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by Deb Shaw

The wonderful botanical art exhibitions at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Brody Botanical Center are in their final month of display.

Out of the Woods: Celebrating Trees in Public Gardens, The Third New York Botanical Garden Triennial and American Society of Botanical Artists will be on display until August 27, 2018, along with BAGSC’s adjunct exhibition “Amazing Trees.”  BAGSC members will continue to have drop-in family botanical art activities and botanical art demonstrations every Saturday and Sunday through that time as well.

These exhibitions have been a whirlwind of wonderful opportunities. A few highlights have included:

, a volunteer author in the office of communications and marketing at The Huntington introduced the exhibition with an article in “Verso,” The Blog for The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Read the article here.

Deborah Friedman was interviewed and videotaped by Aric Allen, Video Producer, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens about her development of her painting of the California Sycamore, Platanus racemosa in “Out of the Woods.” See the insightful video interview on YouTube here.

Steve Hindle, Interim President of The Huntington, "President's Message: The Gentle Giants Among Us," July/August "Calendar."

Steve Hindle, Interim President of The Huntington, “President’s Message: The Gentle Giants Among Us,” July/August “Calendar.” Read a PDF of the Message: huntington-pres-ltr-OOTW

“Out of the Woods” has been featured in all kinds of publicity and outreach from The Huntington, including the “President’s Message: The Gentle Giants Among Us,” by Interim President Steve Hindle in the July/August issue of The Huntington’s “Calendar.”

BAGSC participated in a Huntington open house and reception for The Huntington Fellows on Tuesday evening, May 22, 2018. BAGSC members Catherine Dellor, Estelle DeRidder, Suz Landay, Patricia Mark, Veronica Raymond, Olga Ryabstova, Gilly Shaeffer, Deborah Shaw, and Jude Wiesenfeld demonstrated at the well-attended reception. BAGSC members Susan Bartow, Teri Kuwahara, Tania Norris, Mitsuko Schultz, Beth Stone, and Leslie Walker attended too. Concurrent with the botanical art demonstrations that evening in the Ahmanson at the Brody Botanical Center, the ASBA Worldwide exhibitions were on display on the large screen, including the US exhibition (currently on display at the US Botanic Gardens) and exhibitions from 24 other countries. (See information about the ASBA Worldwide exhibition here. Information about the participating countries in the botanical art Worldwide Exhibition can be found here. Be sure to see the gallery slideshows and instructions on ordering exhibition catalogs from the US and other countries.)

Click on any of the images below to see in slide show with captions.

The calm before the crowds: (L) BAGSC member Tania Norris and Robert Hori ready the tables for the drop-in family botanical art activities.

The calm before the crowds: (L) BAGSC member Tania Norris and Robert Hori ready the tables for the drop-in family botanical art activities.

BAGSC members have provided drop-in family botanical art activities every weekend throughout the summer, including leaf-rubbings; botanical art demonstrations;  a segment in cooperation with The Huntington’s education department for their “avocado day,” and lots more! Additionally, BAGSC members have been on hand to answer questions from the public about botanical art and artworks in the exhibitions. It has been wonderful (and inspiring) to find many visitors to the exhibitions who have not only returned to see them multiple times, but have brought others to see them as well.

BAGSC members also used the weekend demonstration opportunities to paint orchids generously supplied from The Huntington’s collection by Brandon Tam, orchid collection specialist at The Huntington. Look for these paintings and drawings in our next exhibition at The Huntington in the fall, entitled “Diversity of Orchids.”

In early June, BAGSC members had the good fortune to be able to have Carol Woodin, ASBA Exhibition Chair at our quarterly meeting. Carol was in Southern California presenting at the American Public Gardens Association Conference with Devin Dotson from the US Botanic Gardens. Carol spoke to BAGSC members about painting orchids, followed by an audience-requested tour through the “Out of the Woods” exhibition. Click on any of the images below to see an enlarged slide show of the images with captions.

On Sunday, July 29, 2018, The Huntington hosted a stellar reception for the exhibitions for around 70 BAGSC members, family, friends and guests. Click on any of the images below to see a slideshow and read the captions.

Esmee van Winkel’s painting of Leiden’s 300-Year-Old Tulip Tree in Autumn, Liriodendron tulipifera, Hortus Botanicus Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands has graced all the signage, large and small, and the printed marketing materials produced by The Huntington. The signage is everywhere throughout the campus. Click on any of the images below for a small sampling, and to read the captions.

"Out of Woods" catalogs on display in The Huntington Store, along with a selection of notecards by BAGSC members in the "Out of the Woods" exhibition. Five of the six cards are shown here; The Huntington Store sometimes has them all together, other times they are grouped with like subject areas in the store.

“Out of Woods” catalogs on display in The Huntington Store, along with a selection of notecards by BAGSC members in the “Out of the Woods” exhibition. Five of the six cards are shown here; The Huntington Store sometimes has them all together, other times they are grouped with like subject areas in the store.

“Out of the Woods” exhibition catalogs are on sale in The Huntington Store for $12.00 US. The Store also is carrying a limited edition of notecards with artwork by BAGSC members in the “Out of the Woods” exhibition, including Margaret Best (Screw-Pine, Pandanus utilis, Bermuda Arboretum, Bermuda), Akiko Enokido (Swamp Cypress, Taxodium distichum, Kobe Municipal Arboretum, Kobe, Japan), Deborah Friedman (California Sycamore, Platanus racemosa, detail from original, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California), Asuka Hishiki (Black Pine Half-cascade Style Bonsai, Pinus nigra, The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama, Japan), Olga Ryabstova (Roxburgh Fig, Ficus auriculata, The San Diego Botanic Garden, Encinitas, California), and Mitsuko Schultz (Sweet Gum, Liquidambar styraciflua, ‘Burgundy’, Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia, California).

