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By Gilly Shaeffer, posted by Deb Shaw

Matt Ritter talking with Diane Nelson Daly about her watercolor of Bauhinia x blakeana, Hong Kong Orchid Tree.

Matt Ritter talking with Diane Nelson Daly about her watercolor of Bauhinia x blakeana, Hong Kong Orchid Tree.

The Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC) celebrated its 20th Anniversary on August 26, 2017 with a three-event program held at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. The late afternoon program started in the Arboretum Library with a tour of our current exhibition, Illustrating the Urban Forest: 20 Years of Botanical Art. Following a welcome from LA Arboretum Librarian Susan Eubank and BAGSC President Janice Sharp, our guest speaker, Matt Ritter, led the exhibit tour and called on several BAGSC artists to join him in discussing their paintings.

From the exhibition, BAGSC members and guests went to Ayres Hall at the Arboretum for Matt’s keynote presentation on the trees of Southern California. We were grateful to have Matt, a botanist, tree expert and very engaging speaker, share his knowledge of trees and take us on a tour of the urban forest. His presentation shed light on many issues that affect trees in our Southern California environment, as well as focusing on those that do well in our climate, neighborhoods, streets and parks.

BAGSC member Terri Munroe played beautiful harp music to accompany our dinner on the Peacock Café patio.

BAGSC member Terri Munroe played beautiful harp music to accompany our dinner on the Peacock Café patio.

After Matt’s presentation, BAGSC members and guests meandered over to the Peacock Café patio. As members and guests arrived on the patio, we were welcomed by heavenly harp music by BAGSC member, Terri Munroe, and a magnificent view of the setting sun casting a golden light over our dinner celebration. Members and guests checked out a table display of our 20-year history in photographs, past BAGSC newsletters and other memorabilia from group events.

Before beginning a delicious dinner, we heard a few words from a letter sent by Olga Eysymontt about the beginnings of our group, and listened to fun reminiscences of early times in BAGSC by Leslie Walker (a former BAGSC president). Janice Sharp (current BAGSC president) spoke about what the group is doing now and our plans for the future, including exhibitions, workshops and collaborations with various public gardens in Southern California.

An elegant and delicious dinner on the patio of the Peacock Café.

An elegant and delicious dinner on the patio of the Peacock Café.

Later during the dinner program, I had the pleasure of expressing the group’s deepest appreciation on behalf of BAGSC members to three members who have made outstanding contributions to our group over the years.

The first person to be mentioned was Tania Marien. She was responsible for starting our BAGSC newsletter, and was editor for a number of years. Her selfless spirit and dedication to botanical art found further expression when she became one of the main organizers for the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) 2008 Annual Conference which was held at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. In 2015, Tania played a major role again as a key organizer of the ASBA “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” Symposium which also was held at The Huntington. Her tireless efforts have increased awareness about plants and botanical art in Southern California and around the world.

We are also grateful for the contributions made by Deborah Shaw to furthering people’s awareness of botanical art and the role of our BAGSC organization. Deb has been instrumental in helping our group become acquainted with current digital technologies. Some of her accomplishments include creating the BAGSC Blog and the beautiful BAGSC website. She has been an extraordinary force in keeping our membership well informed about BAGSC events and ASBA events. She was also a key organizer of the ASBA Annual Conference of 2008 and the ASBA “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” Symposium of 2015. It is hard to imagine how Deb manages to keep our group well informed while also creating paintings that draw great admiration.

And last but not least, our Tania Norris deserves a big thank you for outstanding contributions she has made to BAGSC and botanical art. Tania helped to get the “ball rolling” which led to the 2008 ASBA Annual Conference being held at the The Huntington. She helped in many ways to make the first ASBA Conference held in LA a big success. Tania was also a key organizer for the 2015 ASBA “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” Symposium held at The Huntington. Her selfless efforts have helped to lay the foundation for a special collaboration between BAGSC and The Huntington Brody Botanical Center. Her love for botanical art and her generous support have helped in establishing Los Angeles as a great place for this art form to thrive.

A big and heartfelt thank you to the many others who also have contributed to BAGSC and botanical art over the last 20 years. The truth is, we could not have reached this 20-year milestone without everyone’s contributions and support, too numerous to name.

