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by Deb Shaw

The Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers & Native Plants is currently exhibiting works by Donnett Vanek: “California Wildflowers and Pollinators,” January 18 through April 25, 2020.

Donnett’s exhibition is in the Theodore Payne Gallery at the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers & Native Plants
10459 Tuxford Street
Sun Valley, CA
91352
818-768-1802

This is Donnett’s story about the exhibition and her work:

by Donnett Vanek, posted by Deb Shaw

Donnett Vanek, © 2020, all rights reserved: California Thistle Sage; dry brush watercolor  Painted Lady & San Joaquin Milkvetch; dry brush watercolor  Dried Jimsonweed seed pod; graphite

Donnett Vanek, © 2020, all rights reserved. Clockwise from left: California Thistle Sage, dry brush watercolor; Painted Lady & San Joaquin Milkvetch, dry brush watercolor; Dried Jimsonweed seed pod, graphite

Each year the Theodore Payne Arts Council invites three artists whose work reflects the mission of the foundation—to promote and educate the public on California wildflowers and plants. This is a wonderful opportunity for local California artists and is offered every year through the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers & Native Plants (TPF) Arts Program. Information about submissions and the call for art is on the Theodore Payne website Arts Program page.

In fall of 2018, I was invited to have a solo show of my work in January 2020 at Theodore Payne. I chose California Wildflowers & Pollinators as my theme.

The exhibition invitation started me on a year-long journey into a subject I was already interested in. With my camera in hand and my husband accompanying me, I started looking for plants I would like to learn more about and that, through my art, would interest people in the native ecology of California. We went to Carrizo National Plains, hiking in Los Padres National Forest, Wind Wolves Preserve, and the Poppy Preserve in Antelope Valley in search of plants and pollinators. I take my camera when researching native plants in the field, because places like the Carrizo Plains National Monument doesn’t appreciate it when you cut native flowers! So, I take my camera and take many photos from all angles. I then go back and research the plants and insects that I have found and use the photos for reference when rendering the art.

One of the most interesting plants I came across in the Carrizo National Plains was the California Thistle Sage, Salvia carduacea. Although it is called a sage, all sages are actually in the mint family. This plant grew in a huge meadow, alongside San Joaquin Milkvetch, Astragalus asymmetricus. Fluttering between the two plants were Painted Lady butterflies and large red beetles, which I later learned were Little Bear Scarabs, Paracotalpa ursina. These would be the first plants and insects I decided to render for my show. I went on to have a total of 12 artworks of native plants and pollinators. I not only included plants I thought would be unusual to the general public, but also chose to do a rendering of a dandelion, specifically the Spearleaf Mountain Dandelion, which grows in my yard. Like all dandelions, it is an important source of food for all bees and other pollinators. I worked on these pieces throughout 2019. My show at the Theodore Payne Gallery is a reflection of my year long research and rendering of California Wildflowers and Pollinators.

My work is rendered in Dry Brush Water Color, Graphite and Block Print.

Here is my (short) Artist’s Statement;

Donnett Vanek: California Wildflowers and Pollinators

I think of my renderings of California wildflowers and pollinators as portraits. My art is a way to put down on paper what I have observed and depict the never-ending and intriguing variations of color, shape, texture, and size of plants and insects in the natural world. When I observe these plants in their native habitat I’m interested in where they grow, how they grow, how large they grow and the unique relationships they have with pollinators. Through my work, I hope to encourage people to consider the important role that native plants play in the ecology of our California landscape. Look more closely before pulling what you consider to be a weed. It might be the humble Spearleaf Mountain Dandelion. While at first glance, a dandelion may not seem as intriguing as the brightly colored and thorny Thistle Sage, it’s no less important to pollinators and the world of native plants. Go out and enjoy nature, look closely, look down; you just might be stepping on a tiny beautiful flower that you have never seen before.

Click here to see a YouTube video of Donnett’s talk at the opening. (NOTE: It was taken with a phone, and so sometimes is sideways!)

by Leslie Walker and Deb Shaw

Salvia spathacea, Hummingbird Sage, watercolor by Joan Keesey, © 2013, all rights reserved.

Salvia spathacea, Hummingbird Sage, watercolor by Joan Keesey, © 2013, all rights reserved.

The Theodore Payne Foundation will be hosting an opening reception for the exhibition “The Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, The Art and Science of Native Plants” on
January 11, 2014
2:00 pm – 4:30 pm

The exhibition is open for viewing from January 11 – March 15.

This juried exhibition was created by the Theodore Payne Foundation (TPF) in recognition of the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC) and the continuing importance of botanical art in the service of both science and art, knowledge and beauty. Jurors were: Olga Eysymott: Artist and teacher; founder of BAGSC; Bart O’Brien: Director Special Projects, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden; Co-author of “California Native Plants for the Garden”; and John Wickham: Past president of the board, Theodore Payne Foundation; native plant gardener.

The exhibition consists of 23 artworks by 14 BAGSC artists, including: Nina Antze, Diane Daly, Estelle DeRidder, Clara Josephs, Joan Keesey, Patricia A. Mark, Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, Lesley Randall, Mitsuko Schultz, Gilly Shaeffer, Janice Sharp, Deborah Shaw, Gayle Uyehara, and Jude Wiesenfeld.

The show encompasses a range of styles and media: from scientific illustration to plant portraits. Works effectively use pen and ink, watercolor on paper and vellum, colored pencil on paper and film, and mixed media to depict California native plants — many with their pollinators.

The Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers & Native Plants is located at 10459 Tuxford Street, Sun Vally, CA 91352. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday. 8:30 – 4:30. The Theodore Payne Foundation is closed Sundays and Mondays. For information, call (818) 768-1802 during business hours.

by Leslie Walker, posted by Deb Shaw

Consider adding a pollinator to your artwork. Enlargement of Salvia apiana image, with friendly bee. © Deborah Shaw, 2012, all rights reserved.

Consider adding a pollinator to your artwork. Enlargement of Salvia apiana image, with friendly bee. © Deborah Shaw, 2012, all rights reserved.

We received an Invitation from the Theodore Payne Foundation (TPF) for a BAGSC Show in 2014, which will require us to work in “Fast Track Mode.” This wonderful new opportunity will showcase our California native artwork, and be titled:

“Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, the Art and Science of Native Plants”

The juried show will open on January 11, 2014, and go into March 2014. (Exact closing date to be determined.)

Entry deadline is November 30, 2013 when entry forms and scans or photos are due. (Instructions on where and how to send entries will be sent out later.)

Details are being worked out, but there is not a lot of time between now and the entry deadline, so we should be painting now. Each artist will be allowed a maximum of two works, no larger than 16″ w x 20″ l, featuring California natives and their pollinators (if you would like to include them).

The BAGSC entry fee will be $25.00, due prior to November 30, 2013.

All submissions must have the correct scientific binomial identification, which will be verified by Lily Singer at the Theodore Payne Foundation (TPF). All California natives and their pollinators are welcome, but, if you need specimens, you may go to TPF in Sun Valley to find plants to draw on their grounds, or purchase in their nursery. You can also speak to Lily if you need a cutting, which they may be able to provide.

Questions? Please email me.

by Veronica Raymond, Bonnie Born Ash and Pat Mark, posted by Deb Shaw

Veronica, Bonnie and Pat all gave us a heads up about an upcoming exhibition at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, “When They Were Wild: Recapturing California’s Wildflower Heritage”.

The exhibition is a collaborative project of The Huntington, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, and the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants. “When They Were Wild” traces the unique diversity of California flora as depicted by artists, scientists, and horticulturalists for more than a century. Artwork by amateur naturalists, who were also talented artists, including Alice Brown Chittendon, Clara Mason Fox, and James Milford Zornes are complemented by herbarium (plant specimen) collections, publications, and ephemera.

This exhibition of more than 200 items tell the story  of the botanical ecological and horticultural legacy of California plants, and how many of them migrated from wildflowers to domesticated garden plants.

The exhibition is in the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens from:
March 9 – June 10, 2013
The Huntington is located at 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, California, 91108.

by Clara Josephs, posted by Deb Shaw

Joan Keesey with two of her paintings at the Theodore Payne Foundation.

Joan Keesey with two of her paintings at the Theodore Payne Foundation.

It’s closer than you think!

Continue about 15 minutes beyond the Huntington exit on the 210 and you are at the Theodore Payne Foundation in Sun Valley.  BAGSC member Joan Kessey’s Artist Reception was held there this past Sunday and it was so worth the drive!

For 30 years Joan has been painting the wildflowers near her summer cabin at Mineral King (Sequoia National Park).  Her paintings are lyrical records of the delicate and charming plants that populate the area. The paintings were hung around the room in order of increasing altitude, and a map that Joan and her husband created showed the location of each specimen she painted.

The reception room was packed with art and plant lovers who were drawn to the enchanting colors and compositions of Joan’s informative paintings. If you are questioning whether wildflowers and drought tolerant plants can be beautiful, then head up the 210 and be prepared to be delighted. Joan’s show runs through June 30. Theodore Payne is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Three of Joan Keesey's paintings.

Three of Joan Keesey's paintings.

by Deb Shaw

Calochortus amoenus (Rosy Fairy Lantern), watercolor by Joan Keesey, © 2012, all rights reserved.

Calochortus amoenus (Rosy Fairy Lantern), watercolor by Joan Keesey, © 2012, all rights reserved.

Joan Keesey, BAGSC member and membership chair, will be having an exhibition of botanical watercolors, “Wild Flowers of Mineral King” at the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants (TPF), Friday, March 30 – Saturday, June 30, 2012.

An opening reception for the artist will be held Saturday, March 31, 2012, from 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm.

The opening reception coincides with “Poppy Day” at the TPF, their annual spring plant sale event, which takes place from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on March 31. Hundreds of different native California species and cultivars will be available to choose from — a great opportunity for those BAGSC members who would like to paint California natives for the Chapman University exhibition on drought-tolerant plants. TPF members will receive 15 percent off all plants in 4-inch containers, one gallon containers and up. Non-members will receive 10 percent off those same plants, and memberships will be sold at the door.

California Buckeye, watercolor by Joan Keesey, © 2012, all rights reserved.

California Buckeye, watercolor by Joan Keesey, © 2012, all rights reserved.

The TPF is located at 10459 Tuxford Street, in Sun Valley, California 91352. The phone number is 818.768.5215 and the wildflower hotline number is 818.768.3533.

Davidson's Fritillary, watercolor by Joan Keesey, © 2012, all rights reserved.

Davidson's Fritillary, watercolor by Joan Keesey, © 2012, all rights reserved.

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