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by Suzanne Kuuskmae, posted by Deb Shaw

Suzanne Kuuskmae will be starting private botanical drawing/painting lessons next week in her expanded studio area. Destination: Art also has a beautiful exhibit, Spring Fling, on view this month, Thursdays – Saturdays, from 11am – 5pm, and Sundays, 12pm – 4pm.

Destination: Art hosts workshops in the gallery. On May 8, 2018 there will be a meeting and afternoon paint-in for the Paletteers Art Group. Information about classes, workshops and exhibit space for individuals or groups of artists is available on the Destination: Art website: Destination-art.net

Destination: Art is located at 1815 West 213th Street, #135, Torrance, California 90501. Check it out!

 

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 Nina Antze, posted by Deb Shaw

Sketching Bonsai Workshop May 12, Douglas Charles © 2018.

Sketching Bonsai Workshop May 12, Douglas Charles © 2018.

The Northern California Society of Botanical Artists is holding a workshop taught by Lee McCaffree, “Sketching Bonsai in Pen and Ink.” The workshop has been rescheduled to
Saturday, May 12, 2018,  10:00am -3:00pm
in Menlo Park, California

Enjoy a day of sketching Bonsai trees among an extensive collection of plants in Menlo Park. Learn about the basic structure of this art form, and how to capture the essence of an individual specimen(s) in pen and ink. This workshop is intended to be fun and relaxing—depicting the trees overall design instead of the exact details. Everyone is welcome.

The cost is $30 for NCalSBA members; $40 for non–members. The workshop cost includes a donation to NCalSBA and the Bonsai Garden.

There are still a few seats available. To register, and for more information about the workshop (including a materials list), contact D. Hunter.

 

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 Jude Wiesenfeld, posted by Deb Shaw

Magnolia grandiflora, gouache on paper, © Carrie Di Costanzo

Magnolia grandiflora, gouache on paper, © Carrie Di Costanzo

Carrie Di Constanzo will be teaching a BAGSC-sponsored workshop, entitled Creating Botanical Paintings with Impact Using Gouache.

Participants in this workshop will learn how gouache is used to create realistic and detailed botanical paintings. Explore the benefits of using gouache and the similarities and differences between gouache and watercolor. Demonstrations will include using light washes of gouache, layering of colors with a dry brush, mixing of colors, glazing, and using semi-transparent and semi-opaque gouache. The class will be encouraged to experiment with gouache using small botanical subjects.

This workshop is suitable for artists who have previous experience with gouache, as well as those who have always wanted to try this wonderful opaque medium. Gouache will be supplied by the instructor, and a small fee will be charged to participants to share in the cost of the supplies. The workshop will be held at:
The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens,
Botanical Education Center, Allied Technical Lab
Wednesday – Friday, April 11 – 13, 2018
9:30 am – 4:00 pm
The Huntington is located at: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108.

The cost for BAGSC Members is $300; non-members may also attend for $350. Maximum Registration: 16 students.

To register: Send a check in the full amount, made out to BAGSC, with Carrie Di Constanzo on the subject line. Please mail the check to: BAGSC, PO Box 50166, Pasadena, California 91115.

Bring your lunch, or purchase lunch at any of the cafés on The Huntington grounds.

Questions about the Workshop? Contact the BAGSC Education Chair.

More information, materials list and map are available on the BAGSC website.

About the instructor

Carrie Di Costanzo worked as a fashion illustrator before shifting her focus to botanical art. Group exhibitions include the 14th Annual International through the 20th Annual International with the ASBA/HSNY (receiving the Ursus Award in\2013); “Following in the Bartrams’ Footsteps” and “Weird, Wild, and Wonderful” and the 14th through 19th Annual Botanical Art Exhibit at Filoli (receiving the Roth Award in 2013 and the Jurors’ Award in 2014). Her work is held in the Botanical Collections at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, and private collections.

by Janice Sharp, posted by Deb Shaw
This weekend, (February 24 and 25) is the Bonsai-a-thon at the Brody Botanical Center, The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California, from 10 am – 5 pm each day.

Andrew Mitchell, The Huntington, hangs the final painting in the "“Portraits of Bonsai from The Huntington Collection” in the Brody Botanical Center. Photo © 2018, Olga Ryabstova.

