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by Deb Shaw

Li'l Stinky decided not to bloom after all, but provided a wonderful dissection opportunity! The Huntington team and the public got to see what's inside!

Li’l Stinky decided not to bloom after all, but provided a wonderful dissection opportunity! The Huntington team and the public got to see what’s inside!

We were all disappointed when Li’l Stinker, Amorphophallus titanum, or “Corpse Flower” failed to bloom last week at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. The failed bloom, however, gave Jim Folsom, John Trager, and Brandon Tam the opportunity to dissect the bloom on Facebook Live to create an herbarium sheet (watch the dissection here on Facebook Live.

Then, lo and behold, not one but THREE more Corpse Flowers stepped up to the plate. Quickly dubbed the #TitanTriplets! All three plants, “Stink,” “Stank,” and “Stunk,” #CorpseFlowers can be seen in the Rose Hills Foundation Conservatory for Botanical Science at The Huntington, along with a corm and a plant with a leaf. Daily updates, photos, and FAQs are being shared on The Huntington’s website.

“Stink” suddenly decided to bloom today! See it during public hours: 10 am – 5 pm. The two other #CorpseFlowers, “Stank,” and “Stunk” look like they have a few more days to go. But who knows…they might change their minds and bloom any time.

For more stinky resources (from The Huntington) #StinkyatTheH:

The Corpse Flower inspires creativity. Lindsay Brennan made (delicious!) Corpse Flower Cake Pops and brought them to Jim Folsom's Orchid Lecture for BAGSC members.

The Corpse Flower inspires creativity. Lindsay Brennan made (delicious!) Corpse Flower Cake Pops and brought them to Jim Folsom’s Orchid Lecture for BAGSC members.

The bloom (and smell) only lasts a day or so. If you’re coming to The Huntington this weekend to see and smell, be sure to stop by the Brody Botanical Center, Flora-Legium Gallery to see “Out of the Woods: Celebrating Trees in Public Gardens,” The Third New York Botanical Garden Triennial, American Society of Botanical Artists, and “Amazing Trees,” the adjunct exhibition by the Botanical Artist Guild of Southern California (BAGSC). BAGSC artists will be on hand all weekend with drop in family activities and botanical art demonstrations. The exhibitions go through to August 27, 2018.

Another view of the chocolate Corpse Flower Cake Pops.

Another view of the chocolate Corpse Flower Cake Pops.

Deborah Shaw (L) and Tania Norris (R) took a few minutes to sketch Li'l Stinky.

Deborah Shaw (L) and Tania Norris (R) took a few minutes to sketch Li’l Stinky.

BAGSC member Tania Norris with her Li'l Stinky sketch.

BAGSC member Tania Norris with her Li’l Stinky sketch.

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 Jude Wiesenfeld, posted by Deb Shaw

Magnolia grandiflora, gouache on paper, © Carrie Di Costanzo

Magnolia grandiflora, gouache on paper, © Carrie Di Costanzo

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions about the Workshop? Contact the BAGSC Education Chair.

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

About the instructor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Jude Wiesenfeld, posted by Deb Shaw

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions about the Workshop? Contact the BAGSC Education Chair.

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

About the instructor

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

by Deb Shaw

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

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

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

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

Jurors for the exhibition were:

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

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

Congratulations to the award-winners:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

by Deb Shaw

The BAGSC September quarterly meeting will be held on
Saturday, September 23, 2017

at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, in the Brody Botanical Center Auditorium (downstairs).

Arrive about 9:30 am to chat, settle in and view the BAGSC 20th Anniversary history that was on display at the celebration at the Los Angeles County Arboretum on August 26. The meeting portion of the program will begin promptly at 10 am and will cover upcoming classes, workshops, exhibitions and member news.

Bring your current and latest works and sketchbooks to share. Bring lunch and eat in the Auditorium at the desks or in the Atrium area outside the Auditorium. Feel free to purchase lunch at any of The Huntington’s cafés, although lines can be long during the weekend. Eating is not allowed on The Huntington grounds except in designated areas,

At 12:30 pm, Deborah Shaw will give a presentation entitled “Mushrooms in Djibouti: Protecting Traditional Botanical Art in an Increasingly Digital World.”

