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by Sally Jacobs, posted by Deb Shaw


Dahlias, watercolor by Sally Jacobs, © 2020

Sally Jacobs has an exhibition of watercolors at the TAG Gallery, entitled California Grown.

The show runs from March 17 – April 11, 2020.

All are invited to the Opening Reception on Saturday March 21, 5-8 pm.

In addition to the exhibition, there will be two workshops and an Artist’s Walkthrough:

Introduction to Botanical Painting
with Sally Jacobs
Tuesday, March 31, 10 am – 12 pm
Contact Sally Jacobs by clicking here.

Introduction to Painting on Yupo
with Shelley Lazarus
Tuesday, March 31, 12 – 2 pm
Contact Shelley Lazarus by clicking here.

Artist Walkthrough
Saturday, April 4, 3 pm

The TAG GALLERY is located at:
5458 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90036 ·
(310) 829-9556

Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am – 5 pm.

Swiss Chard, watercolor by Sally Jacobs, © 2020, all rights reserved.

Swiss Chard, watercolor by Sally Jacobs, © 2020, all rights reserved.

by Deb Shaw

Akiko Enokido has her first solo botanical art exhibition at the Beijing Botanical Garden, China.

Her 35 original artworks on display were painted from 2005 to 2019, the majority painted in California, Hawaii and Japan.

The exhibition is currently on view at the Beijing Botanical Garden until March 15, 2020.

Images of the exhibition can be viewed here.


The BAGSC Botanical Day of Art is almost here, and the website has been updated with more information. There are still a few spots available for:
Sunday, January 26, 2020
9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden
301 N Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

Cost, BAGSC Members: $50
Non-Members: $60

Be sure to visit the BAGSC website at to review updated information, including:

  • A full schedule of the day;
  • Instructors and subjects for each of the four sessions;
  • Supplies provided;
  • Supplies for sharing;
  • AND the BAGSC Mercado!

Last year we sold extras from the art supplies purchased for the Day of Art, and participants were clamoring for more. We have just added a BAGSC “Mercado” to the day: in addition to the workshop sessions, BAGSC will be selling extra art supplies purchased for the “Day of Art” as well as gently-used art supplies in our very own Art Supply Mercado.

Please bring cash or check; credit cards will not be accepted for the Art Supply Mercado.

Registration is online and easy. Hope to see you there!

by Deb Shaw

Back by popular demand! Last year’s BAGSC BOTANICAL ART WORKSHOP was such a great success, we’ve created a new one! Start a creative 2020 with:

A Day of Botanical Art Skills & Techniques for All Levels

Sunday, January 26, 2020
9am to 4pm
Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden
301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA 91007

Participants may choose from a variety hands-on sessions taught by skilled BAGSC teachers in a new, longer, 80-minute format! Choose which sessions you want to attend the day of the event.

  • Color Mixing and Pigments
  • Colored Pencil and Watercolor Pencil
  • Drawing Leaves and Flowers
  • Dry Brush Technique
  • Fixing Fiddly Bits with Masking Fluid
  • Graphite (Pencil) Techniques
  • Nature Journaling
  • Pen & Ink
  • Pen, Watercolor & Colored Pencil
  • Silverpoint
  • Watercolor

BAGSC Artists include:

  • Cristina Baltayian
  • Sally Jacobs
  • Kathlyn Powell
  • Lesley Randall
  • Olga Ryabtsova
  • Mitsuko Schultz
  • Gilly Shaeffer
  • Deborah Shaw

$50 BAGSC Members ~ $60 Non-Members 

Register online at

No refunds after January 17, 2020.

BAGSC Basic Botanical Art, photo © Deborah Shaw.

All basic supplies are included in the registration cost. Beginners can try new techniques while others can brush up their skills and try out new materials.

Please register early. Spaces are limited, and this workshop is open to the public. Registrations are expected to fill quickly.

Questions? Contact BAGSC’s education chair at the link on the online registration page above.

by Kirsten Rindal, posted by Deb Shaw

“Using Light to Create Realism in Botanicals”, taught by Robert McNeill at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, October 3-5, 2018 was an amazing 3-day workshop!

Robert began with a thought-provoking quote by Leonardo da Vinci: “A painter should begin every painting with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where it is exposed to light.” We were all inspired by the meticulous approach and techniques, and how he used light to reveal the drama, depth, form, transparency and detail of the subject.

Snapshot's from Robert McNeil's workshop.

Snapshot’s from Robert McNeil’s workshop.