Asuka Hishiki's notecard in The Huntington Store on display in the Bonsai area of the Store.

Asuka Hishiki’s notecard in The Huntington Store on display in the Bonsai area of the Store.

A heartfelt thank you is due to too many to list here, but a special thank you to The Huntington’s Jim Folsom, Robert Hori, Danielle Rudeen, Melanie Thorpe and Andrew Mitchell, along with The Huntington’s Exhibition, Communications, Video, Education, Store and Graphics departments. Another special thank you to the BAGSC artists in “Out of the Woods,” who generously supported our test into The Huntington Store, and to all the other members who worked to make these exhibitions a success. And, last but not least, a heartfelt thank you to Tania Norris for all her work on the exhibition and coordinating the weekend botanical art activities.

by Margaret Best, posted by Deb Shaw

"The Art of the Tulip" Select River Cruises with Margaret Best, Artist-in-Residence.

“The Art of the Tulip” Select River Cruises with Margaret Best, Artist-in-Residence.

BAGSC member Margaret Best will be the Artist in Residence on a unique river cruise through the Low Countries focusing on “The Art of the Tulip.”

Onboard the MS Select Bellejour, participants will enjoy lectures about the history and cultural impact of the tulip. Demonstrations will be combined with botanical art instruction, including one-on-one attention from the instructor.

Margaret is a regular teacher at the Dundas Valley School of Art in Canada. She is one of three teachers at the school selected to be an Artist in Residence on Select River Cruises in 2017.

Margaret Best teaching.

Margaret Best teaching.

To coincide with Tulip Time in April, Margaret will be offering lectures on the Art of the Tulip from the Ottoman era to contemporary portrayal, while traveling luxuriously on the waterways of the region. She will be also offering instruction on keeping an illustrated journal of this memorable trip with spectacular tulip specimens and other seasonal flowers both on board and in famous gardens, like Keukenhof to name but one.

For non-artist partners, friends or spouses there are a wide range of small-group tours to choose from to soak up the European culture and to partake in the unique food and beverage offerings. Like specialty cheese, chocolate, beer and a visit to the Delft China factory.

Seeing this remarkable spectacle of color is on most plant lover’s bucket list. For botanical artists, combining Margaret’s tuition with expert tour guides on a Select Cruise line famous for a more personalized treatment of guests, it will be unforgettable.

Tour dates: March 30 – April 7, 2017
Cost: $3,190
Download “The Art of the Tulip” PDF information flyer: art-of-the-tulip-20062016
Includes airport transfers, pre-cruise hotel and excursions, unique excursions with tour escort and Artist in Residence, onboard lectures and demonstrations, house wine and beer, gourmet meals, gratuities, and partner program options.

For more information and reservations, contact Sandie Harman, 416.407.1830 or 705.657.7196.

by Deb Shaw

Prunus dulcis, Almond, watercolor by Margaret Best, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Prunus dulcis, Almond, watercolor by Margaret Best, © 2016, all rights reserved.

BAGSC members Margaret Best, Akiko Enokido, Asuka Hishiki, Mitsuko Schultz, and Deborah Shaw have been accepted into the 19th Annual International American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) and The Horticultural Society of New York.

Jurors Susan Fraser (Director, Mertz Library,The New York Botanical Garden), David Horak (Curator of the Aquatic House, Brooklyn Botanic Garden), and Catherine Watters  (Botanical Artist) chose 48 artworks from 258 submissions. Works in the exhibition include artists from the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Camellia japonica 'Hakuho', Heirloom Camellia "Hakuho', Akiko Enokido, © 2015, watercolor on vellum.

Camellia japonica ‘Hakuho’, Heirloom Camellia ‘Hakuho’ ‘White Phoenix’, watercolor on vellum by Akiko Enokido, © 2015, all rights reserved.

This year’s exhibition is in a new venue: it will be hosted by the New York Design Center and installed in their bright, airy, contemporary gallery space, 1stDibs, on the tenth floor. The Horticultural Society of New York, New York Design Center, and ASBA are designing special outreach events and programs, to be announced in September.

The opening reception will take place on Thursday evening, November 3, 2016 and will be on display through December 30, 2016. The catalog of artwork images will be posted on ASBA’s website the day of the opening. A full-color catalog will be published and available on ASBA’s website, as well as at the 1stDibs Gallery and at The Horticultural Society of New York. For further information please contact ASBA’s Exhibitions Director.

1stDibs is located on the 10th Floor of The New York Design Center, 200 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York, 10018. Gallery Hours are 9:30 – 5:30 Monday – Friday.

Solanum lycopersicm, Dancing Duo 34-A, Portrait of an Heirloom Tomato, watercolor by Asuka Hishiki, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Solanum lycopersicm, Dancing Duo 34-A, Portrait of an Heirloom Tomato, watercolor by Asuka Hishiki, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Hibiscus, watercolor by Mitsuko Schultz, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Hibiscus, watercolor by Mitsuko Schultz, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Opuntia spp. Fruit, Tunas or Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit, watercolor on vellum by Deborah Shaw, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Opuntia spp. Fruit, Tunas or Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit, watercolor on vellum by Deborah Shaw, © 2016, all rights reserved.

by Margaret Best, posted by Deb Shaw

BAGSC member Margaret Best has a painting in the newly released book ‘Florilegium’ to mark the bi-centennial of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney, Australia.

A Florilegium Society for the gardens was formed with Shirley Sherwood as the honorary Patron and Beverly Allen as president. One of the goals of the society was to produce a high quality book containing full-page works by various botanical artists to portray a diverse array of plants of significant importance to the garden. The complete exhibition of works is to be hung at the gardens from the end of July to November and is expected to travel to the Shirley Sherwood gallery in 2018.