This is an important presentation that not only will cover scary horror stories and how to protect your artwork, but also will highlight solutions, tools and resources, and fun apps to try on your tablet or smart phone. Extensive handouts will be given out with resources lists, websites and digital Photoshop recipes to follow at home. Technical jargon will be kept to a minimum, and I haven’t had anyone fall asleep during this lecture yet!

The goal of the presentation is to keep everyone safe on the web AND get everyone prepped for filling out our BAGSC website gallery and creating or refining your own digital presence. Added bonus: get a quick view of the BAGSC website and blog so you can use those resources too!

Do you have a “computer-savvy” helper you prefer to have do the digital work while you paint? (Very smart of you.) Bring them along; there is no charge and all are welcome.

After the presentation, there are lots of things to do. Deb will hang around, answer questions, and take in images for the BAGSC Website Gallery. See the BAGSC exhibition wall upstairs, “Inspired by Latin America.” View the wonderful exhibition in the Florilegium room and then head over to the new, spectacular “Visual Voyages” exhibition in the Boone Gallery at The Huntington. Bring your art supplies and draw/paint Bonsais in preparation for the upcoming exhibition, “Bonsais of The Huntington.”

Have topics for the agenda? Please email Sally Jacobs.

Please RSVP.
We will need to have passes for everyone and want to be sure to have enough handouts. Please email Clara Josephs to let her know you will be attending the meeting. As always, carpooling is encouraged.

This email duplicates some of the information in the Members Only area of the BAGSC website, and will be posted to the blog. A map, parking instructions and details about what to bring if you would like your artwork to be posted to the BAGSC gallery are on the BAGSC website in the Members Only section, on the BAGSC Quarterly Meetings page.

Hope to see you there!

by Janice Sharp, posted by Deb Shaw

The exhibition wall faces the stairway in the Brody Botanical Center. The BAGSC logo is a permanent sign, and information about BAGSC and ASBA is available as a handout. Photo by Janice Sharp, © 2017.

The exhibition wall faces the stairway in the Brody Botanical Center. The BAGSC logo is a permanent sign, and information about BAGSC and ASBA is available as a handout. Photo by Janice Sharp, © 2017.

BAGSC’s latest exhibit at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, “Inspired by Latin America,” is now open in the Brody Botanical Center.

The art was hung on September 5, 2017, and the show will run through to January 15, 2018. Eleven paintings by eight BAGSC artists are featured in the exhibition, including Melanie Campbell-Carter, Sally Jacobs, Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, Kathly Powell, Olga Ryabtsova, Mitsuko Schultz, Janice Sharp, and Deborah Shaw.

Janice Sharp and Andrew Mitchell review the plans for the exhibition layout. Photo by Beth Stone, © 2017.

Janice Sharp and Andrew Mitchell review the plans for the exhibition layout. Photo by Beth Stone, © 2017.

We thank The Huntington for providing the beautiful new signage identifying the artwork on the wall as belonging to the “Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California.” The plexi banner will be a permanent feature of the display. We have also added a container to dispense handouts. For this exhibit, the handout lists the artists and their paintings, with information about BAGSC and ASBA on the back. We also thank Andrew Mitchell for his patience with us in hanging the artwork.

The next Huntington exhibition, beginning in January, will be “Bonsai’s of the Huntington.”

By Janice Sharp and Beth Stone, posted by Deb Shaw

On September 6 – 8, 2017, Marjorie Leggitt taught at BAGSC-sponsored workshop entitled “Fresh Art: Pencil and Paint in the Garden” at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. Marj expertly led us on a scary path down the road of fast drawing and minimal supplies.

This class presented a unique opportunity to escape the classroom and venture out into the gardens. We were all grateful that it was cooler than previous weeks, so we enjoyed being outside.

It was great, challenging and yes, frustrating, to use quick techniques: modified blind contour drawing; big wet brushes and simple pallets. Each designed to shift our focus away from the tools and back to observation of our subject. We came away with good tips which we can apply to making thoughtful studies or even initial drawings for a full botanical rendering.