He discussed the importance of capturing the effect of light, how it requires controlled tone/value to describe the relative lightness or darkness of color, creating an illusion of form. When we perceive tones/values, they are always relative to each other and never seen in isolation. Therefore, simultaneous contrast is always at work. Being able to create and control tonal/value gradation in watercolor is an important skill to acquire, along with the ability to see them and record them accurately. This controlled effective tone/value can take your work to a higher level by creating “enhanced relations through convincing volume”. Robert’s painting of the Cardiocrinum gigantum was a perfect example of how a painting encourages the viewer to look closer by revealing detail that has been made more apparent by light.

During the workshop, Robert shared examples of his work to illustrate the process and techniques of using light to create realism. He stressed the importance of constantly analyzing the process as one worked. Generous with information, patient in answering every question, his enthusiasm, interest and support were always encouraging.

Robert reviewed ways to light your subject, explaining that correct intensity and direction of light for the subject is important to reveal aspects crucial to capturing its essence. He usually uses overhead lighting that is controlled. He noted that it is not always helpful to place subjects in strong light, as extreme contrasts can create more problems than it solves. His painting of Abies koreana ‘Carron’ beautifully illustrates how studying the play of light across all aspects of his subject creates a sense of drama. We were encouraged to think about lighting in the subject’s natural habitat, and what would be typical of natural lighting. It was suggested that we avoid overhead lights in a room, and also light from windows, keeping light consistent on the subject you are painting.

Documenting Stage:
Thorough and objective observation of the subject is key. Observe the subject from all angles to ascertain which angle would convey the most convincing nature of the subject. Carefully look for overlapping and foreshortening. (Taking photos as a reference is OK, but best not to rely on photos.) For details use eyes, and measure subject for 1:1 scale, carefully documenting information, as subject will change by growing, wilting or drying out. Observe the difference that the angle of light source makes upon subject for revealing visual strengths. Fifteen minutes were given to make three quick loose, linear drawings of our subject, the rose. Fifteen more minutes were given to make three more quick, linear/tonal drawings. Color matching was made at this part of the documenting process. He asked us to be mindful of the way colors are affected by the color next to it. Robert uses Winsor Newton transparent paints only, and always mixes his own greens and oranges.

Development Stage:
We began this part of the process by producing a full size 1:1 scale drawing, referring to documenting stage material to ensure accuracy. Robert shared examples of his work showing meticulous detail to be used as a reference for final painting. Next we were to make an accurate tracing from the drawing of our rose. The tracing was placed in a variety of positions before making a final decision and transferring it to watercolor paper. After transfer, it was advised to always re-work to produce more accurate drawing. He cautioned us about erasures on watercolor paper that can cause paper’s surface to breakdown. Robert also gave a tip about using a piece of silk and an agate to smooth a ruffled paper surface.


Lifting Preparation.

  • Winsor Newton Lifting Preparation may be used for ease in lifting paint for veins, etc.
  • Use 3 layers of lifting prep, allowing 2 hours of drying time in between each layer.
  • You may use lifting prep over layer of wash.
  • Best to only use in small areas, and be extremely careful not to go over pencil lines.

Ox Gall Liquid.

  • Mix 3 drops of Winsor Newton Ox Gall in ¼ cup water. Keep small marked water jar with this mixture separate from other water.
  • This mixture helps paint to flow easily.
  • You may use Ox Gall and water wash on paper first, and when slightly damp, add paint wash. Or, you may use Ox Gall and water and paint all at the same time.
  • Never use paint with Ox Gall for dry brush work. Keep paints and brushes used for dry brush separate.

Dry Brush Technique.

  • Using a Spotter, WN 000, Robert demonstrated stipples and tiny fine lines.
  • Robert used a separate plate with tiny dots of dry paint, moistening his brush with a damp sponge.
  • For texture, only hit the high points of the paper.
  • Can use damp brush on top of stipples very carefully.
  • It is important to avoid using one technique, rather use a combination of wash and dry brush. Continually analyze the process you are using.
  • Indian Yellow may also be used as a light glaze over finished painting…very carefully.