We could not have had this lovely event without the help of BAGSC member, Jan Clouse and her husband, Charles, who designed the printed post cards and invitations for this 20th celebration. Additional thanks go to Cristina Baltayian for designing and creating the floral centerpieces for the tables. Thank you to Terri Munroe, for volunteering to play music for the dinner, which added a special magic to our evening. And, of course, a heartfelt thank you to Susan Eubank and the LA Arboretum—one of our first botanical homes and an avid supporter of BAGSC, plants, and botanical art.

Most importantly, thank you to all our dedicated members and supporters for all you have done during this 20-year period to make us the strong and vibrant group we are today. We gratefully look forward to the next 20 years.

P.S. from BAGSC members: A big thank you to Gilly Shaeffer, who served as BAGSC President for many years, and volunteered to chair our 20th Anniversary Celebration committee.

Click any of the circles to see the slide show and the captions:

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by Janice Sharp, posted by Deb Shaw

Artwork hanging above the card catalog in the Arboretum Library. Artists are: (L to R) Diane Nelson Daly, Deborah Shaw, and Estelle DeRidder. Photo by Janice Sharp, © 2017.

Artwork hanging above the card catalog in the Arboretum Library. Artists are: (L to R) Diane Nelson Daly, Deborah Shaw, and Estelle DeRidder. Photo by Janice Sharp, © 2017.

Illustrating the Urban Forest: 20 Years of Botanical Art, is now open at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden. The exhibition, featuring Southern Californian urban trees, is now hanging in the Arboretum’s library and includes 29 artworks by 17 BAGSC artists. The exhibition is being held in conjunction with BAGSC’s 20th anniversary celebration.

Photo by Janice Sharp, © 2017.

Photo by Janice Sharp, © 2017.

BAGSC artists in the exhibition include: Diane Nelson Daly, Estelle DeRidder, Cynthia Jackson, Susan Jackson, Clara Josephs, Suzanne Kuuskmae, Patricia A. Mark, Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, Terri Munroe, Marilyn Anne Parino, Veronica Raymond, Olga Ryabtsova, Mitsuko Schultz, Gilly Shaeffer, Janice Sharp, Deborah Shaw, and Jude Wiesenfeld.

Illustrating the Urban Forest: 20 Years of Botanical Art will run from July 6, 2017 to September 28, 2017.

A collage of artwork in the exhibition in The Arboretum Library. Photo collage by Janice Sharp, © 2017.

A collage of artwork in the exhibition in The Arboretum Library. Photo collage by Janice Sharp, © 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join BAGSC members for our 20th Anniversary Celebration at The Arboretum

On Saturday, August 26, BAGSC will celebrate their 20th Anniversary. The program for the celebration will be:

4:00 – 4:45 p.m.
“Illustrating the Urban Forest: 20 Years of Botanical Art” Exhibition by BAGSC Members • Tour of the exhibition includes light refreshments and comments by the artists and Matt Ritter, our guest speaker.

5:00 – 5:45 p.m.
Presentation by Matt Ritter, botanist and author of A Californian’s Guide to the Trees Among Us

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Buffet Dinner • Highlights of BAGSC’s 20-year history

BAGSC members and their guests are invited to the programs and the dinner for $60 per person. Admission to The Arboretum is free; please see the Visitor’s Center attendant for free admission to the Arboretum Gardens for BAGSC guests.

Please email Gilly Shaeffer to RSVP with your name, phone number and the number in your party. Gilly will send an email reply to let you know where to send your check, payable to BAGSC, by August 15.

Los Angeles County Arboretum members and others who would like to attend only the exhibition tour and Matt Ritter presentation (but not the dinner) are welcome to join us for that part of the program. Arboretum members are $10; non-members are $15, payable at the door. There is no additional charge for Arboretum admission.

The 2017 Summer/Fall issue of The Arboretum's magazine has a page featuring the upcoming exhibitions in The Arboretum's library.

The 2017 Summer/Fall issue of The Arboretum’s magazine has a page featuring the upcoming exhibitions in The Arboretum’s library.

The Urban Forest exhibition can be seen with admission to The Arboretum during regular business hours in The Arboretum’s Library. There are no additional charges. The Arboretum is located at: 301 North Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia CA 91007-2697.

by Leslie Walker, posted by Deb Shaw

The background and basic plant shapes are blocked in. Notes and reference photos are taped on the beginnings of the mural.

The background and basic plant shapes are blocked in. Notes and reference photos are taped on the beginnings of the mural. Photo by Leslie Walker, © 2017.

