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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 Jude Wiesenfeld, posted by Deb Shaw

Lee McCaffree (left) and Pat Mark (right); photo by Jude Wiesenfeld, © 2017.

Lee McCaffree (left) and Pat Mark (right); photo by Jude Wiesenfeld, © 2017.

BAGSC held a one day class with botanical artist (and BAGSC member), Lee McCaffree, at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens on May 6, 2017 on “Leaf Detail: Start to Finish, Veins and Edges”.

Susan Jackson; photo by Jude Wiesenfeld, © 2017.

Susan Jackson, enjoying her leaf studies; photo by Jude Wiesenfeld, © 2017.

Lee stayed with Pat Mark, who also acted as her assistant in the class, arranging for specimens, distributing hand-outs, etc. We brought our lunch, which was a very good idea, as there turned out to be a special film event at The Huntington that took over the Brody side parking lot and added to the crowd.

Lee is a very affable teacher and took time with every student checking their work on the assignments. She began showing us examples of different leaf vein patterns and margin (edges) patterns. We divided our watercolor paper into sections and worked on different techniques in an effort to decide which ones we preferred.

I liked leaving the whites of the veins, rather than “lifting” or “masking” the veins. Lee also suggested tools that would best suit rendering our veins and edges for the best results.

We hope Lee will join us again in future. All of us enjoyed meeting her and enjoyed the class very much.

Class members, © 2017.

Class members, © 2017.

Kat Powell (left) and Estelle De Ridder (right); photo by Jude Wiesenfeld, © 2017.

Kat Powell (left) and Estelle De Ridder (right); photo by Jude Wiesenfeld, © 2017.

Jude Wiesenfeld, © 2017.

Jude Wiesenfeld, © 2017.

by Bonnie Born Ash, posted by Deb Shaw

Many BAGSC members get together on an informal basis to go to exhibits and museums, see flowers and work on their paintings. BAGSC members in the Los Angeles county area have been getting together to work on their individual paintings. The next gathering of their BAGSC regional botanical illustration group will be held on:

TUESDAY, MAY 2
11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Norma’s Home

If you are interested in attending, please contact Bonnie to RSVP via email. Space is limited when meeting in member’s home, so no more than ten members will be able to join this day. Participants should remember to bring lunch and a portable light if needed.

A “Regional BAGSC” page has been added to the “Members Only” area of the BAGSC website. If you would like to invite all BAGSC members to an outing or a painting day, let Deb know and she will post it to the website and the blog. OR, take a BAGSC website training session and get on the team to learn how to post it yourself!

Happy painting!

by Deb Shaw

The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden has announced the schedule for Cristina Baltayian’s Botanical Art and Illustration classes.

Each session meets four (4) Tuesdays per month, from 10 am – 2 pm (includes lunch break) in the Oak Room:

January          10, 17, 24, 31
February        7, 14, 21, 28
March             7, 14, 21, 28
April               4, 11, 18, 25
May                 2,   9, 16, 23
June                6, 13, 20, 27

Cost: $275 Arboretum members per month; $295 non-members per month (includes Arboretum Admission)

To Register please call the Education Department at 626.821.4623 or pay at the class.

These classes explore color pencil, graphite, pen and ink, and watercolor on various papers, vellum and other surfaces. The emphasis is on plant observation, drawing, composition, color theory and matching, and medium techniques. In conjunction with the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, students will be studying and portraying many of the Arboretum plant introductions from the last 50 years. The goal is to build a collection of paintings that will celebrate and document the invaluable contribution of the Los Angeles Arboretum to the state of California.

The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is located at 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007, 626.821.3222.

by Estelle DeRidder and Deb Shaw

Invitation for Estelle DeRidder's Madrona Marsh Nature Center Exhibition, © 2016, Estelle DeRidder.

Invitation for Estelle DeRidder’s Madrona Marsh Nature Center Exhibition, © 2016, Estelle DeRidder.

In 2012, BAGSC member Estelle DeRidder was awarded an education grant from the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) to use in creating reusable plant identification cards featuring California native plant illustrations from the Madrona Marsh Preserve in Torrence, California.

Information about Estelle’s project was presented at the ASBA Annual Meeting and Conference in Denver, Colorado during the ASBA Grant Presentations, October 17, 2014.

