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by Beth Stone, posted by Deb Shaw

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

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

It’s time to register for BAGSC Founder and Member Olga Eysymont’s next series at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. Registration is through the Otis website. Here’s the link:

Don’t worry that the class description on the Otis website reads the same as Olga’s previous sessions. Olga says “For my returning students, I will be giving them other projects to work on.”

New students 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.

“Botanical Illustration: Plant Studies,” in graphite, will meet for six Sundays, from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm, beginning Sunday, September 18, 2016,  and then on the following five Sundays: October 2, October 16, October 30, November 6 and November 20.


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 course is non-credit, although certificate and credit options are available for additional cost.

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

Workshop Discounts

A $50 discount on the course registration is available until August 21. Senior discounts also are available; check with Otis to see if they can be used in combination with the early registration discount.

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 Beth Stone
029A wonderful series of weekly classes has just concluded at the LA Arboretum and Botanic Garden. This Otis College course was taught by Olga Eysymontt. Each class in the series built upon the preceding progressing from contour drawing to shading exercises then on to visualizing basic forms as they apply to increasingly complex botanical subjects. Artistic composition was also a theme throughout.

Copy (1) of 027For some students the material was brand new, for others it was review, for myself it certainly filled in some gaps. Without question, all the subject matter and techniques which Olga covered are foundational to botanical art.

Olga makes great use of a combination of demonstration, class discussion and one-on-one guidance. Each class included at least one opportunity to share our progress with and learn from one another. Each session concluded with a homework assignment. I found this particularly valuable and just the right level of effort to keep me engaged between classes. Practicing the concepts on my own really helped to reinforce each lesson.



By the end, each of us had several completed works…and one more work in progress to keep that momentum going.

Watch for Olga’s next series coming up in January 2016. I highly recommend it!


by Clara Josephs, posted by Deb Shaw

Here is some helpful information regarding the cost of Olga’s Sunday class at the LA Arboretum. The base cost of the class (through Otis) for noncredit is $435 plus the required amount of $39 for insurance and registration fees. You may deduct up to two $50 ($100 total!) discounts as they apply to you.

Choose from any two of the following:

  • Senior, 60 and over: subtract $50
  • KCRW member with valid card in your name: subtract $50
  • Early bird registration until August 23: subtract $50
  • Alumni discount: subtract $50

Take two discounts and the cost of the class is $374 for 8 full days of instruction!

For convenience, here is the basic information posted in a previous BAGSC Blog post:
Graphite for Botanical Illustration. Classes will held for 8 Sundays, from September 13 through November 1, 9:30–4:30 and is appropriate for all skill levels. Register through Otis College 310 665 6950 class # XILU3556. This class is not yet up on the website, but will fill quickly. If you are interested, register soon by phone.

By Leslie Walker, posted by Deb Shaw

Trichostema by Lee McCaffree, © 2013, all rights reserved.

Trichostema by Lee McCaffree, © 2013, all rights reserved.

BAGSC is bringing Lee McCaffree to Southern California to teach this November. The subject of this class will be textures.  We will explore patterns, textures, and other plant surfaces through color, light and shadow, and negative space. The balance between texture and form will be continually evaluated.

All  media are welcome. Graphite will be used to establish a reference subject. Watercolor dry brush techniques will provide a method to represent many different surfaces while maintaining the subject’s form. Colored pencil techniques can be used the same way, but students using colored pencils will be responsible for their own color mixing. This class will develop artist’s confidence to attempt more complex subjects.

The class will be Saturday, November 9 and Sunday, November 10 from 9:30 am – 4:00 pm with a half hour to eat lunch in the classroom. Participants will bring their own lunch; coffee and tea will be provided and will be available all day. The cost for this 2-day class for BAGSC members is $200.00; the cost for non-members is $250.00.

A $50.00 non-refundable, down-payment is required to hold your place, with the final payment due October 12, 2013. All payments should be made by check, made out to BAGSC, with “McCaffree Class” noted in the memo line. Checks should be sent to Janice Sharp (email Janice if you need her address).

The class will be held in the LEED Platinum certified learning center at the Environmental Nature Center, (ENC), 1601 East 16th Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663. The beautiful ENC learning center has plenty of on site and street parking, and is nestled in a 3.5 acre landscape featuring 15 California native plant communities, wildlife habitats, and walking trails. For the past 40 years, the ENC has been a hidden gem in Orange County.

Lee McCaffree is a botanical artist specializing in watercolor. She has studied in London with Christabel King and Capel Manor Environmental College. She has received medals for  her “Pinus” and “Plants in Peril” paintings at the Royal Horticultural Society exhibitions in London. Her work is included in the permanent collections of Kew Gardens, the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation and in the Filoli Florilegium, in addition to private collections. Previous exhibitions include: Longwood Gardens, the Horticultural Society of New York, the Denver Botanic Gardens, Strybing Arboretum, the New York State Museum, Oakland Museum, Filoli, and other venues. She teaches botanical art at Filoli and to private groups. She also has served on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Botanical Artists.

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