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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 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 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!

 

by Teri Kuwahara, posted by Deb Shaw

The City of Torrance Cultural Arts Commission has announced their 2017 Excellence in Arts Awards.

The City honors individuals each year in four categories: Dance, Music, Visual Arts & Design, Drama & Theater Arts and two memorial awards named in honor of two distinguished citizens: the Dr. Tom Rische Arts Education Award and the (former Mayor) Katy Geissert Award.

Estelle DeRidder adding details to the mural. Photo by Leslie Walker, © 2017.

Estelle DeRidder adding details to the mural. Photo by Leslie Walker, © 2017.

This year, BAGSC member Estelle DeRidder will be honored with the Visual Arts & Design Award, no doubt for her tireless work at the city’s Madrona Marsh Interpretive Center.

Award Ceremony Details:
Saturday, October 21, 2017
2:00 p.m.
Torrance Cultural Arts Center
Toyota Meeting Hall
3330 Civic Center Drive
Torrance, CA

Light refreshments
Please RSVP to secure seating 310-618-2376

Congratulations Estelle!

by Clara Josephs, posted by Deb Shaw

Leaf in mixed media, © 2017, Rita Hopper.

Leaf in mixed media, © 2017, Rita Hopper.

BAGSC member Rita Hopper exhibited two paintings, including this beautiful leaf in mixed media, in the Tustin Art League member show at the Tustin Senior Center. The exhibition was free and closed September 28, 2017.

Congrats Rita!

Andrew Mitchell (left) and Janice Sharp (right) mark the wall for hanging the paintings.

Andrew Mitchell (left) and Janice Sharp (right) mark the wall for hanging the paintings.

by Janice Sharp and Deb Shaw

The first art exhibition by the Botanical Artist Guild of Southern California in the Brody Botanical Center at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens has been hung… and it is beautiful!

This show, Inspired by California, features plants that are both indigenous to California as well as plants that have become synonymous with California.

Janice Sharp hanging one of the selected artworks.

Janice Sharp hanging one of the selected artworks.

Thirteen of the entrants were selected for hanging. We congratulate Diane Nelson Daly, Estelle DeRidder, Patricia Mark, Terri Munroe, Gilly Schaffer, Deborah Shaw, Mitsuko Schultz, Janice Sharp, Beth Stone, Ellie Tu and Jude Wiesenfeld on their outstanding submissions.

We thank The Huntington for the exhibit space, Jim Folsom for the inspiration that resulted in the exhibition, Robert Hori for the inception and logistics, Andrew Mitchell for the designing and hanging of the exhibit and Melanie Thorpe for all the details.

Andrew Mitchell with final exhibition display.

Andrew Mitchell with final exhibition display.

Inspired by California will run from June 1, 2017 to August 15, 2017.  Current and future exhibitions in the Brody Botanical Center will coincide with events and seasons at The Huntington.

In September, Inspired by Latin America will take the place of the current exhibition. Inspired by Latin America will shown from September 1, 2017 to January 15, 2018. BAGSC member entries will be due no later than August 1, 2017. See the “Call for Entries” page in the “Members Only” section of the BAGSC website for further details.

Inspired by California can be seen with admission to The Huntington during regular business hours. There are no additional charges. The exhibition is in the main lobby area of the Brody Botanical Center. The Huntington is located at: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108.

"Inspired by California" by the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, in the Brody Botanical Center at The Huntington.

“Inspired by California” by the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, in the Brody Botanical Center at The Huntington. Signage about the paintings and information about BAGSC was added after this photo was taken.

posted by Deb Shaw

http://www.bagsc.org/index.php/exhibitions

Descanso Gardens had perfect specimens of California native plants on the demonstration tables, with the botanical and common names on tags.

The most recent of BAGSC’s ongoing exhibitions at the Descanso Gardens opened on Friday May 19, 20017. The theme of the show is California Natives.

On the May 20 and 21 weekend, BAGSC held botanical art demonstrations in the Boddy House in conjunction with the exhibition opening and the Rose Festival at Descanso. Thank you Estelle DeRidder, Mitsuko Schultz and Janice Sharp for demonstrating botanical art and talking with the public.