Estelle is now exhibiting the complete project at the Madrona Marsh Nature Center. Titled The Flashcard Project: Flora of the Madrona Marsh III, the exhibition runs from December 6, 2016 through January 20, 2017. There will be an opening reception Sunday, December 18, 2016
1:00 – 4:00 pm.

The public is invited and welcome.

The Nature Center at the Madrona Marsh Preserve is located at: 3201 Plaza del Amo, Torrance, CA 90505. Phone: (310) 32-MARSH. The Madrona March is open Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm.

If you are interested in applying for an ASBA grant, please apply by August 1, 2017 (open to ASBA members only). Information and the application can be found on the ASBA’s Grant page on their website.

by Susan Eubank, posted by Deb Shaw

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

Logo for the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Gardens.

Logo for the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Deb Shaw

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

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

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

Broccoli, watercolor by Asuka Hishiki, © 2016.

Broccoli, watercolor by Asuka Hishiki, © 2016.

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

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

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

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

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

 

by Deb Shaw

"Fragaria x ananassa 'Fragoo Pink'," Strawberry, watercolor by Mitsuko Schultz, © 2013, all rights reserved.

“Fragaria x ananassa ‘Fragoo Pink’,” Strawberry, watercolor by Mitsuko Schultz, © 2013, all rights reserved.

Submission deadlines for the The BAGSC exhibition “Cornucopia” at The San Diego Botanic Garden, Ecke Building are roaring up soon. Complete submission of up to three (3) artworks, forms, digital images and $35 entry fee are due by August 12, 2016.

“Cornucopia” will focus on all plants consumable. All life depends on plants, so let’s celebrate the diversity of plant life used in food, beverages and to enhance flavor. Draw or paint the weird fruit or vegetable found in the grocery store, the prize tomato from your backyard garden, an exotic spice or the essential ingredient of a beverage (such as hops!). If you can, include a recipe using your plant subject, or some information about how the plant is used. Submitted artworks can include any traditional media, including watercolor, colored pencil, graphite and pen and ink.

All current BAGSC members in good standing (dues paid) are eligible to enter up to three (3) two-dimensional artwork(s). High quality prints are acceptable, but no photos or digital enhancements please. We are encouraging all BAGSC members, of all experience levels to enter at least one piece.

This is not a juries show. Though not a juried show, if space becomes an issue, selections will be made to show a diversity of subjects and to include as many artists as possible.

The “Call for Entries” packet was sent via email blast to all BAGSC members. If you did not receive it, or have problems with the file, please contact Deb Shaw or Janice Sharp.

Looking forward to seeing your incredible edibles!

by Olga Eysymont and Beth Stone, posted by Deb Shaw

Passion Flower study, Olga Eysymontt, © 2008, all rights reserved.

Passion Flower study, Olga Eysymontt, © 2008, all rights reserved.

BAGSC Founder and Member Olga Eysymont will begin her next six-week graphite pencil workshop this coming Sunday, June 12, 2016 at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. Entitled “Botanical Illustration: Plant Studies,” this workshop will explore the subject of plant families, with the goal of demonstrating both correct representation of the specimen, as well as a good compositional design. An emphasis on correct placement of light on form will be emphasized, in order to produce an authentic and realistic illustration.

The fundamental necessary skills to accomplish this begins with a 3-step process:

  1. contour drawing on tracing paper,
  2. compositional layout and value studies of the specimens on tracing paper, and, finally,
  3. a transfer of the tracing onto drawing paper for a final rendering.

Students will be expected to bring all of their own plant material after the first class.

“Botanical Illustration: Plant Studies,” in graphite, will meet for six Sundays, from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm, beginning Sunday, June 12, 2016. Sundays: 6/12, 6/19, 6/26, 7/10, 7/24, and 8/7.

Registration

Register online through Otis College of Art and Design Continuing Education. All classes will be held at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. The non-credit course (#25440) is $435 plus fees of $25 registration, $14 insurance and 2.75% on-line convenience, for a total of $487. Certificate and Credit options are also available for additional cost.

The linked page also has an option (see lower left) to register offline (PDF), if preferred. This PDF form includes email, FAX and phone registration information.

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

Workshop Outline

Session 1: Apples or Pears

Session 2: Nuts or Seeds and Pods

Session 3: Root Vegetables

Session 4: Leafy Greens or Herbs

Session 5: Mushrooms

Session 6: Succulents

Class Materials:

14″ x 17” Strathmore Drawing Pad Series 400, Medium or equivalent. (You may use another brand, but please, no sketch or recycled paper.

