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by Deb Shaw

"Every Berry", watercolor, © 2017, Martin J. Allen.

“Every Berry”, watercolor, © 2017, Martin J. Allen.

Following the 2017 ASBA Conference in Northern California, Martin J. Allen will arrive in Southern California to teach a BAGSC-sponsored workshop, entitled Larger than Life
Tuesday – Thursday, October 24, 25 & 26, 2017
9:30 am – 3:30 pm each day
Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Oak Room

Cost, BAGSC Members: $250
Non-Members: $275
Maximum Registration: 16 students

There are still a few seats available in Martin’s workshop. If you were unable to get into his workshops at the ASBA conference, now is your chance to enjoy a focused workshop with Martin, close to home.

Registration deadline is Tuesday, October 10, 2017. Please see the BAGSC website for details about how to register, materials list, and other workshop information. Questions? Contact the BAGSC Education Chair.

Workshop Description

This three-day workshop with Martin Allen looks at how to take digital reference photographs and use them to enlarge small parts of plants to create an exciting new image. Martin will cover how to take useful photographs and the practical challenges of translating that photograph into a realistic image on paper using a straight-forward painting technique.

About the Instructor

Martin J. Allen

Martin J. Allen

(Please read the full text about Martin Allen on the BAGSC website.) I began painting plants in the autumn of 1992 whilst recovering from illness, studying with Colin Swinton. What was intended initially as therapy, quickly turned into a serious interest.

In early 1995 my first Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) exhibit was awarded a Gold medal (the second in 1997 also gained Gold) and in the same year RHS Enterprises Limited commissioned three autumn flower designs as part of their Collectors’ Plate Series. Awards at The Society of Botanical Artists’ exhibitions followed in 1996 and 1998.

I became a member of the then newly formed Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society in 1995, taking part in their 1999 RHS Gold medal group exhibit, becoming a Fellow in 2000 and regularly writing articles on botanical art for their newsletter. I am now honoured to be an Emeritus Fellow.

I am represented in America by Susan Frei Nathan, Fine Works on Paper, and Forum Botanische Kunst in Germany.

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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 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 Jude Wiesenfeld and Janice Sharp

Last April Alexander Viazmensky (Sasha) and his students held their first Botanical Art Exhibition in St. Petersburg, Russia (see the article on page 9 of The Botanical Artist, the journal of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) for June 2016, Volume 22, Issue 2, ISSN 1523-5165*).

Sasha Viazmensky demonstrating initial watercolor technique for painting a mushroom.

Sasha Viazmensky demonstrating initial watercolor technique for painting a mushroom.

This October 19 – 21, 2016, Sasha came to teach a workshop about painting mushrooms for BAGSC artists. Held at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia, California, Sasha brought with him a wealth of knowledge on his speciality. His technique is largely wet on wet. He reiterated often that we should get ready to put the paint on the paper, then STOP and think about where we will place the paint before proceeding.

One thing we learned to observe is how many more gills appear at the edge of the mushroom that are thinner and closer together than the ones near the stem.

Sasha was an excellent and affable teacher. Each day we watched him demonstrate the techniques for different types of mushrooms. He spent a great deal of his time individually guiding each of us.

* The Botanical Artist is a quarterly publication for members of ASBA. Back publications are available to members for purchase. View a sample of  The Botanical Artist.

Sasha demonstration of a Polypore Mushroom (fungi that grow on tree trunks).

Sasha demonstration of a Polypore Mushroom (fungi that grow on tree trunks).

Those in attendance were (from left to right): Beth Stone, Gilly Shaeffer, Olga Eysymontt, Sasha, Cynthia Jackson, Janice Sharp and Bonnie Ash (missing from the photo are Pat Mark, Kathy Morgan and Jude Wiesenfeld).

Those in attendance were (from left to right):
Beth Stone, Gilly Shaeffer, Olga Eysymontt, Sasha, Cynthia Jackson, Janice Sharp and Bonnie Ash (missing from the photo are Pat Mark, Kathy Morgan and Jude Wiesenfeld).

These are examples of our work!

These are examples of our work!

Anne-Marie Evans.

Anne-Marie Evans.

