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by Lee McCaffree and Nina Antze, posted by Deb Shaw

Celebrate the abundance of spring flowers on display in Filoli’s magnificent historic gardens in Woodside, California for the 20th Annual Botanical Art Exhibition. The beautiful and extraordinarily accurate plant portraits by international and local artists will be on display in one of the West Coast’s most prominent botanical art exhibitions.

The exhibition “A Palette of Flowers” will be on display February 23 – May 20, 2018. This theme celebrates the abundance of spring flowers on display in the magnificent historic gardens at Filoli, and will tie into other programs at Filoli during the dramatic Spring blooming season.

Botanical artists are invited to submit their work through January 14, 2018. The Call for Entries and submissions will be handled through onlinejuriedshows.com. A PDF of the exhibition Prospectus and Call for Entries can also be downloaded here: 18893Filoli 2018 Botanical-DOWNLOADABLE

About Filoli:
Located in Woodside, CA, Filoli boasts a 654-acre property featuring a 54,000+ square foot Georgian revival style mansion turned living museum, 16 acres of exquisite English Renaissance gardens, a 6.8 acre Gentlemen’s Orchard, and a nature preserve with over 7 miles of hiking trails. Established as a private residence in 1917, Filoli was opened to the public in 1976 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Filoli is dedicated to the preservation, interpretation, and stewardship of the cultural traditions and natural history of this country estate for public education and enjoyment. It is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

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by Janice Sharp, posted by Deb Shaw

BAGSC’s Ficus Exhibition at The San Diego Botanic Garden’s Ecke Hall opened on Thursday, November 2, 2017.

In addition to written posters describing the morphology of the Ficus species, leaf rubbings, ink prints, sketches and color studies complement the educational component of the exhibition. © 2017, Janice Sharp. Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2017.

In addition to written posters describing the morphology of the Ficus species, leaf rubbings, ink prints, sketches and color studies complement the educational component of the exhibition. © 2017, Janice Sharp. Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2017.

Nineteen Ficus artworks, by 11 artists, are featured in the exhibition. A wonderful diversity of techniques have been used by the artists. In addition to the “traditional” watercolor, colored pencil and graphite there are leaf ink prints, graphite leaf rubbings, linoleum cut hand colored prints and tape-mounted fig wasps. Three written posters describing the Ficus species, their fertilization and biology provide an educational component to the exhibition.

Thank you Cristina Baltayian, Cynthia Jackson, Susan Jackson, Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, Lesley Randall, Robyn Reilman, Olga Ryabtsova, Janice Sharp, Deborah Shaw, Beth Stone, and Anna Suprunenko for your participation and for making the show a success.

© 2017, Janice Sharp. Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2017.

© 2017, Janice Sharp. Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2017.

The show closes November 30 so make your plans to visit The San Diego Botanic Garden. The San Diego Botanic Garden is located at 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024.

Janice Sharp placing labels throughout the exhibit. Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2017.

Janice Sharp placing labels throughout the exhibit. Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2017.

Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2017.

Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2017.

Janice Sharp (left) and Lesley Randall (right) hang Olga Ryabtsova's painting of a Jackfruit. Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2017.

Janice Sharp (left) and Lesley Randall (right) hang Olga Ryabtsova’s painting of a Jackfruit. Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2017.

Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2017.

Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2017.

© 2017, Janice Sharp. Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2017.

© 2017, Janice Sharp. Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2017.

Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2017.

Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2017.

by Janice Sharp, posted by Deb Shaw

The exhibition wall faces the stairway in the Brody Botanical Center. The BAGSC logo is a permanent sign, and information about BAGSC and ASBA is available as a handout. Photo by Janice Sharp, © 2017.

The exhibition wall faces the stairway in the Brody Botanical Center. The BAGSC logo is a permanent sign, and information about BAGSC and ASBA is available as a handout. Photo by Janice Sharp, © 2017.

BAGSC’s latest exhibit at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, “Inspired by Latin America,” is now open in the Brody Botanical Center.

The art was hung on September 5, 2017, and the show will run through to January 15, 2018. Eleven paintings by eight BAGSC artists are featured in the exhibition, including Melanie Campbell-Carter, Sally Jacobs, Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, Kathly Powell, Olga Ryabtsova, Mitsuko Schultz, Janice Sharp, and Deborah Shaw.

Janice Sharp and Andrew Mitchell review the plans for the exhibition layout. Photo by Beth Stone, © 2017.

Janice Sharp and Andrew Mitchell review the plans for the exhibition layout. Photo by Beth Stone, © 2017.

