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by Susan Eubank, Arboretum Librarian, Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden, and Deb Shaw

Party in the Stacks!
Please join The Arboretum library and other plant and garden aficionados for a beautiful evening celebrating the Arboretum Library. The Arboretum Library is distinct among libraries as a comprehensive and very special collection of more than 20,000 books on botany, botanical illustration, gardening, California native plants, landscape design, gardens around the world, agriculture, and more.

For one night only, there will be merriment in the Arboretum Library stacks, twilight music in the Arboretum, outside viewing of mid-century travel slides, and inside viewing of mid-century library landscape materials, various nerdy library things, a little nosh and a no host bar. View a wonderful art exhibit, with personal artist tours of the exhibit “The naturalist’s desk: language and landscape” And of course a book sale too!

Consider spending an evening with your fellow BAGSC colleagues supporting the Arboretum Library. All proceeds from the event support Arboretum Library programs.

For one night only, there will be revelry in the Arboretum Library stacks and music in the Arboretum twilight!

Arboretum Library Benefit and Book Sale
Proceeds fund Arboretum Library programs

Friday, May 4, 2017, 6:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

There will also be…

  • Light refreshments and a No Host bar featuring wine, beer, and literary spirits,
  • Projections of Sunset magazine’s photographer, William Aplin’s mid-century travel slides,
  • Displays of mid-century modern gardening and landscape architecture books,
  • Pamela Burgess will give tours of her exhibit the naturalist’s desk: landscape + language, and
  • First chance to purchase at the used book sale. Specialty books ready for their new owners.

You are invited!
Advanced Tickets: General Public $20, Members $15. Call 626-821-4623.

At the Door: General Public $25, Members $20

Members include:
BAGSC Members
Members of the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation
All plant, garden and landscape societies, all library organizations, and all botanic gardens and arboreta.

Questions? Contact Susan Eubank, 626-821-3213.

The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden is located at: 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007
arboretum.org

Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens Logo

 

 

 

 

by Kat Powell, posted by Deb Shaw

Some of the workshop participants getting ready for a final critique with Carrie Di Constanzo. Photo by Teri Kuwahara, © 2018.

Some of the workshop participants getting ready for a final critique with Carrie Di Constanzo. L to R: Mary Jo Newman, Carrie Di Costanzo, Suzanne Bassani, Janice Sharp, Carol Readhead, Melanie Campbell-Carter, Kathlyn Powell. Missing from photo: Patricia Mark, Alyse Ochniak.  Photo by Teri Kuwahara, © 2018.

What a fabulous experience! We were honored to have the awe-inspiring Carrie Di Costanzo for a workshop on the use of gouache in botanical art. First of all, Carrie’s work is beyond exquisite — I suspect I was not alone in getting goosebumps while gazing at her originals. They are miraculous in their refinement and perfection. Although Carrie works her magic in other media such as egg tempera and watercolor as well, it is her masterful handling of gouache that we focused on for those wonderful three days.

We all had a choice of working on a large deodar cedar cone, kumquats on a branch, loquats on a branch, or tulips. One participant requested a cactus as a subject, and The Huntington very kindly supplied that subject as well.

Reviewing artwork with Carrie Di Constanzo. Photo by Kathlyn Powell, © 2018.

Reviewing artwork with Carrie Di Constanzo. L to R: Teri Kuwahara, Carrie Di Costanzo, Suzanne Bassani, Janice Sharp, Carol Readhead, Mary Jo Newman, Melanie Carter-Campbell. Missing from photo: Patricia Mark, Alyse Ochniak. Photo by Kathlyn Powell, © 2018.

Carrie demonstrated several ways of using gouache, as the medium is quite versatile. She showed her favored method of laying down a pale “wash” of her mixed paint that consisted of a highly controlled stippling using her amazingly fast feathery stroke of dilute gouache on a dry brush. Texture was instantiated from the start and retained throughout with this technique. Subsequent layers were laid down with generally successively more concentrated pigments with the occasional unifying dry brush wash over. She worked from light to dark in this method, somewhat reminiscent of watercolor.