14” x 17” Medium Weight Tracing Paper (any brand)

Drafting Pencil with Holder and Sharpener

HB and 2B leads (at least 2 each)

Eraser Stick

Erasing Shield

Drafting Brush

Mars Drafting Dots (masking tape)

Portable Task Light (Ott-Lite)

(Vis a Vis wet erase fine point marker, Clip, 8″ x 10″ Plexi and 8″ x 10″ format supplied by teacher for $10.00)

by Deb Shaw

BAGSC News previously posted Gilly Shaeffer’s acceptance into “Celebrating Flora of the National Parks“, the new exhibition by the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) and the National Park Service (NPS) showcasing plants and ecological communities found throughout the more than 400 national parks.

Dudleya greenei, watercolor by Ellie Tu, © 2016, all rights reserved. This plant grows in the Channel Islands National Park.

Dudleya greenei, watercolor by Ellie Tu, © 2016, all rights reserved. This plant grows in the Channel Islands National Park.

BAGSC member Ellie Tu also was accepted into “Celebrating Flora”. Ellie’s cousin visited the exhibition at the US Botanic Garden at the end of March, and sent these photos of his visit.

The exhibition, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the NPS and the diversity of our national park’s flora, will run from February 18 – October 2, 2016 in the USBG Conservatory in Washington, D.C. Artworks in a wide variety of media by 78 artists from across the country are on display, along with living specimens from the USBG and graphics representing each of the National Parks represented. Programs will include botanical illustration and photography workshops, meet-the-artist sessions, and lectures by national parks rangers and other experts.

The U.S. Botanic Garden is the oldest public garden in the United States, and is open to the public, free of charge, every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Conservatory is located at 100 Maryland Ave. SW, on the southwest side of the U.S. Capitol. More information about the exhibit, programs, and visiting the USBG is available on the website.

Gallery wall showing Dudleya greenei by Ellie Tu; and California Poppy and Toyon Berries by Gilly Shaeffer. © 2016 by the artists, all rights reserved. Photo by Keith Fisher, © 2016.

Gallery wall showing Dudleya greenei by Ellie Tu; and California Poppy and Toyon Berries by Gilly Shaeffer. © 2016 by the artists, all rights reserved. Photo by Keith Fisher, © 2016.

Congratulations to Ellie and Gilly, and Happy 100th birthday to the US Botanic Garden!

Entry to "Flora of the National Parks". Photo by Keith Fisher, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Entry to “Flora of the National Parks”. Photo by Keith Fisher, © 2016, all rights reserved.

by Melanie Campbell-Carter and Gilly Shaeffer, posted by Deb Shaw

The opening day of the 18th Annual Botanical Art Exhibition at Filoli was a most extraordinary day from start to finish! New BAGSC member and Filoli student Ellie Tu had graciously delivered all the BAGSC paintings to Woodside the week before. At dawn on Thursday, April 7, Gilly Shaeffer, Mitsuko Schultz, Cristina Baltayian and Melanie Campbell-Carter arose and departed for a fabulous day at Filoli Gardens. Our first stop was to view the 65 lovely botanical paintings from the US and the Netherlands. Gilly said, “The quality of the paintings this year was truly inspiring!”

It was a magical day in the gardens. With picture-perfect sunny skies and warm breezes, we could not resist enjoying the gorgeous grounds in full spring bloom. The Filoli volunteers made our visit very special by sharing all their knowledge about the history of the estate, even giving a quick personal tour of the home. The Mark Catesby and select pieces of the Filoli and Highgrove Florilegiums prints were exhibited in the ballroom, and well worth a visit.

When the crowd gathered at the reception for the presentation of awards, we were thrilled to hear that Melanie Campbell-Carter was presented the Roth Award, “for distinction with an emphasis on traditional botanical art presentation” for her Duabanga grandiflora. Lee McCaffree was presented with the Bourn award, “for distinction with an emphasis on horticulture” for Narcissus ‘Delibes’, the Alcatraz Daffodil. The third award, the Jurors’ award, “for distinction with an emphasis on botanical art presentation”, went to Milly Acharya for her Lathyrus odoratus, Sweet Pea.