We thank The Huntington for providing the beautiful new signage identifying the artwork on the wall as belonging to the “Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California.” The plexi banner will be a permanent feature of the display. We have also added a container to dispense handouts. For this exhibit, the handout lists the artists and their paintings, with information about BAGSC and ASBA on the back. We also thank Andrew Mitchell for his patience with us in hanging the artwork.

The next Huntington exhibition, beginning in January, will be “Bonsai’s of the Huntington.”

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:

by Janice Sharp, posted by Deb Shaw

The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) will be holding its

2018 Conservation Conference
February 1 – 3, 2018
at the LAX Marriott, Los Angeles, California

The CNPS 2018 Conservation Conference features botanic art and photo contests and exhibits to highlight the beauty of California. The botanical art exhibition will be on display throughout the conference.

Artists are invited to enter original artwork in any two-dimensional medium that reflects the beauty and uniqueness of California flora and adheres to high standards of botanical accuracy. All entries must depict plants native to California (no introduced plants).

All the information (guidelines and entry form) are posted online for the botanic art contest and show. Both the entry guidelines and form are downloadable PDFs from this linked page.

Also included on the site are images of the winners of the 2015 botanical art and photography contests, including BAGSC members Joan Keesey who won first place for her watercolor of Salvia spathacea, Hummingbird Sage; and Lesley Randall, who won third place for her pen and ink scientific illustration of Malva assurgentiflora, Island Mallow.

The due date for entries is October 20, 2017.

by Lesley Randall, posted by Deb Shaw

In preparation for the upcoming BAGSC Exhibition, Ficus at San Diego Botanic Garden, here is a bit of information about this extraordinary group of plants.

We’ll start with the one most of us know best: the edible fig. Ficus carica, has been in cultivation since ancient times. Though humans typically eat only this species of Fig, others are considered to be keystone species in their habitats, providing food (leaves as well as figs) and shelter for a wide variety of mammals, birds and insects. Several species are plants of special significance in many cultures. For example, Ficus religiosa, the Bo Tree, is said to be the tree under which Buddha sat while gaining enlightenment.

Some figs are cauliflorous, a botanical term for plants which have flowers and fruits growing directly from their main stems or woody trunks rather than from new growth. The word comes from Latin. Caulis means trunk or stem and Flory means flower. Photo by Lesley Randall, © 2017.

Some figs are cauliflorous, a botanical term for plants which have flowers and fruits growing directly from their main stems or woody trunks rather than from new growth. The word comes from Latin. Caulis means trunk or stem and Flory means flower. Photo by Lesley Randall, © 2017.

The genus Ficus is a member of the Moraceae, or Mulberry Family. There are more than 800 species of Ficus. Most are tropical, but there are some species that survive in more temperate zones, such as the edible fig. The genus is highly diverse, with species growing as epiphytes, massive banyans, stranglers, shrubs, caudiciforms, vines and small trees. They are found from rainforests to dry rocky deserts.

 

So what makes a Ficus a Ficus?

Ficus auriculatus cut to reveal the interior and white latex. Photo by Lesley Randall, © 2017.

Ficus auriculatus cut to reveal the interior and white latex. Photo by Lesley Randall, © 2017.

There are a couple of key characteristics that separate this group. First is the unusual flower/fruit arrangement—the fig itself. Known as a syconium in botanical lingo, the fig is an urn-shaped structure lined with tiny flowers on the inside. The flowers are pollinated by a specialized group of wasps that enter the syconium through an opening called an ostiole.

The second key characteristic are the paired stipules that enclose the developing leaf. Though these often drop off as the leaf begins to unfold, they leave a distinct scar at the base of the leaf. The stipules may be separate, or fused into one structure.

The third key characteristic is the sap: a striking white or yellow latex.

Other characteristics to note are: an alternate leaf arrangement, and typically, pinnate venation. All figs share these characteristics that, combined, distinguish them from other plant genera. How these characters are expressed are what makes the group so interesting. The syconium can be as large as a baseball or less than a centimeter wide. It may be scaled or smooth, sessile or stalked and borne in leaf axils or on the main branches and trunk (cauliflorous.) The leaves are typically entire, but several species have lobed leaves. Leaves may be thick and tough, light and delicate, very large or very small. The bark can be smooth, rough, or in the case of a couple Australian species, corky and fire retardant.

Ficus with stipules and scars. Photo by Lesley Randall, © 2017.

Ficus with stipules and scars. Photo by Lesley Randall, © 2017.