Click on any one of the circles to see the images in a slide show format:

By Gilly Shaeffer, posted by Deb Shaw

Matt Ritter talking with Diane Nelson Daly about her watercolor of Bauhinia x blakeana, Hong Kong Orchid Tree.

Matt Ritter talking with Diane Nelson Daly about her watercolor of Bauhinia x blakeana, Hong Kong Orchid Tree.

The Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC) celebrated its 20th Anniversary on August 26, 2017 with a three-event program held at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. The late afternoon program started in the Arboretum Library with a tour of our current exhibition, Illustrating the Urban Forest: 20 Years of Botanical Art. Following a welcome from LA Arboretum Librarian Susan Eubank and BAGSC President Janice Sharp, our guest speaker, Matt Ritter, led the exhibit tour and called on several BAGSC artists to join him in discussing their paintings.

From the exhibition, BAGSC members and guests went to Ayres Hall at the Arboretum for Matt’s keynote presentation on the trees of Southern California. We were grateful to have Matt, a botanist, tree expert and very engaging speaker, share his knowledge of trees and take us on a tour of the urban forest. His presentation shed light on many issues that affect trees in our Southern California environment, as well as focusing on those that do well in our climate, neighborhoods, streets and parks.

BAGSC member Terri Munroe played beautiful harp music to accompany our dinner on the Peacock Café patio.

BAGSC member Terri Munroe played beautiful harp music to accompany our dinner on the Peacock Café patio.

After Matt’s presentation, BAGSC members and guests meandered over to the Peacock Café patio. As members and guests arrived on the patio, we were welcomed by heavenly harp music by BAGSC member, Terri Munroe, and a magnificent view of the setting sun casting a golden light over our dinner celebration. Members and guests checked out a table display of our 20-year history in photographs, past BAGSC newsletters and other memorabilia from group events.

Before beginning a delicious dinner, we heard a few words from a letter sent by Olga Eysymontt about the beginnings of our group, and listened to fun reminiscences of early times in BAGSC by Leslie Walker (a former BAGSC president). Janice Sharp (current BAGSC president) spoke about what the group is doing now and our plans for the future, including exhibitions, workshops and collaborations with various public gardens in Southern California.

An elegant and delicious dinner on the patio of the Peacock Café.

An elegant and delicious dinner on the patio of the Peacock Café.

Later during the dinner program, I had the pleasure of expressing the group’s deepest appreciation on behalf of BAGSC members to three members who have made outstanding contributions to our group over the years.

The first person to be mentioned was Tania Marien. She was responsible for starting our BAGSC newsletter, and was editor for a number of years. Her selfless spirit and dedication to botanical art found further expression when she became one of the main organizers for the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) 2008 Annual Conference which was held at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. In 2015, Tania played a major role again as a key organizer of the ASBA “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” Symposium which also was held at The Huntington. Her tireless efforts have increased awareness about plants and botanical art in Southern California and around the world.

We are also grateful for the contributions made by Deborah Shaw to furthering people’s awareness of botanical art and the role of our BAGSC organization. Deb has been instrumental in helping our group become acquainted with current digital technologies. Some of her accomplishments include creating the BAGSC Blog and the beautiful BAGSC website. She has been an extraordinary force in keeping our membership well informed about BAGSC events and ASBA events. She was also a key organizer of the ASBA Annual Conference of 2008 and the ASBA “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” Symposium of 2015. It is hard to imagine how Deb manages to keep our group well informed while also creating paintings that draw great admiration.

And last but not least, our Tania Norris deserves a big thank you for outstanding contributions she has made to BAGSC and botanical art. Tania helped to get the “ball rolling” which led to the 2008 ASBA Annual Conference being held at the The Huntington. She helped in many ways to make the first ASBA Conference held in LA a big success. Tania was also a key organizer for the 2015 ASBA “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” Symposium held at The Huntington. Her selfless efforts have helped to lay the foundation for a special collaboration between BAGSC and The Huntington Brody Botanical Center. Her love for botanical art and her generous support have helped in establishing Los Angeles as a great place for this art form to thrive.

A big and heartfelt thank you to the many others who also have contributed to BAGSC and botanical art over the last 20 years. The truth is, we could not have reached this 20-year milestone without everyone’s contributions and support, too numerous to name.