Upon arrival at the Body House the demonstration artists were presented with fresh-cut California native flowers in vases on our cloth-covered tables. Each flower had a tag printed with its common name as well as its botanical name. Each was a perfect example of the species.

The continuous stream of visitors to the Boddy House were very enthusiastic about the art and the Native Plants on the table.

Docents at the Boddy House were very excited and complementary about our art and enjoyed seeing the change over of art. (They keep tabs on the exhibitions.)

The BAGSC sign at the beginning of the exhibition gives information about our organization and mission.

The BAGSC sign at the beginning of the exhibition gives information about our organization and mission.

The Boddy House at Descanso Gardens is open daily (except Mondays) from 10 am to 4 pm (the gardens are open daily 9-5).

The California Native Plants show runs until May 2018. The next BAGSC Descanso Garden show theme will be Plants from a Japanese Garden and will run from March, 2018 to March, 2019. Entries are due no later than February 12, 2018. Visit the BAGSC Exhibitions page for more details.

Happy painting.

Hanging along wall in the Boddy House at Descanso Gardens.

Hanging along wall in the Boddy House at Descanso Gardens.

by Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, posted by Deb Shaw

Website for "Ko; An Ethnobotanical Guide to Hawaiian Sugarcane Varieties," by Noa Kekuewa Lincoln, PhD., © 2016, University of Hawai'i, Manoa, all rights reserved.

Website for “Ko; An Ethnobotanical Guide to Hawaiian Sugarcane Varieties,” by Noa Kekuewa Lincoln, PhD., © 2016, University of Hawai’i, Manoa, all rights reserved.

Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, will have a pen and ink drawing of Hawaiian Sugar Cane in the forthcoming book Ko; An Ethnobotanical Guide to Hawaiian Sugarcane Varieties. The book will be published by University of Hawaii Press, a nonprofit scholarly publisher.

The author is Noa Kekuewa Lincoln, PhD, Assistant Professor at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa.

About the author of “Ko; An Ethnobotanical Guide to Hawaiian Sugarcane Varieties”
Dr. Noa Kekuewa Lincoln is of native Hawaiian, German, and Japanese decent, born in Kealakekua on Hawai‘i Island. He received his BS in Environmental Engineering from Yale University, and his PhD in Environment and Resources from Stanford University, where his work focused on traditional agricultural development pathways and management strategies. His postdoctoral work examined traditional values and practices of ecosystems for food in Aotearoa. Noa has worked in marine and terrestrial ecosystem restoration and conservation around the Pacific, and has coupled these efforts with cultural and environmental education and community engagement. He has worked on traditional Hawaiian ethnobotany and agriculture and has implemented projects facilitated through a variety of partnerships with community organizations. He is recognized as an emerging expert in Hawaiian crops and cropping systems. His primary interests are in combining traditional and modern knowledge of land management to evaluate social utility, rather than economic, contributions. He is currently a research fellow with Ngai Tahu Research Centre at the University of Canterbury and an Assistant Professor at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa with a focus on Indigenous Crops and Cropping Systems.

by Joan Keesey and Deb Shaw

Eschscholzia californica, California Poppies, watercolor, © Joan Keesey, 2016, all rights reserved.

Eschscholzia californica, California Poppies, watercolor, © Joan Keesey, 2016, all rights reserved.

Joan Keesey will be exhibiting her botanical watercolors at the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants from Saturday, January 21, through Saturday, April 22, 2017.

The exhibition will focus on California native plants blooming in and around the Theodore Payne Foundation and in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Everyone is invited to the opening reception for the exhibition, on Saturday, January 21, 2017, from 1 – 3 pm.

The Theodore Payne Foundation is located at 10459 Tuxford Street, Sun Valley, California 91352, 818.768.1802. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. Theodore Payne is closed Sunday and Monday each week. On-leash dogs are welcome. There is no admission fee.

tpf_single%c2%ad_logoTheodore Payne will be hosting their annual native Winter Plant Sale Thursday – Saturday, January 26 – 28, from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm all three days. Everyone will receive discounts for all three days, plus receive expert advice from Theodore Payne staff and volunteers. Members receive 15 percent off plants, seed and Theodore Payne wear all day. Non-members receive 10 percent off plants, seed and Theodore Payne wear after 11:00 am. Not yet a member? Join at the door! Shop early for best selection.