She also demonstrated an approach using titanium white mixed to varying degrees into her colors to opacify and smooth the deposition of color and it had a depth and richness rivaling oils while retaining the luscious velvety matte surface of gouache. Indeed, in this approach, the handling is more like that of oils or acrylics and many renowned artists such as James Gurney use this method. [See some of James Gurney’s favorite gouache artists here.] Lights do not necessarily need to be retained and working dark to light is possible. Highlights and light structures such as Melanie’s cactus spines can be directly added on top.

Carrie showed us that gouache is like watercolor in re-solubility but has a higher pigment load, yielding greater opacity. It can be used in a watercolor way with wet, dilute translucent washes retaining the light of the paper, building up to a gorgeous matte depth of color. It can also, again, be used somewhat like oils or acrylics, with light pigments over dark. This allows for going over sections with many layers until one is satisfied, without harming the surface or looking overworked. Thus, you can push a painting further. One can also use gouache to exquisite effect on toned papers, like botanical artist Albert R. Valentien did. Carrie showed us how she creates a toned sheet for such an approach.

Carrie encouraged us to use the method that we felt most comfortable with and everyone had their own unique look to their paintings, and all were lovely. The medium was adaptable to each person’s individual style of painting.

A Little About Gouache:
Gouache has a history that goes back to the 9th Century. Illuminated manuscripts and Persian and Mughal miniatures were painted using opaque watercolors mixed with white or on white priming. Chinese white was also freely used in Western watercolors in the nineteenth century as “body colors”, distinguished by their beautiful precision (see, for example, the watercolor and body color work of William Trost Richards). For many subjects, such as landscapes, body color made it possible.

Zinc white (Chinese white) as a pigment had become available in Europe in the mid-19th century (although in use in Persia, India and China since at least the 12th century) and thus at least partially displaced the more opaque but very toxic lead white. It is no wonder that artists happily explored the possibilities of this new pigment! (Especially en plein air, once pigments were packed into tubes.) We are lucky to have access to nontoxic, very opaque titanium white (introduced 1921) as well as zinc white.

Gouache was favored by commercial artists during the twentieth century for its beauty, speed of drying, and matte surface which the camera loves — it is renowned for reproducing extremely well. It got a bit of a bad rap because of the fugitive quality of many of the paints then in use — pieces were made for the camera rather than the frame, so archival lightfast pigments were not always employed. Now, however, we have beautiful, fully lightfast gouache pigments available to us from numerous pigmenters. Also, the medium suffered some stigma in the pretentious “Fine Art” vs “illustration” controversy.

Technical instruction in gouache has become very difficult to come by over the last few decades, so I cherish the training we were so fortunate to obtain with a Master Artist like Carrie. I personally have longed for this type and quality of didactics for nearly half a century. Opacity is another dimension of control which enhances the ability to work the magic of mimesis.

Profound thanks to Carrie Di Costanzo, a real treasure both artistically and as a person, to the Education Committee for bringing her, to The Huntington for hosting us, to Patricia Mark for supplying subjects and to BAGSC for everything!

by Teri Kuwahara and Deb Shaw

BAGSC gathered at the Madrona Marsh Nature Preserve in Torrance for the January meeting to feature the ongoing mural project of BAGSC member Estelle DeRidder.

The interior of the meeting room walls in the Madrona Marsh Interpretive Center have been filled with Estelle’s paintings of the plants, animals and insects found in Marsh. She has spent countless hours capturing each plant in its native environment. The meeting was highlighted by featuring Estelle as our guest speaker, adding her wit and wisdom in starting and continuing this ambitious project. In addition to discussing her process and goals, Estelle also spoke about the challenges of creating such a large work, including determining scale, practical techniques, and interesting visitors (of the human, insect and avian varieties).

Estelle was recently honored by the Cultural Arts Commission in Torrance for her work on this mural. [See BAGSC News blog article about the award here.] The Marsh staff and volunteers from the Friends of the Marsh group were also present to support Estelle, a true indication of how much she is respected and admired. A video was made to highlight Estelle’s mural project for the Cultural Arts Awards ceremony and we were fortunate to view it.   It has now been posted on YouTube so members unable to attend the meeting can enjoy it, and can be found here: https://youtu.be/zExN3JWTcMY

Our sincere thanks go out to Estelle for bringing BAGSC to the attention of Madrona Marsh. Estelle’s mural can be viewed in the Interpretive Center, Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Additional thanks goes to Tracy Drake, Park Services Manager, Community Services Department, City of Torrance; Hilary and Dave Jamieson; and, Lance Hill for his wonderful photographs of the meeting.