This is a project of over three years in the making and the superb volume has just been released. The book showcases works by 41 Australians artists, 13 British artists, two South Africans, two Japanese and one each from the United States, Canada, Netherlands, France, Korea and New Zealand.

Leslie scouting out the tree, Schotia Brachypetala at The Huntington. © 2013, Margaret Best, all rights reserved.

Leslie Walker scouting out the tree, Schotia brachypetala at The Huntington Gardens. © 2013, Margaret Best, all rights reserved.

The only Canadian with a painting in the book is Margaret Best. She flew to Los Angeles in 2013, and with the help of Leslie Walker and Janice Sharp, Margaret was able to find a sole specimen of a Schotia brachypetala, in The Huntington Gardens. This is a South African native tree known in Australia as the ‘drunken parrot tree’. Wild parakeets are attracted to the gardens by the clusters of small red flowers that drip nectar. After a short period, the copious quantities of nectar ferments and causes the birds to become intoxicated!

Margaret working in Janice's studio. © 2013, Janice Sharp, all rights reserved.

Margaret working in Janice’s studio. © 2013, Janice Sharp, all rights reserved.

Graciously hosted by Janice, Margaret was able to work in her wonderful studio for a week to complete drawings, colour matching of flowers, leaves and pod specimens for a large study. More than year later, Margaret visited a remarkable specimen in Kirstenbosch Gardens in Cape Town. With the help of the curator Ernst Van Jaarsveld, she was able to acquire a small branch from the landmark tree. That caused a last minute composition change to include the textures of bark and new growth emerging from older parts of the tree.

The outstanding book contains many fine works by artists such as Jenny Phillips, Beverly Allen, John Pastorizia-Piñol, Anita Walsmit Sachs and many more notables. [A list of the Florilegium paintings and artists can be found here.] It is most definitely worthy of any serious botanical artist’s book collection. Ask Leslie and Janice – they have heaped accolades on its quality since recently receiving their copies!

The ‘Florilegium’ may be ordered by contacting Angela Lober, international phone 02 9552 1169 or by email. Payment can be made by cheque or direct deposit. Cheques are payable to: The Florilegium Society at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney Inc., and can be mailed with your contact and delivery information to: Ms Angela Lober, 12 Allen Street, Glebe NSW 2037

Congrats Margaret!

 

by Leslie Walker, posted by Deb Shaw

In a wonderful surprise, I found Margaret Best’s botanical art trip in October, 2016 announced in the Sunday LA Times, March 6, 2016, Travel Section. Entitled, [click the title to read] “Capture this on canvas: Painting workshop in Italy beckons artists,” by LA Times contact reporter Anne Harnagel, the article highlights Quench’s trip and Margaret’s botanical art class.

I can recommend this venue and teacher since I went there last Spring.  I am going back this Fall to experience the area in a different season.  Margaret is a great botanical artist and teacher and I’m looking forward to sharpening my skills in October.

Read Jan Clouse’s article and see pictures about Margaret’s last trip to Puglia on our BAGSC News blog. Details about the Puglia trip can be found at Quench.

by Deb Shaw

Pincushion Protea, watercolor and colored pencil on paper, © 2015 Estelle DeRidder, all rights reserved.

Pincushion Protea, watercolor and colored pencil on paper, © 2015 Estelle DeRidder, all rights reserved.

The American Society of Botanical Artists and The Horticultural Society of New York announce the opening of the 18th Annual International at a new venue: the New York Design Center at a new venue. The ASBA’s longest-running collaboration, this prestigious exhibition will be held for the first time in mid-town Manhattan.

The opening reception will be on Wednesday, November 4, 2105 from 6 pm – 8 pm. Awards will be announced at 7 pm.

The evening’s events will begin with a book talk by author Amy Goldman at 5 pm. Limited seating is available. To attend Amy Goldman’s talk, an RSVP is required: scourtade@thehort.org. No RSVP is required to attend the opening reception.

As always, the catalog of the exhibition is available through ArtPlantae, starting November 4th.

BAGSC artists accepted into the exhibition include: Margaret Best, Melanie Campbell-Carter, Estelle DeRidder, Akiko Enokido, Asuka Hishiki, Joan Keesey, and Lesley Randall. Jurors for the exhibition were: Susan Fraser, Director, Mertz Library, The New York Botanical Garden; David Horak, Curator of Orchids and Aquatic House, Brooklyn Botanic Garden; Catherine Watters; Botanical Artist and ASBA Board Member.

The New York Design Center is located at: 200 Lexington Ave. New York 10016, (212) 679-9500.

Plaza de Espana, Seville, © Quench Travel.

Plaza de Espana, Seville, © Quench Travel.

by Michael Best, posted by Deb Shaw

There are only 2 spaces left in Margaret’s April/May 2016 workshop in Spain. Non-artist friends, partners or spouses are also welcome.

The workshop accommodation is a beautifully restored 16th century house located in an aromatic garden surrounded by 3000 acres of olive and orange groves. As for all of Margaret’s previous painting trips, this workshop/tour is capably managed on the ground by Kiloran McRae for the Quench Travel Group of Toronto.

The tiled garden view in Alcazar Palace Gardens, © Quench Travel.

The tiled garden view in Alcazar Palace Gardens, © Quench Travel.