The Virginia Robinson Gardens will have Anne-Marie Evans in November, 2016:
November 7th – 11th
November 14th – 18th

Anne-Marie added to her lengthy list of credentials when she was awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire) for her services to Botanical Art and Education in the New Year Honours List in December, 2015.

Anne- Marie is in a large way responsible for the renaissance of botanical art in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Her classes cover the five-step method she developed for producing a botanically correct and beautiful portrait of a floral subject in watercolor.

Anne-Marie welcomes beginners and experienced artists.

Please save the dates for this very special opportunity to be taught by one of the best!

Tuition:  $595 members/$625 non-members each week
$100 non-refundable deposit due upon registration, with balance due one week prior to scheduled class.

On-line registration: Make checks payable to Friends of Robinson Gardens – memo:  Botanical
Classes begin at 9:30 AM and end at 3:30 PM. Please bring your lunch.

Details and supply list will be emailed to all registrants prior to the class.

For additional information please call Friends of Robinson Gardens at 310.550.2068

The Virginia Robinson Gardens is located at: 1008 Elden Way, Beverly Hills, CA  90210.

by John Pastoriza-Piñol, Jude Wiesenfeld and Deb Shaw

Tulipa x hybrida, watercolor by John Pastoriza-Piñol, © 2016.

Tulipa x hybrida, watercolor by John Pastoriza-Piñol, © 2016.

BAGSC will be offering a Masterclass with Australian botanical artist John Pastoriza-Piñol in November, 2016. Students will learn the intricacies of achieving fine detail with watercolour masking fluid and NEEF ¼ Comb, invaluable tools for contemporary botanical artists. As a result, your paintings will be brought to a new level of realism and detail. Students should have skills in drawing and watercolor. Over three days, John will assist you with painting the chosen class subject. John will show how masking fluid can be used to achieve very fine detail and will instruct students how to use the NEEF ¼ Comb.

November 8, 9 and 10, 2016
9:30 am – 4:00pm each day
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Cost: BAGSC Members: $300; Non-Members: $330
Maximum Registration: 16 students

To register:
Send a check for your $50 non-refundable deposit fee (or payment in full), made out to BAGSC, to BAGSC Education Chair, Jude Wiesenfeld. Please write “JohnPP” on the memo line of the check. Payment in full is due by Monday, October 25, 2016.

Bring your lunch, or purchase lunch at The Huntington Cafes, at The Huntington.

Questions about the Workshop? Contact the BAGSC Education Chair.

Fragaria x ananassa, Strawberry, watercolor by John Pastoriza-Piñol, © 2016.

Fragaria x ananassa, Strawberry, watercolor by John Pastoriza-Piñol, © 2016.

Learning Objectives:
Students who enroll in this workshop would have completed some level of introduction to Botanical Art and be at an intermediate to advanced level. The structure of the class involves a three-day painting project and the demonstrator assists each student with composition, painting techniques, colour theory which will be offered in class and assigned for homework.

Download a PDF of the materials list: John Pastoriza Pinol Materials list 2016

About the Instructor:
Rich luminous hues and gorgeously exotic and rare botanical specimens epitomize John’s work, however his are much more than mere flower paintings:closer inspection reveals a certain ambiguity of form and intent directing us towards a complex narrative.

John Pastoriza-Piñol, © 2016.

John Pastoriza-Piñol, © 2016.

A master of his medium, his perfectly executed watercolours remain true to the accuracy that is vital to botanical illustration yet they have a fluidity and sensuality that stirs the viewer to experience more than a mere marveling of technique.

The artist suggestively urges us to look beyond the aesthetic and move into slightly more uneasy territory as his work inhabits a territory somewhere between scientific analysis and symbolic realism, prompting a reading that goes beyond the purely representational and literal. The artist intends for literal and subversive elements to coexist uneasily on the same plane, while the aesthetics will remain true to the fundamental principle of objective observation of the natural world.

Location:
The workshop will be held at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, in the Botanical Education Center. The Huntington is located at: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108.

 

by Jude Wiesenfeld and Deb Shaw

"Forest Bouquet, Russian Choice," watercolor by Alexander Viazmensky, © 2016, all rights reserved.