During the three days, we all talked about Robert’s useful ideas and techniques that made an impression on us. At the end of the class, works in progress were placed on a table for sharing. Robert emphasized the importance of seeing all work within the group as a valuable learning experience. Following are ideas and techniques that resonated with members of the class:

“I very much enjoyed learning how to make fast, free sketches while not looking for details, but instead seeing the overall shape.”
“Learning how to focus on the contrasts, especially the dark and light.”
“Watching Robert using a scalpel to release bits of dried paint from the paper surface.”
“Experimenting with Ox Gall as a wetting agent in the water jar, and learning how to use WN lifting preparation was very interesting and highly useful information.”
“Hearing the words: ’Slow down, think, organize and plan’ was a reminder to always approach work with pre-planned thought.”
“Importance of continually analyzing the process.”
“Reactivate the line after a trace to create depth as a reminder while painting.”
“Remembering to soften outside edges while keeping them sharp, yet light.”
“Using a damp sponge for moisture control when using dry brush techniques.”

The time flew by far too quickly! We are all grateful to Robert McNeill, both as a brilliant artist and as an excellent teacher. His meticulous attention to detail and thorough observation of his subjects are reflected in the light and form he achieves in his paintings. He inspired us to see the subtleties and nuances of light as we create art. Thank you also to the Education Committee for bringing him here, to Tania Norris for supplying the subjects, and treats, to The Huntington for hosting us, and to BAGSC.

by Deb Shaw

Deborah Shaw will be having a one-person exhibition at Chez Shaw Gallery—no relation 🙂

Entitled “Botanical Portraits,” the exhibition will run from  May 12 – July 31, 2018. Deborah’s watercolors and graphite drawings feature California native plants as well as other fascinating specimens of the plant kingdom.

The opening is May 12, 2018 from 6 – 9 pm, and is open to the public. Visiting the Gallery on other days is by appointment only, 562-708-3803. Chez Shaw Gallery is located at 1836 Nipomo Avenue, Long Beach, California 90815.

Opuntia spp., Fruit, Prickly Pear “Tunas,” Watercolor on calfskin vellum, © 2016, Deborah Shaw, Digital image protected by Digimarc.

Opuntia spp., Fruit, Prickly Pear “Tunas,” Watercolor on calfskin vellum, © 2016, Deborah Shaw. Digital image protected by Digimarc.



by Beth Stone, posted by Deb Shaw

Martin Allen’s Techniques Showcase at the 2017 San Francisco ASBA Conference was a great introduction for the class he subsequently taught locally for BAGSC, October 24 – 26, at The Los Angeles Arboretum.

Martin’s method is to work directly from photographs. He takes great care to stage the photos for dramatic lighting and for color accuracy to the point where paint colors can be directly matched to the colors on a printed photo. Although Martin jokes about his limited pallet there is a wisdom to it. He promotes mixing small quantities of the desired color to create a more realistic appearance.

Painting from John Pastoriza-Piñol's BAGSC workshop, 2017. © 2017 Beth Stone.

Painting from John Pastoriza Piñol’s BAGSC workshop, 2017. The shiny, reflective areas are masking fluid that has yet to be removed. © 2017 Beth Stone.

My biggest take-away from Martin was the notion of placing “mostly the right color in mostly the right place” from the very beginning. Here are three examples of my paintings from classes within the past year. Hint: both of the Orchid specimens had deep red to nearly black areas.

I call the one from mid-point of John Pastoriza Pinol’s class “my pretty pony” , the other is my first attempt at vellum from Carol Woodin’s class. I eventually finished each of these about two months later.

Painting from Carol Woodin's BAGSC workshop, 2017. © 2017 Beth Stone.

Painting from Carol Woodin’s BAGSC workshop, 2017. © 2017 Beth Stone.

Contrast these to the depth of tone achieved on this dandelion bud (~15x) in Martin Allen’s workshop.

The more classes I take, the more convinced I am that there is no right or wrong method. To me the secret is to keep an open mind and amass a tool kit of knowledge that can be applied where it suits the subject matter.

Painting from Martin Allen's BAGSC workshop, 2017. © 2017 Beth Stone.

Painting from Martin Allen’s BAGSC workshop, 2017. © 2017 Beth Stone.

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.

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 Asuka Hishiki, posted by Deb Shaw

Flora Japonica opened mid-September, 2016 at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in London. Before the opening, I personally felt very overwhelmed and was worried about how we would be received. It turned out GREAT! The people at the Kew were so nice and friendly. When Dr. Shirley Sherwood congratulated us at the opening speech, I felt so honored to be a part of the celebrated show.

There is so much to tell about the exhibition. There are, however, so many good writings about the show already available. Instead of summarizing those good reads, I thought I would make a list of the links for you to visit. Meanwhile, I would love to share my thoughts on several specific artworks. This are just my opinions and maybe rather boring ones at that, but I hope you enjoy walking with me through the show.