Five glorious days of painting will be spent in a spectacular setting high in Sierra Moreno Mountains, just north of Seville in the heart of Andalucía with options to tour the historic sights of Seville and Barcelona. As always, Quench ‘s remarkable local connections will make for an unforgettable, cultural immersion. Tapas, flamenco dancing, sherry bodegas, historical gardens …

Many of the already registered participants have been on three or more of Margaret’s destination workshops. Their enthusiasm for these unique painting opportunities speaks to the quality of their previous experiences. BAGSC member Jan Clouse and her husband Charles of Santa Barbara have this to say about their previous trips with Margaret and Kiloran:

Trasierra interior, © Quench Travel

Trasierra interior, © Quench Travel

Margaret knows how much Jan appreciates her guidance and mentoring, but the sustained exposure to her teaching skills provided by these trips is inestimable. We both admire Kiloran’s skills as well. Where do we start? Guide? Translator? Chaperone? Student of Medieval history? Plant identifier? She does it all at breakneck speed — in two, sometimes three, languages. Can’t praise her too highly either.

The food was as always, rave-worthy … impressive botanical gardens, the welcoming horticulturalists, and historical sights as well… Altogether we had terrific experiences as botanical painter, guitarist, and tourists.

For details about this unique painting opportunity and a chance to explore some remarkable art and sites of historical significance in Spain, see Quench Travel’s website.

Previous Margaret Best/Quench workshop destinations have included:

  • Tuscany, Italy
  • Marrakech, Atlas Mountains, Morocco
  • Newfoundland, Canada
  • Cotswold’s, England
  • Puglia, Italy

by Jan Clouse, posted by Deb Shaw

View of Masseria Montenapoleone, photo by Charles Clouse, © 2015, all rights reserved.

View of Masseria Montenapoleone, photo by Charles Clouse, © 2015, all rights reserved.

By tourist industry standards, Puglia is undiscovered territory. Situated down at the heel of Italy’s geographical boot, facing east to the Adriatic Sea, it is generally ignored in favor of the High Renaissance attractions of Rome, Florence, or Siena, the style consciousness of Milan and Venice or the casual flair of Naples.

Nevertheless, with its own earthy appeal and cultural heritage of pre-historic, medieval and Byzantine sights, Puglia can be irresistible for visitors ready to hike, bike, or drive through its bountiful landscape. It supplies the largest portion of Italy’s olive oil from its ancient trees, and its typical cucina povera depends heavily on delicious seafood, fresh, seasonal vegetables and the famous Pugliese hearth bread.

The olive groves and almond orchards, the rugged coastline and lush meadows filled with wild flora are a painter’s paradise. And this, in particular, was the attraction for Margaret Best’s latest botanical painting workshop/travel excursion. Five botanic artists (Ana Brito, Jan Clouse, Jane Maycock, Carole Schumacher and Leslie Walker) along with one husband/guitarist (Charles Clouse) and a guide (Kiloran McRae) joined Margaret for an 8-day immersion in art, food and visits to this land that time forgot.

Artists’ studio at Masseria Montenapoleone,  (featuring from L to R) Jane Maycock, Carole Schumaker, and BAGSC members Leslie Walker, Margaret Best and Ana Brito, photo by Jan Clouse, © 2015, all rights reserved.

Artists’ studio at Masseria Montenapoleone, (featuring from L to R) Jane Maycock, Carole Schumaker, and BAGSC members Leslie Walker, Margaret Best and Ana Brito, photo by Jan Clouse, © 2015, all rights reserved.

The workshop was based at the rustically elegant agriturismo farm, Masseria Montenapoleone, which besides most comfortable accommodations, provided us with a large airy studio, well lit by walls of windows. At the opposite end of the room from the studio space was a huge fireplace right behind the table where we gathered for fabulous lunches and dinners.

We were introduced to the Masseria by our host, Guiliano Monteneve, who gave us a leisurely tour of the property with the assumption that along the way each of us could find an appealing botanical specimen to paint. Across the path from the main cluster of buildings was an almond orchard interspersed with fava bean rows, further on were olive trees, some many hundreds of years old, a meadow of wildflowers, a path leading to a pre-historic grotto, and everywhere unique indigenous blooms.

Leslie Walker found a beautiful Polygala myrtifolia to paint. Photo credit: Leslie Walker, 2015, all rights reserved.

Leslie Walker found a beautiful Polygala myrtifolia to paint. Photo credit: Leslie Walker, 2015, all rights reserved.

Besides the ubiquitous red poppies scattered across the springtime fields, there were small pale lavender wild irises, a dark red orchid, a nameless neon blue ground cover, and furry borage everywhere–including on our dinner plates. Most of us spotted several possible specimens on the walkabout, and by the following morning in the studio everyone was ready to draw. As we settled in, each of us had a large table of our own, plenty of space to spread out, and our drawing pencils sharpened.

Margaret got us started on our first day with a meditation to bring us into the time and spirit for art. As always at her workshops, she had a spiral bound syllabus of information and instructions; this one appropriately titled “Postcards from Puglia.” Ahead of time she had emailed us a few instructions, among them was to rule off several “postcard-sized” formats on our favorite paper to help us compose our paintings, and to bring a few finished pieces with us. Personally I found the “ready format” a real help in focusing and cropping the blooming Acacia branch I had chosen, though my “postcard” turned out to be a double-wide affair. I was productive enough, though, to complete two additional postcards of dried acorns gathered on one of our field trips.

A montage of Leslie Walker's subject: (clockwise from upper left) Polygala myrtifolia, dissection sheet; Leslie's finished painting; Leslie concentrating on her subject. Photo(s) courtesy of Leslie Walker, 2015, all rights reserved.

A montage of Leslie Walker’s subject: (clockwise from upper left) Polygala myrtifolia, dissection sheet; Leslie’s finished painting; Leslie concentrating on her subject. Photo(s) courtesy of Leslie Walker, 2015, all rights reserved.