Bring your own boxes and wagons, see the art exhibition and purchase native California plants.

by Estelle DeRidder and Deb Shaw

Invitation for Estelle DeRidder's Madrona Marsh Nature Center Exhibition, © 2016, Estelle DeRidder.

Invitation for Estelle DeRidder’s Madrona Marsh Nature Center Exhibition, © 2016, Estelle DeRidder.

In 2012, BAGSC member Estelle DeRidder was awarded an education grant from the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) to use in creating reusable plant identification cards featuring California native plant illustrations from the Madrona Marsh Preserve in Torrence, California.

Information about Estelle’s project was presented at the ASBA Annual Meeting and Conference in Denver, Colorado during the ASBA Grant Presentations, October 17, 2014.

Estelle is now exhibiting the complete project at the Madrona Marsh Nature Center. Titled The Flashcard Project: Flora of the Madrona Marsh III, the exhibition runs from December 6, 2016 through January 20, 2017. There will be an opening reception Sunday, December 18, 2016
1:00 – 4:00 pm.

The public is invited and welcome.

The Nature Center at the Madrona Marsh Preserve is located at: 3201 Plaza del Amo, Torrance, CA 90505. Phone: (310) 32-MARSH. The Madrona March is open Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm.

If you are interested in applying for an ASBA grant, please apply by August 1, 2017 (open to ASBA members only). Information and the application can be found on the ASBA’s Grant page on their website.

by Asuka Hishiki, posted by Deb Shaw

Flora Japonica opened mid-September, 2016 at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in London. Before the opening, I personally felt very overwhelmed and was worried about how we would be received. It turned out GREAT! The people at the Kew were so nice and friendly. When Dr. Shirley Sherwood congratulated us at the opening speech, I felt so honored to be a part of the celebrated show.

There is so much to tell about the exhibition. There are, however, so many good writings about the show already available. Instead of summarizing those good reads, I thought I would make a list of the links for you to visit. Meanwhile, I would love to share my thoughts on several specific artworks. This are just my opinions and maybe rather boring ones at that, but I hope you enjoy walking with me through the show.

I have mentioned that these are just my opinions. Keep in mind, my bold statement is this: I think that most Japanese endemic plants are rather unflattering. Meaning that they are not obviously gorgeous like roses, tulips or tropical plants. Maybe this is the case not only with Japanese native plants; perhaps many endemic plants appear very humble looking. Well, really? It could be because these plants are not looked at properly.

Idesia polycarpa, watercolor on paper, © 2016, Akiko Enokido.

Idesia polycarpa, watercolor on paper, © 2016, Akiko Enokido.

Take a look at the watercolor Idesia polycarpa by Akiko Enokido. I think the actual plant (not her painting!) is very modest looking. Its male and female flowers are especially small and plain. However, if you look at it up-close as Akiko did, it is obvious that the flower clusters are very gorgeous! Akiko successfully converted the modest look of the plant into a dynamic figure using her vivid and strong color. The beauty is sometimes there in front of us, but it doesn’t reveal itself until we open our eyes properly. I think as artists we have the wonderful power to help open the secret door, clearing the smoke that hides nature’s beauty.

Speaking of color, I thought many of the artists’ subjects held a very clean but pastel color. I wondered how they achieved their shades. On first look, I thought perhaps the artwork was done in color pencil, but no, it was watercolor. In some parts, I saw tiny, tiny brush strokes. Instead of washing those stitches out, the artists kept them, floating them onto white paper, like a Georges Seurat painting. I couldn’t get an answer about this technique from my fellow artists, so I will tell you when I find out.

Magnolia obovata, watercolor on paper, © 2016, Mieko Konishi.

Magnolia obovata, watercolor on paper, © 2016, Mieko Konishi.

You may have the same question I have: how to portray something huge like a whole tree, or a plant like Magnolia obovata, which has leaves that grow up to 45 cm long and 25 cm wide? Two fantastic artists had the answers for me in this show.