BAGSC member Estelle DeRidder has been painting a mural at the Madrona Marsh Preserve and Nature Center in Torrance, California. She has been working on the wall for the past couple of weeks, but has done a great deal of planning previously.

I have been following the progress of the mural. The first time I saw it, the background was in and Estelle was beginning to paint in the big plants, but I couldn’t take any pictures as I had forgotten my iPad.

This past weekend, there were many more plants blocked in, and places were earmarked where more plants would go.

I will be keeping everyone up-to-date about Estelle’s botanical mural as the work progresses. More plants will continue to be blocked in, after which details will be added, including insects, animals and birds.

You can visit Estelle and the mural at the Madrona Marsh Preserve and Nature Center in Torrance, California. The Madrona Marsh is located at 3201 Plaza del Amo, Torrance, CA 90503, 310-782-3989.

Another section of the mural, with reference photos. Photo by Leslie Walker, © 2017.

Another section of the mural, with reference photos. Photo by Leslie Walker, © 2017.

The Madrona Marsh is open free to the public, Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, excluding holidays. Because most of the Marsh is staffed by volunteers, and because weather can be a factor, the times the Marsh and Nature Center is open is subject to change. Please call (310) 782-3989 before visiting to make sure the Marsh is open. 

Another section of the mural. Photo by Leslie Walker, © 2017.

Another section of the mural. Photo by Leslie Walker, © 2017.

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.

by Nancy Beckham, posted by Deb Shaw

Artwork on postcard: Slipper Orchid Maudiae, © 2017, Kathy Morgan

Artwork on postcard: Slipper Orchid Maudiae, © 2017, Kathy Morgan

The Botanical Art and Illustration Class of the Los Angeles County Arboretum is proud to announce their Second ARTboretum Art show, an annual art exhibit and sale to be held Friday April 28 through Sunday, April 30 from 10 am – 4:30 pm, and 10:00 am until 2:00 pm on Sunday. Last year’s first event was an amazing success, with more than 60 works of framed art available for purchase, demonstrations, a reception, and sales of beautiful cards and prints of the artists work. More than 700 people attended this three-day event.

ARTboretum is back this year, with exciting hands-on demonstrations so the public can experience the thrill of drawing and painting plants. Framed or unframed originals and fine art giclées, cards and prints of the work will be available for purchase just before Mothers’ Day. The artists will be on hand to welcome the public and to share their knowledge and love of their art. A reception for the artists will be held on Saturday, April 29 from 1 – 3 pm in the Oak Room.

The LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is located at 301 North Baldwin Avenue in Arcadia. Hope to see you at this exciting event in April.

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 Susan Eubank, posted by Deb Shaw

Peacock! Plant! The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden is hosting an Open Art Exhibits Call at an:
Artists’ Open House at the Gallery in the Arboretum Library 
Saturday, January 14, 2016, 1-4 p.m., and
Saturday, January 28, 2016, 1-4 p.m.

Logo for the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Gardens.

Logo for the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden.

There’s a new art space in town and the Arboretum Library is looking for artists. This open house is to encourage artists of all media to view the newly renovated Arboretum Library exhibit space and the Arboretum grounds for inspiration. Details of exhibit requirements will be discussed at the open house.

The first exhibition will run March 1 – June 30, 2017 and will use the word “Peacock” as the inspirational word for the exhibition. All media will be considered.

The second exhibition will be from October 1 – December 30, 2017 and will use plants as the theme. All media will be considered.

Deadline for art submissions for both shows is February 11, 2017. Proposals to exhibit should include at least three (3) digital scans or images of the proposed art, no larger than a total of 9 MB, submitted via email to Susan Eubank. A jury of art and plant professionals will choose the exhibiting artists and artworks. Artists will be notified by February 15, 2017. Solo shows or collaborative groups will be preferred.

Past exhibits in the Arboretum Library include: Karen Hochman Brown’s Kaleidoscopes, the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, and a Multicultural Weaving Exhibit. The Library contains a comprehensive collection of resources on gardening, botany, California native plants, and environmental issues as these subjects relate to the plants native to and planted in Southern California. This includes books, e-books, magazines, government documents, pamphlets, and audio-visual materials.

Light refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP to the Arboretum Librarian, Susan Eubank, by email, or by calling 626-821-3213 to attend the open house or to ask questions about this open exhibit call. BAGSC members may contact Janice Sharp with questions or comments; Janice is BAGSC’s liaison with the LA Arboretum.

