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by Deb Shaw

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some goals of the exhibition include:

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

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

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

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

by Deb Shaw

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

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

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

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

Jurors for the exhibition were:

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

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

Congratulations to the award-winners:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

by Beth Stone, posted by Deb Shaw

BAGSC members might like these two upcoming events at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens:

Lecture – Cochineal in the History of Art and Global Trade
Sunday, 12/10/17 at 2:30 pm

Garden Talk & Sale – California “Super Bloom” 2017
Thursday, 12/14/17 at 2:30 pm

by Sally Jacobs, posted by Deb Shaw

This picture shows my "rehearsal" set-up at home. Photo by Sally Jacobs, © 2017.

This picture shows my “rehearsal” set-up at home. Photo by Sally Jacobs, © 2017.

The Hollywood Farmers Market asked me to set up a booth this coming Sunday, December 3, 2017.  I’ll have prints, calendars, cards, and scarves for sale — all make great gifts for the holidays.

Come on by! 
Sunday, Dec. 3, 8 am – 1 pm
Across from the information booth
Ivar Avenue and Selma Avenue, between Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd., just west of Vine
$3 easy parking at the ArcLight Cinema on Sunset with a Market validation.

It’s such a fun market: great produce, music, spirit. I shop there every Sunday.

by Gilly Shaeffer, posted by Deb Shaw

As part of BAGSC’s 20th Anniversary Celebration, we wished to start a scholarship fund to reach out to promising artists and foster their development as botanical artists. Congratulations to Irina Stolyarova, Natasha Zueva and botanical painting students from Russia! We warmly welcome Irina and Natasha as new members to our Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC) group.

Irina and Natasha were chosen by a committee headed by their teacher, Alexander Viazmensky (Sasha) to receive scholarships offered by BAGSC. Each scholarship includes a two-year membership to the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) and BAGSC starting in 2018, plus a $100 gift.

Irina Stolyarova lives in St. Petersburg. She graduated from St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts as a librarian and bibliographer. She works as an economist/accountant. Irina has attended classes in botanical painting with Sasha since 2016.

She is also in her second year as an evening student in academic drawing classes at the Ilya Repin St. Petersburg State Academic Institute of Fine Arts, Sculpture and Architecture, and has participated in several botanical painting exhibitions since 2016. (Note: please click any of the thumbnail images below to see a larger slide show.)

Natasha Zueva has a degree in Sociology and Art History. She has been a student of Sasha’s for about three years. She has exhibited her paintings in two shows that were held for Sasha’s students. (Note: please click any of the thumbnail images below to see a larger slide show.)

A warm welcome to BAGSC and ASBA!

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 Beth Stone, posted by Deb Shaw

Martin Allen’s Techniques Showcase at the 2017 San Francisco ASBA Conference was a great introduction for the class he subsequently taught locally for BAGSC, October 24 – 26, at The Los Angeles Arboretum.

Martin’s method is to work directly from photographs. He takes great care to stage the photos for dramatic lighting and for color accuracy to the point where paint colors can be directly matched to the colors on a printed photo. Although Martin jokes about his limited pallet there is a wisdom to it. He promotes mixing small quantities of the desired color to create a more realistic appearance.

Painting from John Pastoriza-Piñol's BAGSC workshop, 2017. © 2017 Beth Stone.

Painting from John Pastoriza Piñol’s BAGSC workshop, 2017. The shiny, reflective areas are masking fluid that has yet to be removed. © 2017 Beth Stone.

My biggest take-away from Martin was the notion of placing “mostly the right color in mostly the right place” from the very beginning. Here are three examples of my paintings from classes within the past year. Hint: both of the Orchid specimens had deep red to nearly black areas.

I call the one from mid-point of John Pastoriza Pinol’s class “my pretty pony” , the other is my first attempt at vellum from Carol Woodin’s class. I eventually finished each of these about two months later.

Painting from Carol Woodin's BAGSC workshop, 2017. © 2017 Beth Stone.