We settled in to a comfortable routine. My husband, Charlie, played guitar to start us off on a couple of mornings, and then shifted to the back of the room or outdoors on the patio where Leslie was working, for her own private concert. Our quiet concentration was broken around eleven each morning when Michele, our personal waiter, laid out a couple of plates of sweets and took our coffee, tea and cappuccino orders.

Long, very productive days in the studio were a gift of undistracted time to draw, paint, and ask my mentor for advice, just when I needed it most. One of the real treats of the week was that Margaret could guide each of us in proportion to our skills and needs as both colored pencil and watercolor artists.

Interspersed with art time, were some extraordinary sights and experiences—an evening visit to the seaside town of Polignano a Mare, another to the rampart city of Ostuni with a dramatic view of the Adriatic. One morning we toured the Giardini di Pomona, where Paolo Belloni is dedicated to sustaining traditional fruit tree species, including over 350 varieties of figs. Another day we shopped the weekly farmer’s market in Locorotondo, buying assigned ingredients for a dinner to be prepared by celebrity chef Tiziano Mita, and finished the morning with a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage town of Alberobello, known for its concentration of curious conically shaped stone houses called trulli.

Hanging the Exhibition with Alessandra and Giuliano, photo by Jan Clouse, © 2015, all rights reserved.

Hanging the Exhibition with Alessandra and Giuliano, photo by Jan Clouse, © 2015, all rights reserved.

The workshop week ended, not with a routine sharing of work within the group, but with an elegantly mounted evening exhibition that our host Guiliano had envisioned even before we arrived. Here we met a large gathering of neighbors, friends, and folks who had shown us the wonders of Puglia during the previous week. Guiliano and his family had ingeniously transformed our studio into an art gallery, with suspended panels that featured each artist’s bio, personal quotes and work, including the pieces we had brought with us. And the masseria’s chef, Antonio, prepared an incredible array of antipasti and desserts for a very social and international group of about 75 guests.

The “Vernissage,” Gallery opening exhibition, photo by Jan Clouse, © 2015, all rights reserved.

The “Vernissage,” Gallery opening exhibition, photo by Jan Clouse, © 2015, all rights reserved.

Altogether the week was an energizing and inspiring introduction to a botanically rich yet otherwise little-noticed part of Europe. Guidebooks should definitely make note for Puglia: “painters welcome.”

Leslie Walker, Carole Schumaker, Ana Brito, Kiloran McRae, Jan Clouse, Charles Clouse, Jane Maycock, Margaret Best, photo courtesy of Masseria Montenapoleone, © 2015, all rights reserved.

Leslie Walker, Carole Schumaker, Ana Brito, Kiloran McRae, Jan Clouse, Charles Clouse, Jane Maycock, Margaret Best, photo courtesy of Masseria Montenapoleone, © 2015, all rights reserved.

by Deb Shaw

BAGSC members Margaret Best and Melanie Campbell-Carter have been accepted into the 18th Annual International American Society of Botanical Artists at The Horticultural Society of New York.

Margaret Best, Echinacea purpurea or purple cone flower, © 2015, All rights reserved.

Margaret Best, Echinacea purpurea or purple cone flower, © 2015, All rights reserved.

Margaret’s 8.5 x 11 watercolour on paper is of a Canadian native Echinacea. She writes, “There are two Echinacea natives species in Canada. The one shown is Echinacea purpurea or purple cone flower—the species widely harvested for medicinal use. It has also become popular as a cultivated flower in Canadian gardens, as it brings a final splash of colour at the end of summer and into the fall. The specimens I used came from my daughter’s beautiful front garden that she inherited from the previous green-fingered owner of their new home in Ontario, Canada.”

 

 

 

 

 

Melanie Campbell-Carter, colored pencil, Pseudobombax ellipticum, shaving brush tree, © 2015, all rights reserved.

Melanie Campbell-Carter, colored pencil, Pseudobombax ellipticum, shaving brush tree, © 2015, all rights reserved.

Melanie submitted a Pseudobombax ellipticum, also known as the shaving brush tree. She writes, “The tree was in its full blooming glory this past March on the island of Kauai. Depicting the sturdy strength of its stems and buds, and the delicate profusion of vivid pink stamens, was not only an enormous challenge but also a fantastic and joyful process. As we spent our days and weeks together, I developed a great affection for my ‘shaving brush.’  I am so thrilled to have been able to translate a gorgeous, living thing to paper in such a way that it continues to speak to others!”

Congrats to both of you!

Are there any more BAGSC artists who have been accepted? If so, please send me an email with an image.

 

 

 

A Little About the International ASBA/Hort Exibition

Each fall, the Annual International American Society of Botanical Artists at The Horticultural Society of New York exhibition is held at the Hort in mid-town Manhattan. It is the ASBA’s longest running collaboration. Past exhibitions are posted on the ASBA’s website; this year’s exhibition will be posted as well.

The Hort’s Gallery encourages gardeners and artists alike to appreciate the creative intersection between art and nature. Exhibitions showcase emerging and established contemporary artists inspired by horticulture, botany, landscape, and the environment.

 

by Michael Best, posted by Deb Shaw

Fiji flower.

Fiji flower.

This botanical art retreat ticks all the right boxes . . . tropical location, abundance of exotic flowers and fruit, acclaimed teacher, great accommodation, all meals, great facilities dedicated to the arts, lots to see and do — and all at a great price!

Getting there couldn’t be easier with Fiji Airways flying directly from LAX.

Imagine seven days in this tropical paradise where the biggest challenge is going to be selecting a specimen from among the exotic native orchids, colorful ginger plants and fascinating tropical fruit. Work in water color or colored pencil for three hours each morning and then relax or sight-see in the afternoon. Or, if you prefer, paint all day — your choice.

Take a non-painting partner if you wish. There is more than enough for them to see and do while you paint.