The Marsh is located at: 3201 Plaza del Amo, Torrance, CA 90503.

Click on any image below to see larger images in a slide show format with full captions for each photo.

by Lee McCaffree and Deb Shaw

Filoli’s 20th Annual Botanical Art Exhibition is a celebration of spring flowers from their wonderful historic Garden. Artworks in the exhibition are from local and international artists (some of them graduates of Filoli’s Botanical Art Certificate Program) and are depicted in watercolor, colored pencil, pen and ink, oil, and graphite.

Jurors were Peggy Feidler, botanist, and Carol Woodin, botanical artist; curators were Lee McCaffree and Catherine Watters. The exhibition includes 44 pieces by 36 artists, including the curators and juror Carol Woodin, many of them artists who are exhibiting for the first time.

Awards:
Bourn Award for distinction with an emphasis on horticulture: “Sunflower Awakening” by Jeannetta vanRaalte
Roth Award for distinction with an emphasis on traditional botanical art presentation: Paeonia lactiflora, Pink Peony by Miksuko Schultz (and BAGSC member!)
Jurors Award for distinction with an emphasis on botanical art presentation: Papaver somniferum, Poppy by Jean Emmons
Jurors Award Honorable Mention: Tacca chantrieri, Cat’s Whiskers by Stephanie Law

The exhibition runs from February 23 – May 20, 2018.

BAGSC members in the exhibition include: Nina Anzte, Catherine Dellor, Joan Keesey, curator Lee McCaffree, and Mitsuko Schultz.  Carrie Di Constanzo has two pieces in the exhibition: Carrie will be coming to teach a BAGSC workshop in April, 2018, to be held at The Huntington Libraries, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

Click on any of the images by BAGSC members below to see a larger image. These paintings, as well as all of the artworks in the exhibition can be seen online at OnlineJuriedShows.com

In addition to “A Palette of Flowers,” the Filoli Florilegium is on display in its entirety throughout the House.

Filoli Historic House & Garden is A Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is located at 86 Cañada Road, Woodside, CA 94062, (650) 364-8300.

Congratulations to the award-winners and all the participants!

by Jude Wiesenfeld, posted by Deb Shaw

Magnolia grandiflora, gouache on paper, © Carrie Di Costanzo

Magnolia grandiflora, gouache on paper, © Carrie Di Costanzo

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions about the Workshop? Contact the BAGSC Education Chair.

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

About the instructor

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

by Tania Norris, posted by Deb Shaw

BAGSC handouts for "Portraits of Bonsai from The Huntington Collection." Cover image, Ficus retusa, watercolor on paper, © 2018 Anna Suprunenko. Brochure and photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2018.

BAGSC handouts for “Portraits of Bonsai from The Huntington Collection.” Cover image, Ficus retusa, watercolor on paper, © 2018 Anna Suprunenko. Brochure and photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2018.

The Botanical Center at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, is the location for the BAGSC exhibition ‘“Portraits of Bonsai from The Huntington Collection.” The paintings received many admiring comments from the public and participants at The Huntington’s Bonsai-a-Thon held the weekend of February 24 – 25, 2018.

Demonstrations during the two-day event were given by Olga Ryabtsova, Mitsuko Schultz and Tania Norris. The questions and comments from the viewers were many and varied. They ranged from ‘how do you?’, ‘I could never do that’, ‘are they for sale?’ and ‘where do I find classes?’ etc. People were really interested and appreciative of our participation.

Amazing Bonsais everywhere! Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2018.

Amazing Bonsais everywhere! Photo by Olga Ryabtsova, © 2018.

The wonderful and patient Bonsai master, Ted Matson, gave a long plug for BAGSC before he started the auction of bonsai for the attendees. He mentioned how BAGSC members had come weekly to paint The Huntington Collection. Ted also mentioned the upcoming ASBA “Out of the Woods” art show at the Brody Center (May 18, 2018 to August 27, 2018) and was most complimentary about the BAGSC paintings.