Painting from Carol Woodin’s BAGSC workshop, 2017. © 2017 Beth Stone.

Contrast these to the depth of tone achieved on this dandelion bud (~15x) in Martin Allen’s workshop.

The more classes I take, the more convinced I am that there is no right or wrong method. To me the secret is to keep an open mind and amass a tool kit of knowledge that can be applied where it suits the subject matter.

Painting from Martin Allen's BAGSC workshop, 2017. © 2017 Beth Stone.

Painting from Martin Allen’s BAGSC workshop, 2017. © 2017 Beth Stone.

by Teri Kuwahara, posted by Deb Shaw

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations Estelle!

by Deb Shaw

Artwork from the "Visual Voyages" exhibition at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.  José María Carbonell, Loranthus, Royal Botanical Expedition to the New Kingdom of Granada led by José Celestino Mutis (1783–1816), tempera on paper, approx. 21¼ × 15 in. Archivo del Real Jardín Botánico- CSIC (Madrid).

Artwork from the “Visual Voyages” exhibition at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.
José María Carbonell, Loranthus, Royal Botanical Expedition to the New Kingdom of Granada led by José Celestino Mutis (1783–1816), tempera on paper, approx. 21¼ × 15 in. Archivo del Real Jardín Botánico- CSIC (Madrid).

Join BAGSC and The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens for an innovative seminar, held in conjunction with The Huntington’s exhibition “Visual Voyages,” part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative.

BAGSC and The Huntington are co-sponsoring this exciting weekend in November, and are experimenting with a new seminar format. Participants can register for one or more (or all) of the seminar components. BAGSC members have first options on spaces. Each of the seminar components are open to BAGSC Members, their guest(s), and the public. Individual prices are listed with each description; the price for the complete seminar package is listed below.

See full details about the seminar on BAGSC’s website, along with information about how to register for some or all of the events described below.

Friday, November 3
Wine and cheese reception: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Join us for a private exhibition tour and discussion of “Visual Voyages” led by Lugene Bruno and Alice Tangerini: 5:00 pm – 7 pm. This seminar will be a discussion of the artwork of images of Latin American Nature in the exhibition and will compare and contrast the works to contemporary botanical art.
BAGSC Members: $50/person
Non-members: $60/person
Limited to a maximum of 30 participants

Saturday, November 4
Round Table Discussion and Tour of “In Pursuit of Flora: 18th-Century: Botanical Drawings from The Huntington’s Art Collections.” Go from Latin America in the Boone Gallery Friday evening to British artists in the Huntington Art Gallery — Works on Paper room. “In Pursuit of Flora” pulls work from The Huntington’s collection to reveal 18th-century European appreciation for the beauty of the natural world. Lugene Bruno and Alice Tangerini will lead a tour of this exhibition and discussion of the artwork, as it compares to the “Visual Voyages” exhibition and contemporary botanical art.
9:30 am – noon
BAGSC Members: $30/person
Non-members: $35/person
Limited to a maximum of 30 participants

A practical (and fun!) demonstration of pressing and preserving plants for future drawing and painting, and secret recipes for “restoring” preserved samples to use for drawing and painting. Learn how to press plants to preserve specimens for future drawing and painting, as well as how to “bring them back” to view for drawing and painting.
Alice Tangerini: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm.
BAGSC Members: $30/person
Non-members: $35/person
Limited to a maximum of 30 participants

Individual Portfolio Reviews. Lugene Bruno will provide private portfolio critiques by appointment, one-half hour each: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Reviews will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis for the best time possible for your schedule, and for Lugene’s.
BAGSC Members: $50/person (not available to non-members)

Gymnanthemum koekemoerae, © 2017 Alice Tangerini.

Gymnanthemum koekemoerae, © 2017 Alice Tangerini.