One of many beautiful beaches on Fiji.

One of many beautiful beaches on Fiji.

This 19th to 26th September, 2015 retreat is being organized by Paradise Courses of Sydney. All the details, including the schedule and reservation information, can be found on their website.

Find out more about Margaret’s art and teaching at www.bestbotanical.com and the retreat at www.dakuresort.com. A PDF brochure about the resort can be downloaded here: Daku Resort Savusavu eBrochure.

Imagine . . .

One view from the Daku Resort in Fiji.

One view from the Daku Resort in Fiji.

by Quench Travel, posted by Deb Shaw

Quench_Itinerary_Puglia-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quench has put together a new eight-night botanical painting workshop with Margaret Best in Puglia, April 12 – 20, 2015.

Puglia is absolutely dreamy, in part because somehow it remains relatively undiscovered. Its staggeringly rugged coastline stretches along the Adriatic Sea with deserted beaches, rocky coves and crystal water. White-washed towns dot the shores with a smattering of colourful marinas and the bustle of fishing boat  traffic. The landscape rolls up from the water in waves of green; centuries-old olive groves as far as the eye can see are interrupted occasionally by world-class vineyards and in April, a blanket of poppies. Flowering fruit and almond trees scent the air with a heavenly aroma. Join renowned artist and teacher Margaret Best here in this idyllic setting for an 8-day Botanical Painting Workshop. Under her expert guidance you can make meticulous study the local flora, spending your days painting in the airy garden studio that overlooks the sea. Visit the nearby Baroque towns and feel a part of this warm and welcoming Puglian culture.

An overview of the itinerary:

April 12: Arrive into Monopoli and check-in at Palazzo Indelli in the historical centre. Welcome cocktail and dinner in the evening.

April 13: Morning visit to the Botanical Gardens in Monopoli with picnic lunch. Transfer to Masseria Montenapoleone and explore gardens. Afternoon to pick your specimen and set up in studio. Welcome dinner at the Masseria.

April 14: Full day in studio. Light lunch in studio. Return shuttle to Polignano a Mare for dinner at leisure.

April 15: Full day in studio. Light lunch in studio. Return shuttle to Ostuni for dinner at leisure.

April 16: Morning visit to the private Giardini Pomona with the owner. Lunch at leisure in Locorotondo followed by a half day in studio. Dinner at the Masseria.

April 17: Explore the local markets before visiting a local home and enjoying a Cooking class and lunch. Return for studio time in the afternoon. Dinner independently at Masseria.

April 18: Full day in studio. Light lunch in studio. Return shuttle to Cisternino for dinner at leisure.

April 19: Full day in studio. Light lunch in studio. Gala evening exhibition with buffet meal.

April 20: Independent departures.

Costs start from €3,555. There is an early booking discount of €125 for bookings confirmed before October 10, 2014.

Margaret Best is an internationally recognized botanical artist and teacher offering tuition in graphite, colour pencil and watercolour. She has taught workshops to all levels of experience from rank beginners, intermediates to advanced levels in Canada, UK, Italy, USA and Bermuda. These workshop venues include respected botanical gardens and institutions such as Huntington Gardens, Pasadena; Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens; San Diego Natural History Museum; Filoli near San Francisco; Dow Learning Center in Zoo Conservatory, Calgary; Bermuda Art Center, Hamilton Bermuda. Margaret’s watercolours have been widely exhibited – New York; Weisman Museum, Minneapolis; Hunt institute of Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh; Los Angeles, Denver, Bermuda, Toronto, San Francisco and her work is found in numerous private and corporate collections around the globe. Margaret has designed six coins with botanical themes for the Royal Canadian Mint, with 2 to be released in 2015. For the past 6 years Margaret has painted regularly with her mentor Pandora Sellars who is widely regarded by experts as the leading contemporary botanical artist of our time. A professionally qualified art teacher, Margaret is known for her nurturing style and her ability to readily identify student skill level in order to steer advancement.

Download the PDF flyer Quench_Itinerary_Puglia to read more about the trip, or contact Quench at 416.366.2777 or email tripdesign@quenchtravel.com.

by Deb Shaw

The American Society of Botanical Artist’s (ASBA) contemporary botanical art show, entitled “Weird, Wild, & Wonderful” will open on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 in the Arthur and Janet Ross Gallery at The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). The exhibition will be on display to the public from April 19 – September 21, 2014, and admission is included in any all-garden pass.

The Second New York Botanical Garden Triennial invited artists to seek visually unusual plants and create works of art that celebrate the bizarre, yet beautiful flora of the world.

Jurors Lugene Bruno, Curator of Art, Hunt Institute; Jean Emmons, Botanical Artist; and Marc Hachadourian, Manager of the Nolen Greenhouses, NYBG, pored over the 240 entries, selecting 46 artworks by 45 artists from the United States, Australia, Canada, India, Japan and the United Kingdom. Shirley Sherwood, D. Phil, Caroline A. Wamsler, Ph.D., and Jean Emmons form the Awards Jury, which will meet on April 16 to select recipients of The New York Botanical Garden Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals. Recipients of The New York Botanical Garden Medals will be presented by NYBG CEO Gregory Long at the opening reception.

More information about the exhibition, including the complete list of accepted artists can be found on the ASBA website. The exhibition catalog is available in The New York Botanical Garden’s shop in the garden, or online from ArtPlantae. ASBA members receive a discount on the catalog.

Five BAGSC members had works accepted into the “Weird, Wild, & Wonderful” exhibition: Margaret Best, Akiko Enokio, Joan Keesey, Lisa Pompelli, and Deborah Shaw.