Everything about the day was perfectly delightful, and we feel that we have blazed a trail for future BAGSC jet-setting adventures! We heartily encourage everyone to see the exhibit before it closes on June 12, and to enjoy the beautiful spring gardens at Filoli.

BAGSC members accepted into the 18th Annual Botanical Art Exhibition at Filoli include:

  • Cristina Baltayian
  • Melanie Campbell-Carter
  • Joan Keesey
  • Lee McCaffree
  • Mitsuko Schultz
  • Gilly Shaeffer
  • Ellie Tu

The 18th Annual Botanical Art Exhibition at Filoli goes through June 12th. Filoli is located at 86 Cañada Road, Woodside, CA 94062.

Kudos to all the award winners, and congratulations to all the accepted artists!

Click on an image of the exhibition opening and the Filoli gardens to enlarge:

 

by Diane Daly and Deb Shaw

The Opuntia cactus in the courtyard at the entrance to Bowers Museum. Another beautiful Fall day in Southern California. Photo © Deborah Shaw, 2015.

The Opuntia cactus in the courtyard at the entrance to Bowers Museum. Another beautiful Fall day in Southern California. Photo © Deborah Shaw, 2015.

BAGSC members Diane Daly, Deb Shaw, and new BAGSC member Linda Carpenter spent a gorgeous Fall day at the Bowers Museum on November 22, demonstrating botanical art and talking with visitors to the Museum. BAGSC members are demonstrating in conjunction with the Bowers exhibition “The Red that Colored the World,” on display through February 21, 2016.

Cochineal (Dactylopius coccus) is a scale insect that lives on Opuntia cacti. The insect produces carminic acid, from which carmine dye is derived. The females and their nymphs secrete a waxy, white web to protect them from the sun and predators. Photo © Deborah Shaw, 2015.

Cochineal (Dactylopius coccus) is a scale insect that lives on Opuntia cacti. The insect produces carminic acid, from which carmine dye is derived. The females and their nymphs secrete a waxy, white web to protect them from the sun and predators. Photo © Deborah Shaw, 2015.

There is a huge Optuntia (Prickly Pear) growing in the courtyard at the entrance to the Bowers, serendipitously covered with Cochineal. We were lucky to have a large pad that had fallen to the ground, and, in addition to botanical art, we were able to show visitors the Cochineal scale insect, the color, and even some Mealybug Ladybird (ladybug) larvae who were feasting on the Cochineal. It was a whole world on one cactus pad. Visitors to the museum were fascinated (as were we!).

Live Cochineal (under the white on the Opuntia cactus paddle); dried Cochineal; and paint from the crushed insects. Photo by Diane Daly, © 2015, all rights reserved.

Live Cochineal (under the white on the Opuntia cactus paddle); dried Cochineal; and paint from the crushed insects. Photo by Diane Daly, © 2015, all rights reserved.

Diane Daly teaches at the Bowers Museum Treasures Program, which reaches out to senior centers, community centers, libraries, social service agencies and residential communities, engaging older adults who may be feeling isolated through art. The Thursday program focused on Cochineal as well, complete with demonstrations of crushing the bugs and using them to make paint. The seniors then painted an Aztec design using the paint. They could add lemon juice to some of the paint, which made it a lighter, warmer red.

Deborah Shaw will be teaching a a two-day color mixing class, “What’s Cool (and Warm) about Red” (with paint from the art supply store) on Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13 at Bowers. Registration is through the Bowers website.

Additional BAGSC demonstration days in conjunction with the exhibition will be held in January and February. Come join us and learn about a color that changed the history of the world, that’s still in use today. (You’ll be amazed at how much Cochineal is still used in food, make-up and clothing dyes.) Email Deb to sign up!

by Maureen Horn, Librarian, Massachusetts Horticulture Society, via email from Danielle Rudeen, The Huntington, posted by Deb Shaw

"Cereus," by Mrs. William Duffield, 1892. Massachusetts Horticultural Society Library, Box 9, Repros (shelf locator). Gift of Mrs. Fiske Warren, March, 1943. Permalink: http://ark.digitalcommonwealth.org/ark:/50959/0p097c160  This work is licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND).

“Cereus lemoinei,” by Mrs. William Duffield, 1892. Massachusetts Horticultural Society Library, Box 9, Repros (shelf locator). Gift of Mrs. Fiske Warren, March, 1943. Permalink: http://ark.digitalcommonwealth.org/ark:/50959/0p097c160 This work is licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND).

