graphite drawing pencils 2H, HB, and 2B
  • Cretacolor brand kneaded eraser

Gilly Shaeffer’ s lifelong interest in art and love of nature drew her to the study of botanical art. Her work has been selected to appear in juried exhibitions at museums, galleries, and gardens throughout the United States. She has taught Botanical Illustration and Watercolor at Virginia Robinson Gardens and Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. She also teaches Botanical Art Techniques at her home studio on Mount Washlngton in Los Angeles.

Black & White Drawing Techniques in Botanical Illustration
Wednesday, January 31, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Instructor: Olga Ryabtsova, Botanical Artist; Exhibition Chair of the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, American Society of Botanical Artists
Registration: $95 Attending the Conference / $125 Not Attending the Conference

Matilija Poppy seed pod, Olga Ryabtsova, watercolor on paper, © 2017.

Matilija Poppy seed pod, Olga Ryabtsova, watercolor on paper, © 2017.

This workshop will focus on black and white drawing techniques. We will review the materials required, and participants will learn about the perception of light, shadow, and contrast in drawing with a graphite pencil, metalpoint, pen and ink. Drawing with all mentioned materials will be demonstrated. Patricipants will draw a sketch from a living plant or fruit or a provided photo with graphite, and start an original work with matalpoint.

This worshop is open to anyone interested in botanical art and drawing techniques. All skill levels are welcome (beginner, intermediate, advanced artists who are interested in metalpoint).

Preliminary list of supplies that participants will need to bring (more details will be provided before the workshop):

  • Graphite pencils 2H, HB, 2B, 4B
  • Sharpener
  • Sketch paper
  • Tracing paper
  • Drawing paper
  • Eraser
  • Board to support paper and tape to hold it
  • Metalpoint wire and holder
  • Portable light lamp (optional)

Olga Ryabtsova was born in Russia, in the town of Dubna about 80 miles north of Moscow. After school, she moved to Moscow to study graphic design and illustration at the Moscow University of Graphic Arts, where she obtained a Master’s Degree. She worked as an Art Director for advertising agencies, and as a photojournalist and commercial photographer. After moving to California in 2015, Olga became fascinated with the native plants of Southern California, the botanical gardens in the area, and botanical art. She works in many different techniques, including watercolor, oil, etching, silverpoint and ceramic. Additionally, Olga teaches drawing to children and conducts workshops for adults.

by Janice Sharp and contributing authors Teri Kuwahara, Kathlyn Powell, Beth Stone, and Leslie Walker, posted by Deb Shaw

Estelle DeRidder receiving her award. Photo by Kathlyn Powell, © 2017.

Estelle DeRidder receiving her award. Photo by Kathlyn Powell, © 2017.

The City of Torrance Cultural Arts Commission awarded Estelle DeRidder an Excellence in Arts Award on October 21, 2017, in Visual Arts & Design for her extraordinary work in botanical art for the Madrona Marsh and for bringing-the-outdoors-in with her murals on the walls of the city’s Madrona Marsh Interpretive Center.

Each year the City honors individuals Excellence in Arts Awards in four categories: Dance, Music, Visual Arts & Design, Drama & Theater Arts. Two memorial awards are given as well, named in honor of two distinguished citizens: the Dr. Tom Rische Arts Education Award and the (former Mayor) Katy Geissert Award.

Educational napkin at the award ceremony, with artwork by Estelle DeRidder. Photo by Leslie Walker, © 2017.

Educational napkin at the award ceremony, with artwork by Estelle DeRidder. Photo by Leslie Walker, © 2017.

BAGSC members Teri Kuwahara, Kathlyn (Kat) Powell, Janice Sharp, Beth Stone, and Leslie Walker, and Estelle’s family were on hand to see Estelle accept the award. The City put together a beautiful video about Estelle and the mural project at the Madrona Marsh Nature Preserve. The video was beautifully done and very impressive. BAGSC is planning to show it at our BAGSC Holiday Party on December 9 if possible, so members who weren’t able to attend the ceremony can see it.

After the awards presentation, Kat, Janice and Beth went over to Madrona Marsh to see the progress on Estelle’s mural. (Click on the images below to see them enlarged.)

Leslie Walker (L) and Estelle DeRidder (R). Photo by Teri Kuwahara, © 2017.

Leslie Walker (L) and Estelle DeRidder (R). Photo by Teri Kuwahara, © 2017.

Estelle was awarded a grant from ASBA in 2012 for her Madrona Marsh project. At the 2017 ASBA Conference in San Francisco this past October, ASBA Grants Committee Chairperson Myra Sourkes opened the Grants Presentation with a presentation of Estelle’s work and her accomplishments, with a hearty congratulations from all ASBA members in attendance.

And more Madrona Marsh coverage to come!

Unfortunately, Estelle won’t be able to join us at the BAGSC Holiday Party: a local television station will be interviewing her about the mural on Saturday, December 9. We will find out when the interview will be aired and on which station as soon as possible, and let everyone know.

(Click on the images below to see them enlarged.)

Congratulations, and well-deserved Estelle!

 

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