 

Margaret Best had her watercolor of Tillandsia bulbosa accepted. Margaret wrote that she wanted to send thanks to Leslie Walker, Debbie Friedman and Deborah Shaw for helping her access Jeffrey Kent’s incredible Bromeliad collection near San Diego, where she discovered this remarkable specimen. This was one of the few paintings of Margaret’s that was not destroyed in the Calgary flood last June, which makes the painting as weird, wild, and wonderful as the subject matter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Akiko Enokido, Tacca chantrieri, watercolor. © 2014, all rights reserved.

Akiko Enokido, Tacca chantrieri, watercolor. © 2014, all rights reserved.

 

Akiko Enokido painted Tacca chantrieri, also known as “Cat Whiskers” or the “Bat Flower” in watercolor. She writes that it is named after the long bracts that emanate from the flower scape. This flowering plant is part of the yam family, Dioscoreaceae, which grows in the tropical forest of Yunnan Province, China, India, and East Asia. In such places, the roots are used as food. She found this mysterious plant at The Kyoto Uji-city Botanical Garden in Japan, blooming inside the green house in mid-June. She says, “I was just fascinated by the shape and the process in which the “cat” developed.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joan Keesey, Sarcodes sanguinea, watercolor. © 2014, all rights reserved.

Joan Keesey, Sarcodes sanguinea, watercolor. © 2014, all rights reserved.

 

Joan Keesey painted a watercolor of Sarcodes sanguinea, the Snow Plant. The Snow Plant, native to Western North America, and found from Oregon through California into Baja California, and is one of the first plants to appear in the Sierra Nevada in early spring just after the snow has melted. Because the landscape is still wintery and bleak, the Snow Plant is a real treat to find. The brilliant red color is quite shocking and unexpected. The botanical name, Sarcodes sanguinea, means bloody flesh. A really good fresh plant can look almost manufactured like a toy made out of bright red, red-orange, or rose-colored plastic.

Joan writes that the Snow Plant is a member of the Heath Family (Ericaceae) and a mycotrophic (fungus eating) plant. It is unable to photosynthesize and is a parasitic plant that derives sustenance from mycorrhizal fungi that attach to the roots of trees. The Snow Plant does not, however, kill the fungi. They have a symbiotic relationship; the Snow Plant provides fixed carbon to the fungus, and in return the fungus provides mineral nutrients, water, and protection from pathogens. The Snow Plant takes advantage of this mutualism by tapping into the network and stealing sugars from the tree, the photosynthetic partner, by way of the fungus.

Lisa Pompelli, Scadoxus puniceus, watercolor, © 2014, all rights reserved.

Lisa Pompelli, Scadoxus puniceus, watercolor, © 2014, all rights reserved.

 

Lisa Pompelli painted Scadoxus puniceus, an African Blood Lily, in watercolor. She stated, “I look forward to seeing this strange flower appear in my garden each year and I hope to get seeds from it someday.  This is the first time I have entered one of my botanicals in an ASBA show, and I am thrilled to be included.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deborah Shaw, Pisolithus tinctorius, watercolor. © 2014, all rights reserved.

Deborah Shaw, Pisolithus tinctorius, watercolor. © 2014, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

Deborah Shaw painted a watercolor of Pisolithus tinctorius, also know as the Dog Turd Fungus, Dead Man’s Foot, or Dyemaker’s Puffball. Pisolithus tinctorius is frequently described in the literature as the least attractive of all fungi. P. tinctorius starts out as a ball shape when young, but then grows into bizarre monstrous shapes like stumps or giant molars. It is an ectomycorrhizal fungus that gets its nutrition in a mutualistic association with tree roots—an association that helps trees access scarce nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphate. It inhabits poor and disturbed soils, can withstand drought, high temperatures in the summer, acidic soils and soils contaminated with heavy metals and mine tailings. It is so beneficial to tree growth it is widely used in reforestation projects.

 

Congratulations to all! Weird, Wild & Wonderful promises to be an exciting show!

by Deb Shaw

Meadow. 11 May 2009Margaret Best will be teaching a 10-day botanical art workshop in the Cotswolds, England in September, 2014. This Quench tour combines must-see botanical art destinations with a week of botanical art at the Cotswolds estate, Colesbourne Park. The Cotswolds are home turf for Margaret, and the Fall offers delightful specimens to paint from the English countryside.

Destinations include: Kew Gardens, with guided tours of the library and archives through the renowned Shirley Sherwood Gallery and the beautifully restored Marianne North Gallery, as well as an excursion to The Prince of Wales’ country estate Highgrove, home to his gardens and the Florilegium. Colesbourne Park, the estate of Lady Carolyn and Sir Henry Elwes, will provide an inspiring setting of gardens and woods The estate boasts 900 acres of private arboretum with some historical trees.

Highlights of the itinerary, from September 17 – 26, 2014 include:

  • September 17: Arrive at London Heathrow airport and transfer to Kew. Settle into your hotel. Join Margaret, Kiloran, and your fellow travellers for a welcome dinner.
  • September 18: Full day visit of The Royal Botanical Gardens that includes a talk and viewing of the archives/historical collection, followed by a tour, led by Margaret, in Shirley Sherwood Gallery and Marianne North Gallery. Evening at leisure.
  • September 19: Late morning transfer to The Cotswolds. Stop at the charming village of Bibury for High Tea. Continue on to Colesbourne, where you can settle into the inn. Welcome drinks at Colesbourne Park with your hosts. Evening at leisure.
  • September 20: Full day in studio. Lunch in studio or in village. Evening at leisure.
  • September 21: Full day in studio. Lunch in studio or in village. Evening at leisure.
  • September 22: Full day in studio. Lunch in studio or in village. Evening at leisure.
  • September 23: Mid-morning excursion to Highgrove for garden tour and lunch. Afternoon at leisure in nearby village of Tetbury. Return to Colesbourne. Evening at leisure.
  • September 24: Morning and early afternoon in studio. Lunch in studio or in village. Late afternoon excursion to Cheltenham, which includes time in the Montpellier Parade shopping district. Dinner in Cheltenham.
  • September 25: Full day in studio. Lunch in studio or in village. Farewell dinner.
  • September 26: Return home.