The Massachusetts Horticulture Society has announced that its botanical print collection has been digitized at the Boston Public Library and is ready to be viewed online.

The digitizing and posting of the collection is the culmination of three months of collaboration between the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the Boston Public Library, and Digital Commonwealth. More than 1,000 rare images from the oldest horticultural library in the nation are now available for viewing and use by members, scholars, historians, artists and the general public.

Mass Hort’s Botanical Print Collection contains more than three centuries of botanical illustration, dating from 1620 to 1969, offering an invaluable resource. Artists and the public can explore images that until now have been seen only by experts.

Tom Blake, Digital Projects Manager, Boston Public Library, commented that “Digital Commonwealth enables Massachusetts cultural institutions to develop a virtual presence, enhancing education and research by creating a community of support, offering professional advice, and facilitating collaboration. The Digital Commonwealth portal facilitates worldwide access to the cultural heritage of Massachusetts. Our repository provides an affordable option to organizations that are unable to host one locally.”

The Horticultural Library at Massachusetts Horticultural Society was the first in the United States.  It was established soon after the Society was founded in 1829 to share horticulture knowledge and beauty through its prints, books, extensive collection of seed catalogs, and other rare materials.

Noticing an interest in botanical prints, the Society mounted its first major exhibit in 1968. It continued with another exhibition in 1969, when a group of lily prints was shown to the North American Lily Society at its annual meeting.

Today, digitization and online access to special collections is an important strategy for any cultural heritage organization. With the help of Digital Commonwealth, Mass Hort’s Library will meet the 21st Century digital needs of students, researchers, authors and the public.

Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s botanical prints are available online at the Digital Commonwealth repository at https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/collections/commonwealth:k930hm897 . These images are available for the purposes of viewing and studying and not for commercial use.

Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Library collection includes more than 20,000 volumes at their library in the Education Center of the Elm Bank horticulture center and gardens. Additionally, the Society maintains 5,000 rare books, manuscripts, prints, seed catalogs, glass slides, and early transactions of horticultural institutions at a separate archival storage facility.

Many of the books transferred to the Chicago Botanical Garden’s Lenhardt Library Rare Book Collection in the early 2000’s by Mass Hort are now available online through the Illinois Digital Archives at http://www.idaillinois.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/ncbglib01; search on “Massachusetts Horticultural Society.”

by Lori Vreeke, posted by Deb Shaw

Hanging the "Zoo in Bloom" BAGSC exhibition at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Photo by Lori Vreeke, © 2015, all rights reserved.

Hanging the “Zoo in Bloom” BAGSC exhibition at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Photo by Lori Vreeke, © 2015, all rights reserved.

I just wanted to share a few pictures from the Santa Barabara Zoo. The artwork was hung yesterday, and everything looks wonderful!

Please join us on Saturday, October 3 for the opening reception for the exhibition from 10 am – 2 pm. See the posting on the Zoo’s website. The Zoo has offered free entry to our members and families; please wear your BAGSC name badge if you have one, and contact Lori Vreeke for information about free entry.

Hanging the "Zoo in Bloom" BAGSC exhibition at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Photo by Lori Vreeke, © 2015, all rights reserved.

Hanging the “Zoo in Bloom” BAGSC exhibition at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Photo by Lori Vreeke, © 2015, all rights reserved.

The Zoo is anticipating 600 – 800 members in the morning on Saturday. BAGSC artists will be demonstrating throughout the day, and there will be BAGSC-led activities for kids and families. BAGSC volunteers and demonstrators are welcome!! There are still a few volunteer slots available, and the more volunteers available for BAGSC public activities the merrier. Please contact Lori Vreeke to let her if you would like to volunteer for an hour or so, and please bring any extra paper, colored pencils and pencils to share.

Hanging the "Zoo in Bloom" BAGSC exhibition at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Photo by Lori Vreeke, © 2015, all rights reserved.

Hanging the “Zoo in Bloom” BAGSC exhibition at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Photo by Lori Vreeke, © 2015, all rights reserved.

Bring a lunch, or enjoy the café right outside the exhibition hall for a beautiful day in a beautiful setting.