We could not have had this lovely event without the help of BAGSC member, Jan Clouse and her husband, Charles, who designed the printed post cards and invitations for this 20th celebration. Additional thanks go to Cristina Baltayian for designing and creating the floral centerpieces for the tables. Thank you to Terri Munroe, for volunteering to play music for the dinner, which added a special magic to our evening. And, of course, a heartfelt thank you to Susan Eubank and the LA Arboretum—one of our first botanical homes and an avid supporter of BAGSC, plants, and botanical art.

Most importantly, thank you to all our dedicated members and supporters for all you have done during this 20-year period to make us the strong and vibrant group we are today. We gratefully look forward to the next 20 years.

P.S. from BAGSC members: A big thank you to Gilly Shaeffer, who served as BAGSC President for many years, and volunteered to chair our 20th Anniversary Celebration committee.

Click any of the circles to see the slide show and the captions:

by Deb Shaw

Paphiopedilum ‘Hideki Okuyama', © 2017, Carol Woodin, watercolor on vellum, all rights reserved.

Paphiopedilum ‘Hideki Okuyama’, © 2017, Carol Woodin, watercolor on vellum, all rights reserved.

Carol Woodin will be teaching a workshop entitled “Painting Orchids in Watercolor on Vellum” at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, June 2, 3 and 4, 2017, from 9:30 am – 4:00pm each day. There are still some spaces available in this coveted workshop, with subject specimens specially selected from The Huntington’s prized Orchid collection.

In addition to teaching about painting on vellum, and all about orchids, Carol will demonstrate how to select, cut and stretch vellum over a board.

The cost to BAGSC Members for the three-day workshop is $250; the cost for Non-Members is $275. Payment should be received by BAGSC by Saturday, May 27. Participating artists can provide their own vellum for the workshop, or can purchase a piece from the instructor, who will provide a 10” x 13” piece of vellum for $50, payable at the workshop.

Details about the workshop, enrollment, directions and a materials list can be found on the BAGSC website.

See you there!

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 Jude Wiesenfeld and Lee McCaffree, posted by Deb Shaw

BAGSC will be sponsoring a one-day Leaf Detail workshop with Lee McCaffree, on:

Saturday, May 6, 2017
9:30 am – 4:00 pm

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, Botanical Education Center

Cost, BAGSC Members: $100
Non-Members: $120
Maximum Registration: 16 students

Roger's Red Grape, watercolor by Lee McCaffree, © 2017.

Roger’s Red Grape, watercolor by Lee McCaffree, © 2017.

Leaves form the background for most botanical paintings. It is important to spend the time to make them accurate. We will work to make the veins and margins realistic in their finishing touches while following the form and texture of  several leaves. This workshop will cover leaf-painting techniques using dry brush work, masking fluid, lifting and leaving the white paper.

For more information about the workshop, sign-up, and the materials list, please see the BAGSC website “Classes” and “Class Details” page.

About the Instructor

Lee McCaffree is a botanical illustrator in watercolor. She shares the coordination and implementation of the Filoli Botanical Art Certificate Program and is a primary instructor. She served on the Board of Directors of The American Society of Botanical Artists. She gives regular private classes in the Bay area and instructed at the ASBA Annual meetings and the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden. She supports botanical artists by participating in coordinating teams for art exhibits and jurying.

Lee McCaffree

Lee McCaffree

She began her career in London, England studying under Christabel King of Kew Gardens. She received Medals for showing her “Pinus” series and “Plants in Peril” series at the Royal Horticultural Society exhibitions in London. Her works are in the permanent collections of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew Collection, London, the Filoli Florilegium and Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation; Lee won Best of Show at the Northwest ASBA Exhibition in Portland, OR. Her showings include juried exhibitions at Contemporary Art Center, MOMA-New York; Longwood Gardens; Hunt Institute, Pittsburgh; Seattle Science Center; Flinn Gallery Greenwich, CT; Horticultural Society of New York; Missouri, Chicago, Denver and UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens; Strybing Arboretum, CA; Arizona Desert Museum, New York State Museum; Johnson & Johnson Headquarters; Oakland Museum; Loveland Museum (Colorado); Filoli exhibits and Florilegium; Northern California Society of Botanical Artist’s Alcatraz Florilegium and other venues. She created the poster for the California Native Plant Sale for the East Bay for ten years. Her work is published in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, England and Today’s Botanical Artist. Her work was included in “Losing Paradise”, an exhibit of endangered species illustrations which traveled throughout the U.S and to the Shirley Sherwood Gallery at Kew Gardens, London. Currently, she is exhibiting in the Weird, Wild and Wonderful Traveling Exhibit from the New York Botanical Gardens.