“Forest Bouquet, Russian Choice,” watercolor by Alexander Viazmensky, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Alexander (Sasha) Viazmensky will be returning to Southern California from St. Petersburg, Russia to teach a three-day, BAGSC-sponsored workshop, Mushroom Portraits in Watercolor.

Wednesday, October 19 – Friday, October 21, 2016
9:30 am – 4:00 pm each day
Los Angeles County Arboretum, Oak Room
$300 for BAGSC members; $330 for non-members
Class limit: 16 students

Workshop Description:
Mushroom hunting is a passionate, national pastime in Russia, and Sasha’s paintings capture the spirit of the fungi and the forest. Painted life sized, he calls his paintings “Portraits of Mushrooms.” The class will consist of the following steps:

  1. Composition.
  2. How to properly place your subject: lights, shadows, reflections.
  3. Creating the shape from light to dark.
  4. Creating various textures with dry brush.
  5. Using white gouache.
  6. Final details.

Download the materials list: sashaMaterialsList

To Register:
Send a check for your $50 non-refundable deposit fee (or payment in full), made out to BAGSC, to BAGSC Education Chair Jude Wiesenfeld. Please write “Sasha” on the memo line of the check. Payment in full is due by Monday, October 3, 2016.

Bring your lunch, or purchase lunch at the Peacock Café, on the Arboretum grounds.

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

"Forest Bouquet, Russian Choice," watercolor by Alexander Viazmensky, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Alexander Viazmensky in the woods. © 2016.

About the Instructor:
Sasha Viazmensky was born and lives in St. Petersburg, Russia, and specializes in painting fungi. Although he has a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering, he has devoted his life to painting, studying, and picking mushrooms. His work is included in the collections of the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation in Pittsburgh, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Shirley Sherwood Collection and the Komarov Botanical Institute in St. Petersburg, among others, and in private collections all over the world. You can read an article Sasha wrote about picking mushrooms in Russia, published in MUSHROOM, The Journal of Wild Mushrooming, here.

by Deb Shaw

Akiko Enokido at the RHS Exhibition.

Akiko Enokido at the RHS Exhibition with a few of her watercolors of heritage Camellia japonica.

Congratulations to Akiko Enokido for her Gold Medal at the RHS London Botanical Art Show, for her paintings of heritage Camellia japonica in watercolor on vellum.

Akiko sends a big hello to BAGSC members from London!

As Akiko explained, one of the oldest camellias among her paintings is ‘Masayoshi’. This camellia was carried to the Netherlands by Dr. Siebold in 1829 and named ‘Doncklaeri’. This is the plant that became the basis for the cultivation of many new types of Camellia in Europe during the 1800’s.

Congratulations to all the winners, including ASBA members:
Julie Nettleton (Best Botanical Painting)
Julie Nettleton (Australia), gold medal
Akiko Enokido (Japan), gold medal
Esmee Winkel (Netherlands), gold medal
Betsy Rogers-Knox (USA), silver-gilt

by Diane Daly and Deb Shaw

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Tania Norris, posted by Deb Shaw

Hybrid Bearded Flag Iris, watercolor on vellum and in the artist's private collection. © 2015 Jenny Phillips, all rights reserved.

Hybrid Bearded Flag Iris, watercolor on vellum and in the artist’s private collection. © 2015 Jenny Phillips, all rights reserved.

Jenny Phillips, internationally renowned botanical artist and teacher, is returning to Southern California to teach watercolor. Sponsored by the Virginia Robinson Gardens, Jenny will be teaching two workshops in two locations: one at the Virginia Robinson Gardens in Beverly Hills; the other at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino. Participants may sign up for one or the other, or both.

Jenny runs the Jenny Phillips School for Botanical Art in Melbourne, Australia, and has taught in America, Europe and Africa. Jenny is known for her attention to detail and in her teaching, shares her expertise in helping everyone — from beginning to advanced students. She furthers understanding of the art of botanical painting by giving demonstrations of her methods, tips and the benefits of her experience. Her magic with a paintbrush, her techniques for correcting “mistakes” are well known and her enthusiasm is contagious. All who take her classes come away with a renewed energy and thrill of painting nature.