Snowdrops at Colesbourne ParkThe cost is for the trip is $4,775 (Canadian dollars). Non-participant discount is $925 per person. Maximum group size is 14 people.

England, Gloucestershire,   Cotswolds, Naunton, sheep grazing in fieldMargaret is an internationally recognized botanical artist and teacher offering classes and workshops in graphite, colour pencil and watercolour. She has taught workshops to all levels of experience from  beginners to advanced  in Canada, the UK, Italy, the US, Morocco, and Bermuda. Workshop venues have included the Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California; Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens; San Diego Natural History Museum; Filoli Gardens; Dow Learning Center in Zoo Conservatory, Calgary, Canada; and the Bermuda Art Center, Hamilton, Bermuda. Margaret’s watercolours have been widely exhibited in New York; Weisman Museum, Minneapolis; Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh; Los Angeles; Denver; Bermuda; Toronto; San Francisco; and her work is found in numerous private and corporate collections around the globe. Margaret has designed four coins with botanical themes for the Royal Canadian Mint. For the past six years Margaret has painted regularly with her mentor, Pandora Sellars who is widely regarded by experts as the leading contemporary botanical artist of our time. A professionally qualified art teacher, Margaret is known for her nurturing style and her ability to readily identify student skill level in order to steer advancement.

For more information, download the PDF: Quench_Itinerary_England, call 416 366 2777, or email tripdesign@quenchtravel.com.

by Quench Trip Design, posted by Deb Shaw

Fisher's Loft Inn.

Fisher’s Loft Inn.

Few people visit Newfoundland without being touched by the warmth of its people, the depth of its history and the haunting beauty of its rugged coastline. This seven day workshop, September 30 – October 6, 2013, under the expert guidance of renowned teacher and botanical artist, Margaret Best, promises an ideal opportunity to work uninterrupted in an inspiring coastal setting: Fisher’s Loft Inn in Port Rexton, on Trinity Bay. The large airy studio has breathtaking views. The hotel is the top-ranked rural inn in Newfoundland. The award-winning kitchen draws from the nearby ocean, freshwater ponds, seaside meadows and an abundant kitchen garden in season.

Street with colorful houses in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

Street with colorful houses in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.

In early October, the meadows and woodlands will be turning to their autumn colours – blueberry bushes turning rich claret, wild rhododendron, sheep’s laurel, lichens in a subtle spectrum, partridge berries, cloud berries, tall sedges bleaching to every shade of blonde. This is a landscape of miniature set against vast vistas of sea and sky. Accessible trails make this a hikers’ paradise.

Make the short jump from the ASBA conference in Pittsburgh (ending September 28) to Newfoundland to extend your botanical painting for the Fall.

Highlights

  • Personalized instruction by Margaret Best, tailored to your individual medium and needs.
  • Both coloured pencil – exciting new techniques with the latest materials – as well as watercolour instruction focusing on earth tones best suited to fall colours – fallen leaves, seed pods, berries, rose hips and late harvest vegetables.
  • Workshop participation limited to insure best possible learning experience.
  • Exclusive use of beautiful studio space and opportunity to work in the garden or farther afield.
  • Six nights in a dramatically beautiful setting, with charming top-ranked accommodations at Fisher’s Loft Inn, a collection of traditional buildings set on a hillside overlooking the ocean. Friendly gracious local staff will make you feel so at home you won’t want to leave.
  • Chartered boat tour. Learn about the fascinating history of the Newfoundland fishery and outports.
  • Walking tour of historic Trinity.
  • Guided hike around Skerwink Trail.
  • Six delicious full menu breakfasts, two three-course dinners at Fisher’s Loft restaurant, and two lunches.

NOTE:  To participate in the this trip, you must be able to walk up and down the hill between the studio and the various other buildings on the site.

Included

  • Transfer from a central location in St. John’s to your hotel in Port Rexton
  • Transfer to St. John’s and the airport
  • 6 nights accommodation at Fisher’s Loft Inn
  • 6 full breakfasts
  • 3 course Welcome dinner, with wine
  • 3 course Farewell dinner, with wine
  • 2 lunches
  • Boat tour to visit outports
  • Walking tour of historic Trinity
  • Guided hike of Skerwink Trail
  • Gratuities for wait staff for meals on the programme, drivers and Trinity guide.

Not included

  • Flights in and out of St. John’s
  • Meals not mentioned in the programme
  • Tips for housekeeping staff
  • Drinks, except where specified

Cost: $2,995 CAD

*Price per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement $420 per person.
*All bookings may be subject to HST and subject to availability.
Whale flute.

Whale flute.

PLEASE NOTE: Bookings will be taken on a first come, first served basis. We will do our best to accommodate single travelers who are willing to share twin rooms. If you are traveling with a non-artist partner, please ask us about a non-participant rate.

Get more information about this new adventure on Quench Trip Design’s destination page for Canada.

by Deb Shaw

We’ve added several new categories to the blog: one of them is a Kudos! section, to announce great things that happen to our members.

Kudos to BAGSC members Margaret Best and Akiko Enokido: both were selected to exhibit in the 15th Annual International exhibition for the American Society of Botanical Artists at The Horticultural Society of New York. And both sold their paintings in the show! Congrats!

Do you have an announcement, or would like to say Kudos! to another BAGSC member? If so, send your information to Deb Shaw, and she’ll make sure it’s posted.

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