Lee’s work concentrates on native plants which she hopes will increase their visibility and use in public and private landscaping. Her skill as a botanical artist allows her to focus her creativity on the finest details of each plant she paints. Her enthusiasm inspires her students to develop their own skills and enjoy the creative process.

by Melanie Campbell-Carter, posted by Deb Shaw

John Pastoriza-Piñol demonstrating ellipses.

John Pastoriza-Piñol demonstrating ellipses. Photo by Melanie Campbell-Carter, © 2016.

The renowned Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens provided fourteen BAGSC members with a three-day Master Class with John Pastoriza-Pinol on November 8 – 10, 2016. The Huntington offered us exquisite Paphiopedilum specimens from the Conservatory and greenhouses for our subjects. Kudos to Melanie Thorpe of The Huntington, and BAGSC Education Chair Jude Wiesenfeld, for flawless organization on this long-anticipated workshop.

Quoting participant Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, “We learned so many new techniques:

  1. Using ellipses to find the proper placement of a plant on the paper.
  2. Using abundant masking fluid to keep the areas between washes pristine.
  3. Using many layers of pale colors to build to unique darker colors.
  4. Using brushes like blenders, spotters and a Neef comb to complete the painting.”

Reactions to the experience by participating artists included,

Using abundant masking fluid. Photo by Melanie Campbell-Carter, © 2016.

Using abundant masking fluid. Photo by Melanie Campbell-Carter, © 2016.

“Combing is my new favorite thing!” Cynthia Jackson

“Watching John develop the orchid painting was truly an inspiration.” Gilly Shaeffer

“(John) will rewet six or seven times before he starts dry brush work and a total of maybe 30 layers to the final work. I am so happy to have learned about his methods.” Leslie Walker

“I never named my orchid but after all those pastel washes I named my painting…my pretty pony!” Beth Stone

John Pastoriza-Piñol demonstrating to class participants. Photo by Melanie Campbell-Carter, © 2016.

John Pastoriza-Piñol demonstrating to class participants. Photo by Melanie Campbell-Carter, © 2016.

The students coordinated a “paint share” for John’s materials list, courtesy of BAGSC member/artist Beth Stone. As an unexpected bonus, Robert Hori of The Huntington graciously shared several prints from the Estate of Rory McEwen with the class. BAGSC member/artist Mitsuko Schultz shared several books, including the new publication, Flora Japonica, from the current exhibition at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery at the Kew Gardens, which she attended two months ago.

John is currently enjoying an extended stay in the US on a grant from the Australian Arts Council, and will be in New York City through the end of the year in an association with the Horticultural Society of New York. Seeing the American national election process through his eyes was an interesting experience! We are gratified that he so enjoyed his time at The Huntington that he expressed a heartfelt wish to return soon.

A few of the participants in class with John. L to R: Photo by Melanie Campbell-Carter, © 2016.

A few of the participants in John’s class. (L to R:) Teri Kuwahara, Gilly Shaeffer, Jude Wiesenfeld, John Pastoriza-Piñol, Gayle Uyehara, Sydney Tanner, Cynthia Jackson, Leslie Walker, and Kat Powell. Photo by Melanie Campbell-Carter, © 2016.

by Veronica Raymond and Deb Shaw

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens has created an internal online resource for staff and volunteers for What’s In Bloom! [Click on the title to be connected to the link.]

Although this in-house resource is not generally available to the public, Jim Folsom, the Marge & Sherm Telleen/Earle & Marion Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens, has shared the link to this fabulous site for use by botanical artists.

Thank you to Jim and his team for producing this valuable resource!

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