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

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 Estelle DeRidder, posted by Deb Shaw

As part of the 9th California Island Symposium, the Island Art Exhibition now moves from the Ventura Beach Marriott to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

The public is invited to the opening reception of the Island Art Exhibition at the Pritzlaff Conservation Center at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden on October 11 from 6 – 7:30 pm. Guests will be able to enjoy the art and views of the Channel Islands. Light appetizers and refreshments will be served. The event is free, but registration is required. The exhibition will be on display at the Garden from October 11 through November 6, 2016.

Plantanus racemosa, California Sycamore, Watercolor by Mitsuko Schultz, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Plantanus racemosa, California Sycamore, Watercolor by Mitsuko Schultz, © 2016, all rights reserved.

First place went to an acrylic painting by Marcia Burtt that depicts Prisoners Harbor on Santa Cruz Island. Nicole Strasburg won second place with a gouache etching of Scorpion Valley on Santa Cruz Island. Third place winner Estelle DeRidder used colored pencil to illustrate a native Toyon. An honorable mention was awarded to Mitsuko Schultz for her watercolor of a California Sycamore.

Registration and information for the opening reception at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is available on their website.

About the Island Art Exhibition:
The Island Art Exhibition explores creative practices at the intersection of art and science as a component of the California Islands Symposium. The Islands Symposia have been held every five years since 1965, and present recent work in all disciplines of natural, environmental, and cultural science on the California Islands, which include all of the islets, rocks, and islands off the Pacific coast of California and Baja California, Mexico. This juried art exhibition encourages a greater understanding and appreciation of the unique California Islands. The display features original paintings, watercolors, and pen and ink drawings that reflect the beauty of the islands.

About the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden:
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a 78-acre nonprofit educational and scientific institution that conserves California’s native plants through gardens, research, education, and sustainable practices. The Garden was founded in 1926 and is one of the nation’s oldest botanical gardens focused exclusively on native plants.

by Deb Shaw

Hylocereus undatus pitahayas, Pitaya or Dragon Fruit, watercolor by Diane Nelson Daly, © 2016. The dragon fruit is the fruit of a cactus species indigenous to the Americas. The fruit is sweet and crunchy with a flavor that is a cross between kiwi and pear.

Hylocereus undatus pitahayas, Pitaya or Dragon Fruit, watercolor by Diane Nelson Daly, © 2016. The dragon fruit is the fruit of a cactus species indigenous to the Americas. The fruit is sweet and crunchy with a flavor that is a cross between kiwi and pear.

Cornucopia, a botanical art exhibition of all things edible by the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC) will open Friday, September 23 in the Ecke Building at the San Diego Botanic Garden (SDBG). The exhibit runs from September 23 – November 18, and includes 47 artworks by 21 BAGSC artists, illustrating the diverse plants that people use all over the world for food, drink and flavorings. The paintings are accompanied by descriptions, stories or recipes written by the artists.

Broccoli, watercolor by Asuka Hishiki, © 2016.

Broccoli, watercolor by Asuka Hishiki, © 2016.

The opening reception will be Friday, September 23, from 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm.  The public is invited; the exhibition is free with paid admission or membership.

Artists in the exhibition include: Bonnie Born Ash, Nancy Beckham, Jan Clouse, Diane Nelson Daly, Estelle DeRidder, Asuka Hishiki, Cynthia Jackson, Susan Jackson, Clara Josephs, Teresa Kuwahara, Patricia A. Mark, Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, Kathy Morgan, Terri Munroe, Alyse Ochniak, Mitsuko Schultz, Janice Sharp, Deborah Shaw, Ellie Yun-Hui Tu, Leslie Walker, Jude Wiesenfeld.

Rosa californica, California Rose, watercolor by Estelle DeRidder, © 2016.

Rosa californica, California Rose, watercolor by Estelle DeRidder, © 2016.

The San Diego Botanic Garden is located at 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas, California 92024, 760.436.3036. Directions can be found on the SDBG website. Download the postcard invitation featuring a watercolor by Teresa Kuwahara: cornucopia-invitation-postcard.

 

by Susan Jackson, posted by Deb Shaw

A new exhibit has just opened at the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park that botanical artists would find quite interesting. It is located in the Eleanor and Jerome Navarra Special Collections Gallery on the third floor of the museum. It is a permanent exhibition called Extraordinary Ideas from Ordinary People: A History of Citizen Science which features rare books, art, photographs, maps and historical documents that pay homage to the past, present, and future of citizen science.