Sunday, November 5
Botanical Scientific Illustration Workshop. Pencil and watercolor on film, Alice Tangerini: 10:00 am – 2:15 pm. A hands-on workshop using pressed, “revived” and live specimens. Workshop will break for lunch. Lunch will not be provided; please bring your own, or feel free to purchase lunch at one of The Huntington’s cafés. Please be advised that the cafés can be crowded on the weekends.
BAGSC Members: $30/person
Non-members: $35/person
Limited to a maximum of 16 participants
Please note: the workshop costs above do not include materials. BAGSC will purchase some of the materials in bulk to save money for participants; we will post materials costs as soon as possible.

Individual Portfolio Reviews. Lugene Bruno will provide private portfolio critiques by appointment, one-half hour each: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Reviews will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis for the best time possible for your schedule, and for Lugene’s. Please only request an appointment within the allotted time frame; we may not be able to accommodate other times due to other scheduled seminar activities.
BAGSC Members: $50/person, (not available to non-members)

Dudleya rigida Rose, Crassulaceae, watercolor on paper by Frederick A. Walpole (1861–1904), 1897, 35.5 x 25.5 cm, on indefinite loan from the Smithsonian Institution, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation accession no. 4304.

Dudleya rigida Rose, Crassulaceae, watercolor on paper by Frederick A. Walpole (1861–1904), 1897, 35.5 x 25.5 cm, on indefinite loan from the Smithsonian Institution, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation accession no. 4304.

“Hidden Treasures: The rediscovery of art treasures in our collections” Public Lecture with Alice Tangerini, Smithsonian Institution and Lugene Bruno, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon: 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm in Rothenberg Hall.
Lugene Bruno and Alice Tangerini will present an illustrated lecture on missing artworks that were rediscovered in and curated for their museum collections. These art pieces represent historical events and important discoveries or were created for publications in the realm of science and art. They may have been stored in places where their presence was not easily detected; sometimes amongst old boxes of artifacts, in the files of herbarium specimens or even catalogued as another kind of object. Artists such as Frederick Walpole (1861–1904), Paulus Roetter (1806–1894), Isaac Sprague (1811–1895) and Mary Emily Eaton (1873–1961) portrayed each plant subject with aesthetic beauty and scientific accuracy. Walpole divided his time between Washington D.C. for the USDA and field trips to the Northwest as far as Alaska, during which time he made field drawings, watercolors and exquisite ink drawings that resemble fine line engravings. His talent was extinguished at 43 when he died of typhoid while working in California. Isaac Sprague, a self-taught artist, and one-time assistant to John James Audubon, was one of the most prolific illustrators of the 19th century and, from his home in Massachusetts, he drew in pencil and ink illustrations for published descriptions of native floras and plants collected during exploring expeditions and railroad surveys by some of the most important botanists of the period. Paulus Roetter, an émigré from Germany went on to create some of the finest drawings of the cactus family while accompanying the botanist George Engelmann on one of the government boundary surveys in the Southwest from 1853–1854. Engelmann named the cactus Cereus roetteri in honor of this artist’s skill. Mary Emily Eaton contributed drawings and watercolors for a four-volume opus, Britton’s The Cactaceae (1919–1923), while working as a scientific illustrator for the New York Botanical Garden. She lost her job during the depression and returned to England where she exhibited her work over the years. Each artwork has a storied past, and the history and the images of the artist’s field studies and finished drawings and paintings that were rediscovered in the collections will be featured in this presentation. By curating, cataloging and imaging these art works the Smithsonian Institution and the Hunt Institute preserve for the future a part of American history.
BAGSC Members: FREE
Non-members: FREE
Maximum of 250 participants

The Works

Want to participate in the entire weekend? Sign up for “The Works!” Complete Seminar Cost (everything included, except individual portfolio reviews)
BAGSC Members: $150
Non-Members: $175

Questions? Contact the BAGSC Education Chair.

About the Instructors

Lugene Bruno, Curator of Art & Senior Research Scholar at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.

Lugene Bruno, Curator of Art & Senior Research Scholar at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.