“Water color techniques and tips for all artists, with an emphasis on botanical art”

Session I: September 21 – 25,  The Huntington, Frances The Frances Lasker Brody Botanical Center
1151 Oxford Road San Marino, CA 91108
Monday through Friday, 9:30am – 3:30pm
For more information, contact Tania Norris.

Session II: September 28 – October 2, Virginia Robinson Gardens
1008 Elden Way, Beverly Hills, Ca 90210
Monday through Friday, 9:30am – 3:30pm
For more information contact, Friends of Robinson Gardens

Jenny Phillips discussing techniques at Virginia Robinson Gardens.

Jenny Phillips discussing techniques at Virginia Robinson Gardens.

Fee PER WEEK $595. for Virginia Robinson Garden and Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California members.
Non-members $625. per week. A $100 non-refundable deposit or payment in full will reserve a seat in the class. Remainder payable in full, one week before scheduled class.

A supplies list will be sent to all registered participants. Coffee, tea and water will be provided, but please bring your own lunch. Lunch at The Huntington may be purchased from the Café or coffee shop.

To make reservations for the class held at Virginia Robinson Gardens, visit the Virginia Robinson Gardens online; call 310.550.2068; or mail a check to: Friends of Robinson Gardens, 1008 Elden Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

Jenny Phillips demonstrating techniques at the Virginia Robinson Gardens.

Jenny Phillips demonstrating techniques at the Virginia Robinson Gardens.

To make reservations for the class held at The Huntington, please mail a check made out to Tania Norris: 137 N. Larchmont Boulevard, Los Angeles, Ca 90004.

For more information about either session, please contact Tania Norris.

About the instructor:
Jenny Phillips, a Gold Medalist from The Australian National Print Awards 1998, The Royal Horticultural Society, London 1993, and recipient of the Celia Rosser Award, has focused her drawing, watercolour skills, and love of gardening on botanical art since 1971. She is a renowned botanical artist and one of the most popular and experienced teachers. She has her own Botanical Art School in Melbourne, Australia, and has her paintings in many notable collections, including that of H.R.H. Prince Charles. Jenny’s teaching always includes effective ways to achieve maximum effect with ease and her wit is always evident.

by Melanie Campbell-Carter

Nepenthes! The very epitome of Weird, Wild, and Wonderful was the subject of a three-day pre-symposium workshop led by Mieko Ishikawa, a featured artist in the Weird, Wild & Wonderful exhibit currently on view at the Brody Botanical Center at The Huntington and also a Keynote Speaker at our symposium.

Mieko Ishikawa graciously traveled across the Pacific to join us here in Southern California. Her first event of the Symposium was her three-day workshop on Nepenthes. The Huntington botanical gardens staff kindly cultivated and provided living Nepenthes plants for the workshop, and Mieko provided Reindeer Vellum for her students’ paintings.

Meiko Ishikawa and Akiko Enokido unroll Reindeer Vellum to show the class what a whole skin looks like.

Meiko Ishikawa and Akiko Enokido unroll Reindeer Vellum to show the class what a whole skin looks like.

First Mieko treated us to a wonderful presentation about her adventures finding and painting the very special plants of Borneo. We then enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of The Huntington greenhouse where the Nepenthes were grown. Robert Hori of The Huntington and BAGSC’s very talented Akiko Enokido provided interpretive skills for the workshop.

Meiko demonstrating her techniques.

Meiko demonstrating her techniques.

After three days of intense study, graphite drawing on our vellum, and very careful application of watercolor on our drawings with extremely tiny brushes, we all had a much greater understanding of the stunning talent and achievements of Mieko Ishikawa. Her mastery of the structure of the plants, as well as her breathtaking artistic talent, gave all of us an enormous dose of inspiration to continue learning and painting!

Many, many thanks to everyone who made the workshop possible – including The Huntington gardens’ staff, the ASBA, the amazing BAGSC women who organized the symposium, and especially our tireless and patient instructor, Mieko Ishikawa.

Workshop participants with their Nepenthes paintings.

Workshop participants with their Nepenthes paintings.

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 Anita Walsmit Sachs and Deb Shaw

Anita Walsmit Sachs will be offering a 5-day botanical drawing and painting workshop, “Hortus atelier” in cooperation with The Hortus botanicus, Leiden, in 2015.