The upper mezzanine features an exhibit that a botanical artist will not want to miss. On display are nine “Plant Portraits” by the early twentieth century painter, A. R. Valentien. He was commissioned by the philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps to paint California wildflowers. Over a period of ten years, Valentien traveled around California creating exquisite watercolor and gouache scientific illustrations. Part of the collection of 1,094 paintings, all done on 13x 20 paper, will be rotated in this gallery. A book which includes photographs of all the paintings can be found in the gift shop, however, it is no substitute for seeing the real thing. Bring your magnifying glass.

The gallery also has original catalogs from Pierre-Joseph Redoute, William Curtis, Auguste Johann Rosel von Rosenhoff, and John James Audubon. These are huge volumes printed in black ink and then hand colored. They are a reminder of a time before photography when beautiful books were only available to the very wealthy. Although we frequently see prints that originated from these catalogs, there is something very special in actually seeing the originals.

More information about the exhibit and the San Diego Natural History Museum may be found on their website. There is also a short video about the Valentien Collection, which can be seen by clicking on the arrow located on the close up view of the Mariposa Lily. If you decide to visit, plan on spending several hours, because there are lots of other things to see as well.

The San Diego Museum of Natural History is located at 1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101. The Museum is open daily 10 AM to 5 PM, and until 8 PM on most Fridays this summer. Visit the website for ticket prices and specific daily hours; the Museum may close early on some days.

by Bonnie Born Ash, photos by Janice Sharp, posted by Deb Shaw

On Saturday afternoon, July 16, 2016, a festive opening reception for “Capturing the Arboretum: the Art of Botanical Illustration” was held in the newly renovated Arboretum Library. Participating BAGSC artists were Cristina Baltayian, Bonnie Born Ash, Diane Nelson Daly, Estelle DeRidder, Nancy Grubb, Cynthia Jackson, Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, Marilyn Parrino, Mitsuko Schultz, Janice Sharp, Deborah Shaw, and Beth Stone.

Artists and guests enjoyed viewing twenty-three fine works of art depicting plants of the Arboretum. Individual works were enhanced by comments from Jurors James Henrich, Arboretum’s Curator of Living Collections; Arboretum Librarian Susan Eubank; and Olga Eysymontt, Botanical Art Teacher. In addition, artwork signage gives the specific location in the reference library to find additional information on each plant illustrated.

Throughout the reception, Estelle DeRidder and Mitsuko Schultz demonstrated botanical art techniques. Additional artist demonstrations are planned in the Library on two Saturdays, August 27 and September 24. The exhibition continues through December 29. Many thanks to our jurors, volunteers, and congratulations to all participating artists!

Library Location
The Arboretum Library is located within The Arboretum. Go straight through the double doors on the left (east) of the entrance rotunda.

Library Hours
Tuesday-Friday 8:30 am to 5:30 pm
Saturday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Susan Eubank, Librarian
Phone: (626)821-3213
Fax: (626)445-1217

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

Click on an image below to enlarge and view through a slide show format.

by Sally Jacobs, posted by Deb Shaw

Cover of the Call for Entries PDF brochure for "2016 California Open Exhibition" at TAG Gallery, in Bergamot Station Arts Center, Santa Monica, California.

Cover of the Call for Entries PDF brochure for “2016 California Open Exhibition” at TAG Gallery, in Bergamot Station Arts Center, Santa Monica, California.

I’m writing about a juried show sponsored by my gallery, TAG, at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. It’s the “California Open” which we’ve held for many years now. It’s a great show, well-juried, well-attended and a terrific showcase. This year it is juried by Kent Twitchell, who is known to appreciate representational art. Current TAG members are not allowed to enter.

ABOUT THE 2016 CALIFORNIA OPEN
The 11th Annual California Open is a juried exhibition celebrating contemporary art created by emerging artists. The competition is hosted by TAG Gallery, an artist-owned gallery located at Bergamot Station Arts Center that features emerging and mid-career artists of Southern California.