Olga Ryabtsova (L) and Mitsuko Schultz (R) demonstrate in front of the BAGSC wall of Bonsai Portraits. Photo by Jude Wiesenfeld, © 2018.

Olga Ryabtsova (L) and Mitsuko Schultz (R) demonstrate in front of the BAGSC wall of Bonsai Portraits. Photo by Jude Wiesenfeld, © 2018.

It was also wonderful to see many BAGSC members attending the event. A few additional BAGSC demonstrators or BAGSC members who could answer questions would have been appreciated. Don’t be shy — all levels of expertise are appreciated at our outreach events, and seasoned BAGSC participants are always on hand to lend a hand.

Jude Wiesenfeld with her painting Juniperus Californica, © 2018. Photo by Mitsuko Schultz, © 2018.

Jude Wiesenfeld with her painting Juniperus californica, © 2018. Photo by Mitsuko Schultz, © 2018.

Thank you to Ted Matson and The Huntington for this wonderful opportunity; and kudos to all BAGSC papticipants!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Jude Wiesenfeld, posted by Deb Shaw

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions about the Workshop? Contact the BAGSC Education Chair.

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

About the instructor

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

by Teri Kuwahara and Deb Shaw

Photo from the Friends of Madrona Marsh website. Photo credits: Tracy Drake, Mark Comon, Mike Griffiths and Suzan Hubert.

Photo from the Friends of Madrona Marsh website. Photo credits: Tracy Drake, Mark Comon, Mike Griffiths and Suzan Hubert.

Congratulations to the City of Torrance and the Madrona Marsh, winner of the Rose Parade’s Mayor Award for the most outstanding float submitted by a city!

“Making a Difference” was the theme for the 128th Rose Parade. Gary Senise was The Grand Marshal—the actor is best known for his portrayal as Lt. Dan in “Forrest Gump,” as well as his ongoing work with veterans. Tournament of Roses’ Judges awarded twenty-four floats with official honors in a variety of categories.

The Madrona Marsh Preserve makes a difference in the City of Torrance. The Marsh was highlighted in this year’s Tournament of Roses float, “Protecting Nature… The Madrona Marsh Preserve“.

The Torrance Rose Float Association Committee selected the theme from designs submitted by Torrance high school students during their annual design contest earlier this year.

Come see the Madrona Marsh Preserve at the next BAGSC meeting
Come get a first-hand look at the Marsh that inspired the float!

Our first BAGSC quarterly meeting of 2018 will be a special day. On Saturday, January 13, 2018, we will be meeting at the Madrona Marsh, in the Nature Center to see the amazing mural created by our member Estelle DeRidder. Estelle was recently honored by the City of Torrance for her work. She will talk to us about her ongoing work at the Madrona Marsh, from her initial project and grant from the ASBA, to the process she is using to create this record of plant and animal life at the marsh.

Following Estelle’s presentation and a brief break for a BYO sack lunch, we will head across the street for a guided tour of the marsh and an open-ended time to sketch.

Read about Estelle’s work and the awards from the City of Torrance Arts Commission in other articles on the BAGSC Blog.

Coffee will be at 9:30, followed by our business meeting before our program begins. Please plan to wear walking shoes, hat and weather appropriate clothes, bring your sack lunch (coffee, tea and water available), and your sketching supplies, including a small stool if you would like.

RSVP to Clara Josephs or email her with any questions.

Guests are welcome!

The Madrona Marsh Preserve is located at 3201 Plaza del Amo, Torrance, CA 90503.

by Jude Wiesenfeld, posted by Deb Shaw

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

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

by Deb Shaw

The 20th Annual International Exhibition by American Society of Botanical Artists and The Horticultural Society of New York was on display from November 09 – December 21, 2017 at The New York Design Center. Congratulations to all ASBA artists who participated, including BAGSC members Asuka Hishiki, Joan Keessey, Lesley Randall, Olga Ryabtsova, and Mitsuko Schultz.

Forty-six works from more than 200 submissions were chosen, including artists from the United States, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom. Jurors were: Susan Fraser, Director, Mertz Library, The New York Botanical Garden; David Horak, Curator of the Aquatic House, Brooklyn Botanic Garden; and, Esther Klahne, Botanical Artist.

The New York Design Center hosted the 20th Anniversary exhibition and reception.