Andrew Mitchell, The Huntington, hangs the final painting in the ““Portraits of Bonsai from The Huntington Collection” in the Brody Botanical Center. Photo © 2018, Olga Ryabstova.

BAGSC’s “Portraits of Bonsai from The Huntington Collection” exhibition is on display in the Brody Botanical Center in conjunction with this event. The exhibition includes 12 artworks by ten BAGSC artists in a variety of media, including watercolor, graphite, ink, etching, colored pencil and oil on paper. Participating BAGSC artists include: Terri Munroe, Tania Norris, Veronica Raymond, Olga Ryabtsova, Mitsuko Schultz, Gilly Shaeffer, Janice Sharp, Deborah Shaw, Anna Suprunenko, and Jude Wiesenfeld.

BAGSC members have been invited to participate in the Bonsai-a-thon weekend, demonstrating art/drawing of Bonsais. If you are interested in participating contact Olga Ryabtsova to coordinate your participation. Artists should be prepared to be demonstrate from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Saturday February 24 and/or Sunday February 25.

Bring friends and family and come soak in the world of Bonsai. Southern California Bonsai masters will be there, sharing their knowledge and passion for the art form in this annual event that includes exhibits, demonstrations, prize drawings, a “Bonsai Bazaar,” and a live auction at 3 p.m. each day. Proceeds from the event support the Golden State Bonsai Collection at The Huntington.

The Huntington is located at: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108. Parking is free, and the Bonsai-a-thon event is free; however, general admission is required. The Bonsai-a-thon and “Portraits of Bonsai from The Huntington Collection” exhibition take place in the Brody Botanical Center.

by Deborah Shaw

#ColorOurCollectionsIt’s #ColorOurCollections week! From February 5-9, 2018, libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions around the world are sharing free coloring sheets and books based on materials in their collections.

This year, 162 participating institutions are sharing free coloring content. Download coloring books from all over the world at http://library.nyam.org/colorourcollections/ in a variety of subjects, including: botany, natural history, entomology, anatomy, Shakespeare, and more! Find the original and use the opportunity to “color from the master” or create you own unique coloring page.

Join the festival online through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Color your choice of page(s) and then post your creations with the hashtag #ColorOurCollections

#ColorOurCollections was launched by The New York Academy of Medicine Library in 2016.

Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) #ColorOurCollectionsThe Bioheritage Diversity Library (see the previous post in this BAGSC News blog) is one of the participants. Their coloring pages can be downloaded from either the Color Our Collections website, or the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.

Happy coloring!

by Jude Wiesenfeld, posted by Deb Shaw

Ginseng, watercolor on vellum. Denise Walser-Kolar, © 2017, all rights reserved.

Ginseng, watercolor on vellum. Denise Walser-Kolar, © 2017, all rights reserved.

Denise Walser-Kolar will be teaching the first BAGSC-sponsored workshop of 2018, entitled Roots and Leaves on Vellum or Watercolor Paper.

This workshop will focus on drawing and painting roots and leaves, starting with exercises observing and drawing roots and leaves. The balance of the workshop will concentrate on painting several small leaf studies. Students may work on either vellum or paper. Vellum will be available to purchase from instructor; students wishing to work on paper will bring their preferred materials.

The class also will cover mixing greens, creating dark shadow colors, and mixing light delicate colors necessary for painting roots. Denise is known for her thorough demonstrations, discussion of materials and techniques, hands-on time for developing skills, and lots of individual attention and feedback.

The workshop will be held at:
The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens,
Botanical Education Center, Allied Technical Lab
Wednesday – Friday, February 7 – 9, 2018
9:30 am – 4:00 pm
The Huntington is located at: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108.

The cost for BAGSC Members is $300; non-members may also attend for $350. Maximum Registration: 16 students.

To register: Send a check in the full amount, made out to BAGSC, with Denise Walser-Kolar on the subject line. Please mail the check to: BAGSC, PO Box 50166, Pasadena, California 91115.

Bring your lunch, or purchase lunch at any of the cafés on The Huntington grounds.

Questions about the Workshop? Contact the BAGSC Education Chair.