Deadline for Entries: July 3, 2016

Exhibition Dates: August 10 – 26, 2016
Reception and Awards Ceremony: Saturday, August 13, 5 – 8 pm

Download a PDF brochure, CAOpenProspectus2016Final, with the Call for Entries; click this link for Prospectus and Instructions for Submission

AWARDS
First Place $1,000
Second Place $500
Third Place $250
Honorable Mentions (3)

TAG Gallery is located at:
Bergamo Station Arts Center
2525 Michigan Ave., D3
Santa Monica, CA 90404 310.829.9556
Tuesday-Saturday, 11 am – 5 pm

ABOUT THE JUROR: KENT TWITCHELL
Kent Twitchell is an American muralist who is most active in Los Angeles. He is most famous for his larger-than-life mural portraits, often of celebrities and artists. His murals are realism, not photorealism, according to Twitchell. He painted his first signed murals in 1971, “Steve McQueen Monument” in Downtown LA and “Strother Martin Monument” in Holly wood. Kent has painted ”The Hollywood Freeway Lady,” ”The Bride & Groom,” monuments to visual artists Ed Ruscha, Lita Albuquerque, Jim Morphesis, Gary Lloyd and others. He painted the “LA Marathon Mural” in Inglewood, the “LA Chamber Orchestra” in Downtown LA, the “Dr. J Monument” in Philadelphia and two “Monuments to Will Rogers” on the historic California Theatre in San Bernardino, among other murals. He is in the permanent collections of the LA County Museum of Art, the Chicago Art Institute, the Boise Art Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the Vincent Prince Art Museum, the Long Beach Museum of Art and many private collections. He has also completed three murals in the main lobby of the historic Bob Hope Patriotic Hall in Downtown LA, a 40′ tall “Ruby Dee Monument” on the historic Karamu House Theatre in Cleveland, and a new “Freeway Lady” mural at LA Valley College for the 40th anniversary of the original mural. He has taught at LA City College, Otis College of Art & Design, California State University, LA, Biola University, Pasadena City College and LA County High School for the Arts. He is currently MFA Mentor/Advisor at Laguna College of Art & Design.

by Janice Sharp, posted by Deb Shaw

Akiko Enokido painted this Chorisia speciosa, Floss Silk Tree, at the Los Angeles County Arboretum. The LA Arboretum has introduced four varieties of Chorisia speciosa. © Akiko Enokido, 2009, all rights reserved

Akiko Enokido painted this watercolor of Chorisia speciosa, Floss Silk Tree, at the Los Angeles County Arboretum. The LA Arboretum has introduced four varieties of Chorisia speciosa. © Akiko Enokido, 2009, all rights reserved.

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

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

Questions? Contact: Janice Sharp.

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

Happy painting!

by Jody Williams, posted by Deb Shaw

OA Gallery logo

OA Gallery logo

A new ASBA exhibition opportunity has materialized rather quickly:  OA Gallery, a fine art gallery specializing in representational art is hosting an international exhibition of botanical art open exclusively to members of ASBA in June, 2016.

The Beauty of Botanicals 2016
A Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Botanical Art
by Members of the American Society of Botanical Artists

They are offering a $1000 (US) prize for Best in Show and will be contributing 20 percent of sales to ASBA, as well as providing opportunities to promote ASBA and ASBA membership in conjunction with this event.

We are also excited that Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson, President of the Missouri Botanical Garden has agreed to be on the selection jury for this exhibition.

OA Gallery, Call for Entries, The Beauty of Botanicals 2016. © OA Gallery, 2016, all rights reserved.

OA Gallery, Call for Entries, The Beauty of Botanicals 2016. © OA Gallery, 2016, all rights reserved.

Entries are due soon: April 3, 2016.  As this is a gallery exhibition, you may enter artwork that has been exhibited in prior exhibitions, including ASBA exhibitions.

OA Gallery is located in Kirkwood, MO, a charming suburb of St. Louis with neighborhoods of turn-of-the-century homes, a thriving business community, and an active interest in the arts and gardening. OA Gallery has joined ASBA as an institutional member and one of their partners, Steve Morris (whose work was recently accepted into Filoli’s next exhibition) is an individual member of ASBA.

We hope that this will be a step toward increasing awareness of botanical art in the St. Louis region, already a world renowned hotbed of activity in the plant sciences, horticulture and agriculture, and lay some groundwork for our ASBA conference in St. Louis in 2018.

You can see the call for entries on the ASBA website or on OnlineJuriedShows.com, which OA Gallery is using to handle entries. More information about the exhibition can be seen on the following websites:

ASBA website
Online Juried Shows website
OA Gallery website

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