Lugene Bruno, Curator of Art & Senior Research Scholar at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. Since 1996, Lugene Bruno has held a position at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation where she has immersed herself in the collection. She is responsible for all activities of the Art Department, including the curation of the art collection and twice-yearly exhibitions in the Institute’s gallery (most notably the triennial International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration). She designs the exhibitions and companion catalogues; provides talks and tours related to collection items on site and at botanical conferences; responds to research requests; and makes available for study selections of the art collection to visiting scholars, students and artists. She is an honorary member of several botanical art and florilegia societies in the United States and abroad. Bruno is also a practicing artist working with the concepts of gestural abstraction and employing the mediums of photography and graphite drawing.

Alice Tangerini, Staff Illustrator and Curator of the Botanical Art Collection at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

Alice Tangerini, Staff Illustrator and Curator of the Botanical Art Collection at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

Alice Tangerini, Staff Illustrator and Curator of the Botanical Art Collection at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.  As a Staff Illustrator for the Botany Department at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Alice Tangerini has been specializing in drawing plants in pen and ink and graphite since 1972 and now her illustration media includes digital color.She has illustrated at least 1000 species of plants appearing in scientific periodicals, floras, and botanical and nature books. Most of her subjects are based on the Department’s extensive collection of over 4 million herbarium specimens.Alice also teaches classes in illustration techniques, presents lectures on botanical illustration and juries shows in botanical gardens and in academic institutions.She has exhibited her botanical artwork in numerous shows connected with the botanical and scientific illustration societies of which she is also a member. Her responsibilities in the department also include managing and curating an extensive collection of botanical illustrations, both historical and contemporary, which are available for viewing on the Department of Botany website.

by Deb Shaw

"Every Berry", watercolor, © 2017, Martin J. Allen.

“Every Berry”, watercolor, © 2017, Martin J. Allen.

Following the 2017 ASBA Conference in Northern California, Martin J. Allen will arrive in Southern California to teach a BAGSC-sponsored workshop, entitled Larger than Life
Tuesday – Thursday, October 24, 25 & 26, 2017
9:30 am – 3:30 pm each day
Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Oak Room

Cost, BAGSC Members: $250
Non-Members: $275
Maximum Registration: 16 students

There are still a few seats available in Martin’s workshop. If you were unable to get into his workshops at the ASBA conference, now is your chance to enjoy a focused workshop with Martin, close to home.

Registration deadline is Tuesday, October 10, 2017. Please see the BAGSC website for details about how to register, materials list, and other workshop information. Questions? Contact the BAGSC Education Chair.

Workshop Description

This three-day workshop with Martin Allen looks at how to take digital reference photographs and use them to enlarge small parts of plants to create an exciting new image. Martin will cover how to take useful photographs and the practical challenges of translating that photograph into a realistic image on paper using a straight-forward painting technique.

About the Instructor

Martin J. Allen

Martin J. Allen

(Please read the full text about Martin Allen on the BAGSC website.) I began painting plants in the autumn of 1992 whilst recovering from illness, studying with Colin Swinton. What was intended initially as therapy, quickly turned into a serious interest.

In early 1995 my first Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) exhibit was awarded a Gold medal (the second in 1997 also gained Gold) and in the same year RHS Enterprises Limited commissioned three autumn flower designs as part of their Collectors’ Plate Series. Awards at The Society of Botanical Artists’ exhibitions followed in 1996 and 1998.

I became a member of the then newly formed Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society in 1995, taking part in their 1999 RHS Gold medal group exhibit, becoming a Fellow in 2000 and regularly writing articles on botanical art for their newsletter. I am now honoured to be an Emeritus Fellow.

I am represented in America by Susan Frei Nathan, Fine Works on Paper, and Forum Botanische Kunst in Germany.

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 Leslie Walker, posted by Deb Shaw

BAGSC member Estelle DeRidder continues to work on her murals at the Madrona Marsh Preserve and Nature Center in Torrance, California. And as promised, we’re bringing you updates.

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

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

Estelle is adding more plants and details to the murals, bringing the outdoors garden inside.

 

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.

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. 

If you missed the first post about Estelle’s mural, you can read it here on our BAGSC News blog.

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.

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