If you weren’t able to see the exhibition or the opening in person, you can still view the artwork online on the ASBA website, as well as read statements about their work from each of the artists.

Congratulations to the award winners (artist’s names listed below are linked directly to their statement page):
Mariko Ikeda (Screw Pine), The Hort’s Best in Show Award, $500
Annie Patterson (Cardoon Seedhead), ASBA Eleanor Wunderlich Award of $500
Monika deVries Gohlke (‘Blackcurrant Swirl’ Datura), Helen Gray Garber Award of $500
Martha Kemp (Ornamental Gourd 2), Brooklyn Botanic Garden Award for Print or Drawing of $250
Linda Medved Lufkin (Sunflower x 2), Richmond and Lili Bates Award for Excellence of $300

In recognition of an Artist by a Fellow Artist
Honorable Mentions (4):
Olga Ryabtsova (Bird of Paradise)
Liz Shippam (Merryweather Damsons)
Mitsuko Schultz (Pink Peony)
Tammy McEntee (Shenot Crown of Thorns Gourd)

Click any of the images below to see an enlarged image and a slide show of BAGSC members in the exhibition. Congrats to all!

by Gilly Shaeffer, posted by Deb Shaw

There are many workshops to be held before the California Native Plant Society 2018 conference begins on Tuesday, January 30, through Wednesday, January 31, at the LAX Marriott.

There will be two botanical art workshops given by BAGSC members:
Gilly Shaeffer will teach “Introduction to Botanical Art Techniques”
Tuesday, January 30, from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm.

Olga Ryabtsova will teach “Black & White Drawing Techniques in Botanical Illustration”
Wednesday, January 31, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

See complete information about these two workshops below.

Deadline to register January 14, 2018. To Register, go to https://conference.cnps.org/registration/

Introduction to Botanical Art Techniques
Tuesday, January 30, 1:00 PM-4:30 PM
Instructor: Gilly Shaeffer, Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, American Society of Botanical Artists
Registration: $50 Attending the Conference / $70 Not Attending the Conference

Matilija Poppy, Gilly Shaeffer, watercolor on paper, © 2017.

Matilija Poppy, Gilly Shaeffer, watercolor on paper, © 2017.

Botanical art starts with a good drawing. Through demonstrations and hands-on practice, participants will learn ways to create line drawings of plants. We will focus on the need for close observation when creating botanical art. Class will begin with an overview of the materials used to create botanical art and how they are used, including pencils, drawing paper, erasers, magnifiers, watercolor brushes, paints, and watercolor paper. Next participants will be introduced to shading from light to dark to create three dimensional forms. Exercises will further participants’ understanding of form through creation of their own three dimensional forms. An introduction to the importance of a light source in drawing plant forms will be included. Class will conclude with time to sketch from natural forms so that class participants can apply the concepts presented during the class to their actual plant drawings.

This workshop is designed for people who have an interest in learning more about how to draw and eventually paint plants, and will be taught at a beginner level.

Participants will receive a list of reference books for the beginning study of drawing. Handouts will be provided covering basic points made in the class which will include exercises that can be done at home. A variety of books that are highly recommended in the study of botanical illustration and watercolor will be available to look at during class, as well as recent exhibition catalogues.

Please plan to bring (more details will be provided to registered participants—the cost for these materials should be around $15 for those who do not yet own them):

  • Strathmore drawing paper pad 400 Series
  • Graphite drawing pencils 2H, HB, and 2B
  • Cretacolor brand kneaded eraser

Gilly Shaeffer’ s lifelong interest in art and love of nature drew her to the study of botanical art. Her work has been selected to appear in juried exhibitions at museums, galleries, and gardens throughout the United States. She has taught Botanical Illustration and Watercolor at Virginia Robinson Gardens and Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. She also teaches Botanical Art Techniques at her home studio on Mount Washlngton in Los Angeles.

Black & White Drawing Techniques in Botanical Illustration
Wednesday, January 31, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Instructor: Olga Ryabtsova, Botanical Artist; Exhibition Chair of the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, American Society of Botanical Artists
Registration: $95 Attending the Conference / $125 Not Attending the Conference

Matilija Poppy seed pod, Olga Ryabtsova, watercolor on paper, © 2017.