Where to find Ficus in Southern California?
The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden, San Diego Zoo, and San Diego Botanic Garden all have nice collections. The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens have some as well. They also can be found in parks, lining city streets, in back yards, as house plants, in nurseries and as Bonsai specimens.

Want to learn more? Check out Fig Web which has information on specific species as well as general information on the group. BAGSC members who are interested in organizing and/or attending expeditions to find and paint specimens should let us know your interest and stay tuned!

Information about the Ficus exhibition at the San Diego Botanic Garden can be found on BAGSC’s website. Information about the “Call for Entries” can be found on the “Members Only” page of the BAGSC website.

Ficus religiosa, the Bo Tree, with reddish new growth. Photo by Lesley Randall, © 2017.

Ficus religiosa, the Bo Tree, with reddish new growth. Photo by Lesley Randall, © 2017.

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.

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 Gilly Shaeffer, posted by Deb Shaw

Save-the-date postcard, designed by Jan and Chas Clouse, featuring Gilly Shaeffer's watercolor of a California native walnut, © 2017.

Save-the-date postcard, designed by Jan and Chas Clouse, featuring Gilly Shaeffer’s watercolor of a California native walnut, © 2017.

The Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC) is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year. Mark your calendars–on August 26, 2017, the Guild will be having a gala celebration in honor of our Anniversary.

Since its inception in 1997, our group has grown, changed and keeps getting better. So, we have good reason to celebrate. Members continue to develop their botanical art skills through classes and workshops, and, as a result of this dedication and hard work, we have more and more opportunities to show our art. Through outreach, exhibition and educational activities, BAGSC has increased southern Californian’s awareness and appreciation for this art form.

We have many activities planned in honor of our 20-year milestone.

The Los Angeles Arboretum Library, one of our earliest supporters, will be hosting a BAGSC exhibition, entitled “Illustrating the Urban Forest: 20 Years of Botanical Art”. The exhibition will feature trees that grow in Mediterranean climates. Opening in early July, 2017, the exhibition will run until the end of September.

On August 26 we will hold a 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Los Angeles Arboretum:

4:00 – Artists will lead a tour of the exhibition and discuss the art.

5:00 – A special presentation will be given by Matt Ritter, author of A Californian’s Guide to Trees Among Us. Matt is a professor at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, a tree expert and a photographer. This promises to be a delightful and informative presentation.

6:00 – The Anniversary Dinner will be held at the Peacock Café Patio at sunset. Olga Eysymontt, long time botanical art instructor, will share memories of BAGSC beginnings and how botanical art got started in Los Angeles. And there will be opportunities for all to connect with old friends and meet new ones.

Invitations to this special event will be available soon. The suggested donation for attending is $60.

Keep your eyes open for invitations and more information. Entries for the exhibition at the LA Arboretum Library, “Illustrating the Urban Forest: 20 Years of Botanical Art” are due May 12, 2017. The “Call for Entries” can be found on the BAGSC website Exhibitions page and in the Members Only section. Questions on the exhibition? Please contact Janice Sharp. Questions about the 20th Anniversary Celebration? Please contact Gilly Shaeffer.

bagsc20thCMYKWe are looking forward to sharing a beautiful afternoon and evening with members, friends, family, special guests from the Los Angeles botanical gardens community and more. We hope all will join us for this magical anniversary celebration.

 

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 Jennifer Lazar, 101 San Diego; and Lisa Reynolds, San Diego Botanic Garden; posted by Deb Shaw

BAGSC's exhibition "Cornucopia" at the San Diego Botanic Garden is on the home page of San Diego Media Marketing's website. The link has more information about the exhibition and a coupon for $2 off admission to the Garden.

BAGSC’s exhibition “Cornucopia” at the San Diego Botanic Garden is on the home page of San Diego Media Marketing’s website. The link has more information about the exhibition and a coupon for $2 off admission to the Garden.

San Diego Media Marketing has promoted BAGSC’s exhibition Cornucopia at the San Diego Botanic Garden in their 101 Things To Do in San Diego update.

Cornucopia: A Botanical Art Exhibit at San Diego Botanic Garden is one of the “Featured Slides” on their home website from October 31 – November 6, 2016. They have also scheduled Facebook and Twitter posts for November 2!

Clicking the link from the home page calls up a page with more information about the San Diego Botanic Garden and the Cornucopia exhibition. The page also includes a coupon for a $2 discount on adult admission to the Garden, limit of four (4) adults. The coupon is good through December 31, 2016.

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 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.

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