The way Mieko Konishi portrayed Magnolia obovata was awesome! She positioned a main flower right up the center, and from it huge leaves spread in all directions. The leaves are cropped off in the middle. Only the two front leaves show almost the complete leaf shape, but even these leaves are cropped off at the tips. This is a huge painting already, but Mieko uses cropping and composition to indicate that the plant is too big to fit the paper. Her image reminded me the surprise I had when I picked up a Magnolia obovata leaf from the ground. I knew it was big, but seeing the actual leaf and holding it gave me additional amazement.

Pinus x densithunbergii, watercolor on paper, © 2016, Masumi Yamanaka.

Pinus x densithunbergii, watercolor on paper, © 2016, Masumi Yamanaka.

The other example is done by Masumi Yamanaka. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see her Pinus x densithunbergii in person. It was planed to be exhibited at the Japanese embassy in London a few weeks after I visited. This tree is known as the “Miracle Pine”, which survived the devastating tsunami that accompanied the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 and somehow remained standing, even though the entire 70,000-tree pine forest along the beach was uprooted.

I had a privilege, however, to visit her studio in Kew Garden where she works with other official botanical illustrators of Kew. I could go on and on about the visit, but I would like to go back to her tree painting. I wondered how she created the tree painting without the actual tree in front of her. I watched her short documentary about the painting. Yes, she had many many references of the tree. Yes, she visited the actual tree and made the color samples at the site. But if she had had only those references, the tree would not be portrayed as accurately as it is in her artwork. What her painting contains is her experience and knowledge as a botanical illustrator. She has studied hundreds and thousands of plants with her keen observation and has painted them. This wisdom is laid on underneath the image.

I think the time we spend on a painting is not only spent on that specific artwork, but the knowledge we gain remains and accumulates in us as wisdom.

When I walked in the Kew garden and bumped into one of the trees Yamanaka had portrayed, I had a warm sensation as if I had just run into someone I knew.

Lastly, I couldn’t pass up telling you about what I do not know how to explain. Confusing, yes.

Cercidiphyllum magnificum, watercolor on paper, © 2016, Mieko Ishikawa

Cercidiphyllum magnificum, watercolor on paper, © 2016, Mieko Ishikawa.

I just had a “wow” when I saw Mieko Ishikawa’s Cercidiphyllum magnificum. The plant itself is again, very humble looking at first glance. Yet it grabbed my attention immediately. What captured me the most is the perfection of the drawing, The leaves look soft and slightly rounded, and the male and female flowers are delicate, yet lively. It is extremely realistic, yet informative. Even though she includes many details in various sizes and different angles, everything fits fantastically into one frame. In her illustration, I think that Art and Science meets in a precise middle point and keep a golden balance. Well, to be honest with you, I have no background nor knowledge of the science of botany, so I may have no idea what I am talking about. There are just so many things in this one painting to gaze at, to be amazed by, to learn, and questions to pose and think about.

“Good artists copy; great artists steal.” This is a famous quote by Picasso. I simply wish he also told us how to steal it.


The Flora Japonica exhibition is open from 17 September 2016 to 5 March 2017, 10 am to 5:30 pm in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, London, UK. Price is included with entry to the Gardens.

This exhibition includes about one hundred Japanese wild, native, endemic plants, portrayed by 36 of the most eminent contemporary Japanese botanical artists. The exhibition also features historic drawings and paintings by some of Japan’s most revered botanists and artists such as Dr. Tomitaro Makino (1863-1957), Sessai Hattori and Chikusai Kato (Edo period artists 1603-1868).

Additionally, works from Kew’s Illustration and Economic Botany collections also are on display, including an early Japanese botanical illustration, Honzō Zufu by Kanen Iwasaki (1786–1842), an illustrated encyclopaedia of medicinal plants from 1828, and Japanese wood panels by Chikusai Kato (1878), which are made from the wood and framed with the bark of the trees that they depict.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is located at: Kew, Richmond TW9 3AB, United Kingdom, +44 20 8332 5655.

Find information about Flora Japonica on Kew’s website.
Two press releases about the exhibition can be found here, and here.

Purchase the Flora Japonica catalogue.

Read the DAIWA Foundation article about the exhibition.