About the Hortus

The Hortus botanicus Leiden is a green oasis in the center of Leiden.

The Hortus botanicus Leiden is a green oasis in the center of Leiden.

The Hortus botanicus Leiden is the oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands and one of the oldest in the world. It is located in the historical centre of Leiden. Sitting behind the academy building of the Leiden University, the garden is a green oasis with a large collection of plants native to Southeast and East Asia, Southern Europe and South Africa. The Hortus is a haven within the city centre, a historical monument and a meeting place full of character.

People go to the Hortus to relax, enjoy the seasons or to learn more about the diversity of the plant kingdom.

In 1590 the Hortus was founded by the University of Leiden. In 1594 Carolus Clusius (1526-1609) turned it into a medicinal herb garden. But Clusius introduced the tulip and many other plants like tobacco and potato to the Hortus. These flowers and plants became known throughout Western Europe.

The Hortus botanicus Leiden is the oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands, and one of the oldest in the world.

The Hortus botanicus Leiden is the oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands, and one of the oldest in the world.

Many famous international scientists such as Clusius, Boerhaave, Linnaeus and Einstein were connected to the Hortus  botanicus in Leiden.

In the 19th century, the German physician Philipp Franz von Siebold (1796-1866) brought hundreds of plant species with him from Japan to the Netherlands and 15 of these original introductions can still be found in the Hortus today.

The Hortus atelier program

The purpose of a botanical illustration is primarily a scientifically accurate drawing. The artistic input is reflected in the sensitivity in which the subject is displayed and in the composition.

PROGRAM: from April 12 to April 16, 2015
First day, the class starts at 10, with coffee and presentation, who is who and info, followed by a guided walk through the garden.
Lunch 12.00 – 12.30
Afternoon 12.30 – 15.45 Instruction about the subject to draw. Pencil drawing, including light and dark values.

Second day, instruction about material, paper, paint and colour mixing and composition.

Third day, transferring the drawing to the watercolour paper and painting.

Fourth and fifth days, continuing the process. Every day there will be a discussion about the progress of the drawing. The  education is individually focused to gain an optimal result.

Gloriosa, watercolor by Anita Walsmit Sachs, 2014, all rights reserved.

Gloriosa, watercolor by Anita Walsmit Sachs, 2014, all rights reserved.

Costs

The fee will be € 375,00 including morning coffee, brasserie lunch and afternoon drinks. Information about payment will follow after subscription as well as information about lodging possibilities. A small optional assignment will be given before the course starts. Sign ups for the class are through Anita directly via email.

About the Artist

Anita Walsmit Sachs in her studio.

Anita Walsmit Sachs in her studio.

Anita initially trained in fashion design at the Royal Academy of fine Arts in The Hague. Fifteen years ago she became a scientific illustator at the National Herbarium of Leiden University, now Museum Naturalis. She has won two RHS Gold medals and a second prize medal at the RBG show in Sydney, Australia. Anita has participated in the Highgrove Florilegium of HRH Prince Charles. She is passionate about painting and teaching.

by Deb Shaw

Detail of Cucurbita Maxima, watercolor by Deborah Shaw, © 2014, all rights reserved.

Detail of Cucurbita Maxima, watercolor by Deborah Shaw, © 2014, all rights reserved.

The Ultimate Color Mixing Workshop has moved to Wednesday, January, 14 – Thursday, January 15, 2015 at the Virginia Robinson Gardens.

The workshop details are the same, as posted on a previous BAGSC News Blog article. You may find it at: https://bagscblog.com/2014/10/12/deborah-shaw-to-teach-the-ultimate-color-mixing-workshop-at-the-virginia-robinson-gardens/

9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Cost: $225 for Virginia Robinson Gardens members and Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC) members; $275 for non-members.
$50 deposit is non-refundable.

The Virginia Robinson Gardens has just installed online registration! Register for this workshop by going to: http://www.robinsongardens.org/product/ultimate-color-mixing-class/

You also can still make reservations by calling (310) 550-2068; or mail a check, made payable to: FRIENDS OF ROBINSON GARDENS. The Virginia Robinson Gardens are located at 1008 Elden Way, Beverly Hills, California 90210.

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