The show will hang in the Volentine Gallery in the Zoo’s Discovery Pavilion October 3—January 3. The Santa Barbara Zoo is located at: 500 Ninos Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93103.
(805) 962-5339 main; (805) 962-6310 info line

 
Looking forward to the exhibit, and hope to see you there!

Hanging the "Zoo in Bloom" BAGSC exhibition at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Photo by Lori Vreeke, © 2015, all rights reserved.

Hanging the “Zoo in Bloom” BAGSC exhibition at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Photo by Lori Vreeke, © 2015, all rights reserved.

by Gilly Shaeffer, posted by Deb Shaw

Asuka Hishiki demonstrating during the "Weird, Wild & Wonderful" Symposium at The Huntington, July 2015. Photo by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2015.

Asuka Hishiki demonstrating during the “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” Symposium at The Huntington, July 2015. Photo by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2015.

During the recent “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” Symposium at The Huntington, I watched Asuka Hishiki as she demonstrated how she would paint a segment of an heirloom tomato skin. Here are my impressions of the way she went about developing this small sample of the tomato skin with paint.

  • Asuka says every time she approaches her subject it is new for her.
  • Asuka starts sketches on tracing paper.
  • She uses a wood pencil in a pencil holder which she sharpens with a box cutter.
  • She goes over her pencil lines with a lighter color paint or yellow ochre.  So she will have thin lines in watercolor for her drawing.
  • At this point she erases any pencil lines.
  • She covers the entire form with a Chinese white wash. (The Chinese white that she likes is the Holbein brand.)  She says one should stay very light when applying the first layer of this white paint. This Chinese white wash acts as a protection for the paper. Much of it gets taken off during the removal of the masking fluid (to be mentioned later).
  • Asuka will add more Chinese white paint on the places where she wants the paint to bleed to create  soft color transitions. She also mentions the importance of keeping  harmony in the colors used as the form develops.
Asuka Hishiki masking fluid technique. Photo by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2015.

Asuka Hishiki masking fluid technique. Photo by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2015.

  • She mixes three colors together in a small amount to be used to develop the form using the dry brush technique. She uses Interlon brand brush #3/0 for her dry brush work.
  • In preparing to use masking fluid to prevent certain areas of the paper from getting painted, she would prime the brush to be used with liquid soap. The soap helps to keep the masking fluid brush in good shape for future use. This brush is used exclusively for masking fluid.
  • She will use the masking fluid to hold the places that she does not want to get painted—in this case the place where a leaf would be (which looks like a skinny wiggly line in the photos), where the highlights would be and where imperfections would be found on the tomato skin.
Asuka Hishiki masking fluid technique. Photo by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2015.

Asuka Hishiki masking fluid technique. Photo by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2015.

  • Asuka stipples on the masking fluid with a very skinny brush on the section that she has begun to paint.
  • She uses tissue to blot any extra paint from her paper.
  • Then she adds a second layer of  masking fluid. So, this layer of masking fluid dots will have more tone than the first layer of dots that she applied that prevent any paint from getting through to the paper.
  • She always makes sure that the paint and the masking fluid that she has applied are absolutely dry before proceeding.
  • She says that you can lift paint more easily when you have first applied a Chinese white wash to the paper.
  • She applies a layer of Yellow Ochre wash.
  • She continues to develop the form through her dry brush technique. At this point the masking fluid remains on the painted area.
Asuka Hishiki masking fluid technique. Photo by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2015.

Asuka Hishiki masking fluid technique. Photo by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2015.

  • Asuka uses Winsor Newton Series 7 brushes, #5 and #3 for the colored washes.
  • She adds a third layer of masking fluid dots.
  • With WN Series 7 #5 brush, she puts a colored wash on the section that she had previously dry brushed. This makes any lines from dry brushing disappear.
  • Now she lifts the masking fluid dots. When she does this she is also lifting the Chinese white paint that was applied to the paper at the very start.  The white of the paper now shows through in the places that had masking fluid on them.
  • She decides that she wants to apply another layer (this would be the fourth layer) of masking fluid dots. This will make the dots appear lighter and less visible than the layers applied earlier.
  • Next more dry brushing with a deeper color paint. Some stippling is used. Then some more wet strokes (colored washes) to further the development of the form.
  • When she removes the fourth layer of masking fluid, it is easy to see the section of the heirloom tomato skin developing on the paper with its highlights, its shiny smooth skin, its roundness, its imperfections and its rich colors of orange, red, and purple.
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