Read about the Flora Japonica exhibition on Asuka’s website and view Asuka’s artworks and exhibitions.

by Deb Shaw

Aristolochia gigantea, ink on paper, Lesley Randall, © 2013, all rights reserved

Aristolochia gigantea, ink on paper, Lesley Randall, © 2013, all rights reserved

The 14th International Exhibition of Botanical Art and Illustration by The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation has been traveling around the United States for the past two years. Its final stop is at the Petaluma Arts Center in Petaluma, California, for a botanical art exhibition entitled Floribunda, which will run from October 16, 2016 through December 11, 2016.

Floribunda is a celebration of all things floral, featuring the 36 artists from nine countries in The 14th Hunt exhibition, including BAGSC members Leslie Randall and Deborah Shaw. Additionally, the Petaluma Arts Center will feature the work of Aimee Baldwin, Evan Kolker and Randy Strong—three Bay Area artists who create three-dimensional representations of flowers.

 

“This exhibition is designed as a source of inspiration and an invitation to see the natural world around us in distinct ways, to illuminate the relationship between art and science,” explained Petaluma Arts Center Exhibitions Manager Kim Chigi. “With Botany as one of the sciences, we are excited about the juxtaposition of traditional botanical illustration with the contemporary three-dimensional creations, working in tandem, to explore the connections between the creativity of both artist and nature.”

The Petaluma Arts Center will host a series of events related to the exhibition, including artists’ talks, studio workshops, and botanical art demonstrations:

  • Saturday, November 5: Botanical Art Demonstrations with BAGSC member Nina Antze, and Martha Kemp, Lucy Martin and Vi Strain, 1:00 pm, FREE
  • Thursday, November 10: Artists’ Talk with Evan Kolker and Randy Strong, 7:00 pm; doors open at 6:30 pm.
  • Sunday, November 12 -13: Watercolor Botanical Workshop with Amber Turner
Nina Antze, Martha Kemp, Lucy Martin and Vi Strain, will demonstrate botanical art in a variety of media starting at 1:00 pm on Saturday, November 5, 2016. The demonstrations are free.

Nina Antze, Martha Kemp, Lucy Martin and Vi Strain, will demonstrate botanical art in a variety of media starting at 1:00 pm on Saturday, November 5, 2016. The demonstrations are free.

Details and ticket information can be found on the Events page on the Petaluma Arts Center’s website. To arrange for group visits or school tours, email or call Kim at (707) 762-5600 x104.

Following the 14th International Exhibition at the Hunt, the travel exhibition went to the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art—Loretto and was on display from October 18 through December 6, 2014. The exhibition then traveled to the Fellows Riverside Gardens in Youngstown, Ohio where it was on display until January 10, 2016.

The Petaluma Arts Center is located in the historic train depot at 230 Lakeville St, Petaluma, California, 94952. Gallery Hours are: Thursday through Monday, 11 am-5 pm. The gallery is closed Tuesday, Wednesday and holidays.

Prosopis pubescens seed pod (Screwbean Mesquite, or Tornillo), watercolor and graphite on honey vellum, © 2012, Deborah Shaw, all rights reserved.

Prosopis pubescens seed pod (Screwbean Mesquite, or Tornillo), watercolor and graphite on honey vellum, © 2012, Deborah Shaw, all rights reserved.

Admission to the Petaluma Arts Center is $5 for general admission and $4 for seniors. Students, teachers, military, and PAC members are free.

by Sally Jacobs, posted by Deb Shaw

E-invite for Sally Jacobs exhibition, Larger than Life at TAG Gallery.

E-invite for Sally Jacobs exhibition, Larger than Life at TAG Gallery.

Sally Jacobs will be giving an “Artists’ Panel” for her exhibition, Larger than Life this Saturday, October 8, 2016 at 3:00 pm at the TAG Gallery in Bergamot Station Arts Center. It’s a great way to see the show and hear about her approach, technique, and more.

The Los Angeles Times gave the show a great review! See the LA Times review of Larger than Life here: http://www.latimes.com/home/la-hm-sally-jacobs-20160926-snap-story.html

The gallery is located at:
TAG Gallery
Bergamot Station Arts Center
2525 Michigan Ave., D3, Santa Monica, CA 90404
310.829.9556
Contact: gallery@taggallery.net  |  http://www.taggallery.net

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