More information, materials list and map are available on the BAGSC website.

About the instructor

Denise Walser-Kolar began her journey into Botanical art in 2003, after receiving a botanical art class from her parents as a birthday gift. She has a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration from the College of Visual Arts in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Denise teaches botanical art workshops across the country and currently works for the American Society of Botanical Artists as the Annual Meeting & Program Coordinator. She received the Diane Bouchier Artist Award for Excellence in Botanical Art in 2015 and received a Silver-Gilt medal from the Royal Horticultural Society in 2011 for her paintings of the hazelnuts of Badgersett Research Farm. Her work is held in the permanent collection of the Hunt institute for Botanical Documentation.

from the Los Angeles County Arboretum Education Dept., posted by Deb Shaw

Cristina Baltayian will resume classes in botanical art starting in January, 2108. These classes will be exploring color pencil, graphite, pen and ink, and watercolor on various papers, vellum and other surfaces. The emphasis will be on plant observation, drawing, composition, color theory and matching, and medium techniques.

Four (4) Tuesdays per session per month                                                                        
10:00am-2:00pm (including lunch break) / Oak Room

January            9, 16, 23, 30
February          6, 13, 20, 27
March             6, 13, 20, 27
April                3, 10, 17, 24
May                 1, 8, 15, 22
June                 5, 12, 19, 26

$275 Arboretum members per month / $295 non-members per month (includes Arboretum Admission)

To Register please call the Education Department at 626.821.4623.

The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is located at 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007.

by Gilly Shaeffer, posted by Deb Shaw

The Califfornia Native Plant Society (CNPS) 2018 Conservation Conference will take place February 1 – 3, 2018 at the LAX Marriott in Los Angeles. This event, which takes place once every three years, is an important opportunity to bring together the best minds in the field to share research, gather inspiration, and collaborate on new ways to protect California’s precious natural resources.

This year, CNPS expects more than 1,000 attendees, including consulting biologists, agency staff, researchers, students, conservationists, and environmental professionals. The Conference will feature inspiring keynote speakers, two days of pre-conference workshops and field trips, more than 300 presenters across 24 sessions, a special student session, networking events, and art, poetry, music and photography exhibits!

To attend the conference and see the exhibits, register online by January 14.

BAGSC members in the CNPS exhibition include:
Ellie  Yun-Hui Tu
Kim Garrison Means
Nina  Antze
Donald  Davidson
Estelle DeRidder
Susan Jackson
Joan Keesey
Lee McCaffree
Olga Ryabtsova
Mitsuko Schultz
Gilly Shaeffer
Janice Sharp
Deborah Shaw
Jude Wiesenfeld

Additional artists include:
Aaron  Arthur
Marie Brennan
Valerie Cohen
Erica Cordero
Tamren  Dong
Justina Freel
Maria Cecilia Freeman
Lesley Goren
Nicole  Hempel
Erin E. Hunter
Asisa Madian
Mark  Nunez
Melissa Orozco
Patricia M. Palavecino
Rita Sabbagh
Diego Tamayo
Cara Wilco

Additionally, BAGSC Members Olga Ryabtsova and Gilly Shaeffer will be teaching two botanical art workshops, open to conference attendees and the public. Read more about the workshops in a previous story on the blog.

Congratulations to all the participating artists!

by Jude Wiesenfeld, posted by Deb Shaw

If you were looking forward to taking botanical art classes in 2018, here is the preliminary line up:

Denise Walser-KolarRoots and Leaves on Vellum or Watercolor Paper
February 7 – 9, 2018
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
$300 members/$350 non-members
 
Carrie DiCostanzo, Introduction to Creating Botanical Paintings with Impact using Gouache
Dates to be decided: April 11 –13 OR April 18 – 20, 2018
Location to be decided   
$300 members/$350 non-members
Lesley RandallPen and Ink Drawing of the Aristolochiaceae including a Botanical Talk
May 10 – 12, 2018
Oak Room, Los Angeles County Arboretum 
$300 members/$350 non-members
 
Robert McNeil, subject to be announced
October 3 – 5, 2018
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
$300 members/$350 non-members
The workshops above have been posted on the BAGSC website under ‘Classes’; and on the calendar on the BAGSC ‘Members Only’ website page. Stay tuned for more information on the website, on this blog, and in email blasts to BAGSC members. Additional workshops, lectures, field trips and meeting programs will be announced soon.