Matilija Poppy seed pod, Olga Ryabtsova, watercolor on paper, © 2017.

This workshop will focus on black and white drawing techniques. We will review the materials required, and participants will learn about the perception of light, shadow, and contrast in drawing with a graphite pencil, metalpoint, pen and ink. Drawing with all mentioned materials will be demonstrated. Patricipants will draw a sketch from a living plant or fruit or a provided photo with graphite, and start an original work with matalpoint.

This worshop is open to anyone interested in botanical art and drawing techniques. All skill levels are welcome (beginner, intermediate, advanced artists who are interested in metalpoint).

Preliminary list of supplies that participants will need to bring (more details will be provided before the workshop):

  • Graphite pencils 2H, HB, 2B, 4B
  • Sharpener
  • Sketch paper
  • Tracing paper
  • Drawing paper
  • Eraser
  • Board to support paper and tape to hold it
  • Metalpoint wire and holder
  • Portable light lamp (optional)

Olga Ryabtsova was born in Russia, in the town of Dubna about 80 miles north of Moscow. After school, she moved to Moscow to study graphic design and illustration at the Moscow University of Graphic Arts, where she obtained a Master’s Degree. She worked as an Art Director for advertising agencies, and as a photojournalist and commercial photographer. After moving to California in 2015, Olga became fascinated with the native plants of Southern California, the botanical gardens in the area, and botanical art. She works in many different techniques, including watercolor, oil, etching, silverpoint and ceramic. Additionally, Olga teaches drawing to children and conducts workshops for adults.

by Janice Sharp and contributing authors Teri Kuwahara, Kathlyn Powell, Beth Stone, and Leslie Walker, posted by Deb Shaw

Estelle DeRidder receiving her award. Photo by Kathlyn Powell, © 2017.

Estelle DeRidder receiving her award. Photo by Kathlyn Powell, © 2017.

The City of Torrance Cultural Arts Commission awarded Estelle DeRidder an Excellence in Arts Award on October 21, 2017, in Visual Arts & Design for her extraordinary work in botanical art for the Madrona Marsh and for bringing-the-outdoors-in with her murals on the walls of the city’s Madrona Marsh Interpretive Center.

Each year the City honors individuals Excellence in Arts Awards in four categories: Dance, Music, Visual Arts & Design, Drama & Theater Arts. Two memorial awards are given as well, named in honor of two distinguished citizens: the Dr. Tom Rische Arts Education Award and the (former Mayor) Katy Geissert Award.

Educational napkin at the award ceremony, with artwork by Estelle DeRidder. Photo by Leslie Walker, © 2017.

Educational napkin at the award ceremony, with artwork by Estelle DeRidder. Photo by Leslie Walker, © 2017.

BAGSC members Teri Kuwahara, Kathlyn (Kat) Powell, Janice Sharp, Beth Stone, and Leslie Walker, and Estelle’s family were on hand to see Estelle accept the award. The City put together a beautiful video about Estelle and the mural project at the Madrona Marsh Nature Preserve. The video was beautifully done and very impressive. BAGSC is planning to show it at our BAGSC Holiday Party on December 9 if possible, so members who weren’t able to attend the ceremony can see it.

After the awards presentation, Kat, Janice and Beth went over to Madrona Marsh to see the progress on Estelle’s mural. (Click on the images below to see them enlarged.)

Leslie Walker (L) and Estelle DeRidder (R). Photo by Teri Kuwahara, © 2017.

Leslie Walker (L) and Estelle DeRidder (R). Photo by Teri Kuwahara, © 2017.

Estelle was awarded a grant from ASBA in 2012 for her Madrona Marsh project. At the 2017 ASBA Conference in San Francisco this past October, ASBA Grants Committee Chairperson Myra Sourkes opened the Grants Presentation with a presentation of Estelle’s work and her accomplishments, with a hearty congratulations from all ASBA members in attendance.

And more Madrona Marsh coverage to come!

Unfortunately, Estelle won’t be able to join us at the BAGSC Holiday Party: a local television station will be interviewing her about the mural on Saturday, December 9. We will find out when the interview will be aired and on which station as soon as possible, and let everyone know.

(Click on the images below to see them enlarged.)

Congratulations, and well-deserved Estelle!

 

by 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.

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