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 Caitlin Thompson, sent by Nina Antze, posted by Deb Shaw

El Dorado Arts Council, located in Placerville, is currently seeking artists for a gallery exhibition entitled Native Roots, which will open Friday, March 16, 2018, and run through Sunday, May 20, 2018.

El Dorado County is located in the Sierra foothills, between South Lake Tahoe and Sacramento.

El Dorado County is located in the Sierra foothills, between South Lake Tahoe and Sacramento.

The exhibition will feature botanical artworks representing plants that are native to El Dorado County, with a special focus on the rare and federally listed plants in the Pine Hill Ecological Preserve. A full color catalogue will also be created depicting all artworks in the show.

The only requirement for artwork is that the plant(s) depicted must be native to El Dorado County, and preferably be a rare species or variety found within the Pine Hill Preserve. Pine Hill Preserve’s rare plants are a collection of eight species, three of which are endemic to the Pine Hill region and found nowhere else in the world. Another two species are nearly endemic, with only a few small colonies of the plants found elsewhere.

El Dorado County has more than 7,000 native plant species:

More information on the ecology of El Dorado County:

Pine Hill Preserve and the El Dorado chapter of the California Native Plant Society are enthusiastic about this project and have committed to partnering with us. Both organizations would be able to help guide the artists towards images and names of plants within the preserve, or the county as a whole.

Deadlines for participating in this exhibition:

Intent to enter artwork: Thursday, December 21, 2017

  • On or before this date, email Caitlin Thompson at caitlin@eldoradoartscouncil.org, with “Native Roots Artist” in the subject line.
  • Include your name (first and last), phone number, the best method to contact you, and the number of artworks you anticipate entering. If possible also include the sizes of the pieces.

Deadline for artwork submission: Monday, February 5, 2018

  • High resolution digital images of your artwork must be provided to the El Dorado Arts Council to be included in the catalogue.
  • Not all pieces are guaranteed to be accepted.

Notification of acceptance for the exhibition: Friday, February 9, 2018

Deadline for artwork drop off: Tuesday, March 13, 2018

  • If you have questions or concerns regarding getting your artwork to the gallery do not hesitate to send an e-mail.

At the end of the exhibition, individual arrangements will be made for artwork pickup.

If you wish to be part of Native Roots or have any questions, contact Caitlin Thompson at caitlin@eldoradoartscouncil.org or call (530) 295-3496.

For more information about El Dorado Arts Council, visit www.eldoradoartscouncil.org

by Ted Tegart, Education Manager at the LA Arboretum and Deb Shaw

In May, 2018, BAGSC will be exhibiting an adjunct exhibition of trees in public places, in conjunction with the exhibition of “Out of the Woods: Celebrating Trees in Public Gardens: The Third New York Botanical Garden Triennial.”

Trees at the LA Arboretum. © 2016, LA Arboretum.

Trees at the LA Arboretum. © 2016, LA Arboretum.

If you are currently working on a tree painting, Dr. Jerrold Turney, plant pathologist, certified arborist, and general tree wizard will be giving a lecture and tour about “Tree Identification” at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden on:

Saturday, December 9th, 2017
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
$25 Members / $35 Non-Members (includes Arboretum admission)
To Register please call the Education Department at 626.821.4623 or pay at the class

Familiarize yourself with one of the most diverse urban forests in the United States. Get to know the trees of Southern California! Get to know your local trees! This two hour lecture covers 15 – 20 popular tree species, and is followed by a walk in the Arboretum to meet the trees you’ve just learned about.

Dr. Turney will cover how to identify trees, their growth habit, their native country, how they should be cared for, any common diseases or insect pests that attack them, and the best place in the Southern California garden to plant them.

About Dr. Jerrold Turney
Dr. Turney has served as the curator of the camellia gardens at the Huntington Library and Botanic Gardens, a research horticulturist at the Los Angeles County Arboretum, and is currently the plant pathologist for the Department of Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures for the County of Los Angeles.

The LA Arboretum is located at: 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007, 626.821.3222.

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