I have mentioned that these are just my opinions. Keep in mind, my bold statement is this: I think that most Japanese endemic plants are rather unflattering. Meaning that they are not obviously gorgeous like roses, tulips or tropical plants. Maybe this is the case not only with Japanese native plants; perhaps many endemic plants appear very humble looking. Well, really? It could be because these plants are not looked at properly.

Idesia polycarpa, watercolor on paper, © 2016, Akiko Enokido.

Idesia polycarpa, watercolor on paper, © 2016, Akiko Enokido.

Take a look at the watercolor Idesia polycarpa by Akiko Enokido. I think the actual plant (not her painting!) is very modest looking. Its male and female flowers are especially small and plain. However, if you look at it up-close as Akiko did, it is obvious that the flower clusters are very gorgeous! Akiko successfully converted the modest look of the plant into a dynamic figure using her vivid and strong color. The beauty is sometimes there in front of us, but it doesn’t reveal itself until we open our eyes properly. I think as artists we have the wonderful power to help open the secret door, clearing the smoke that hides nature’s beauty.

Speaking of color, I thought many of the artists’ subjects held a very clean but pastel color. I wondered how they achieved their shades. On first look, I thought perhaps the artwork was done in color pencil, but no, it was watercolor. In some parts, I saw tiny, tiny brush strokes. Instead of washing those stitches out, the artists kept them, floating them onto white paper, like a Georges Seurat painting. I couldn’t get an answer about this technique from my fellow artists, so I will tell you when I find out.

Magnolia obovata, watercolor on paper, © 2016, Mieko Konishi.

Magnolia obovata, watercolor on paper, © 2016, Mieko Konishi.

You may have the same question I have: how to portray something huge like a whole tree, or a plant like Magnolia obovata, which has leaves that grow up to 45 cm long and 25 cm wide? Two fantastic artists had the answers for me in this show.

The way Mieko Konishi portrayed Magnolia obovata was awesome! She positioned a main flower right up the center, and from it huge leaves spread in all directions. The leaves are cropped off in the middle. Only the two front leaves show almost the complete leaf shape, but even these leaves are cropped off at the tips. This is a huge painting already, but Mieko uses cropping and composition to indicate that the plant is too big to fit the paper. Her image reminded me the surprise I had when I picked up a Magnolia obovata leaf from the ground. I knew it was big, but seeing the actual leaf and holding it gave me additional amazement.

Pinus x densithunbergii, watercolor on paper, © 2016, Masumi Yamanaka.

Pinus x densithunbergii, watercolor on paper, © 2016, Masumi Yamanaka.

The other example is done by Masumi Yamanaka. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see her Pinus x densithunbergii in person. It was planed to be exhibited at the Japanese embassy in London a few weeks after I visited. This tree is known as the “Miracle Pine”, which survived the devastating tsunami that accompanied the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 and somehow remained standing, even though the entire 70,000-tree pine forest along the beach was uprooted.

I had a privilege, however, to visit her studio in Kew Garden where she works with other official botanical illustrators of Kew. I could go on and on about the visit, but I would like to go back to her tree painting. I wondered how she created the tree painting without the actual tree in front of her. I watched her short documentary about the painting. Yes, she had many many references of the tree. Yes, she visited the actual tree and made the color samples at the site. But if she had had only those references, the tree would not be portrayed as accurately as it is in her artwork. What her painting contains is her experience and knowledge as a botanical illustrator. She has studied hundreds and thousands of plants with her keen observation and has painted them. This wisdom is laid on underneath the image.

I think the time we spend on a painting is not only spent on that specific artwork, but the knowledge we gain remains and accumulates in us as wisdom.

When I walked in the Kew garden and bumped into one of the trees Yamanaka had portrayed, I had a warm sensation as if I had just run into someone I knew.

Lastly, I couldn’t pass up telling you about what I do not know how to explain. Confusing, yes.

Cercidiphyllum magnificum, watercolor on paper, © 2016, Mieko Ishikawa

Cercidiphyllum magnificum, watercolor on paper, © 2016, Mieko Ishikawa.

I just had a “wow” when I saw Mieko Ishikawa’s Cercidiphyllum magnificum. The plant itself is again, very humble looking at first glance. Yet it grabbed my attention immediately. What captured me the most is the perfection of the drawing, The leaves look soft and slightly rounded, and the male and female flowers are delicate, yet lively. It is extremely realistic, yet informative. Even though she includes many details in various sizes and different angles, everything fits fantastically into one frame. In her illustration, I think that Art and Science meets in a precise middle point and keep a golden balance. Well, to be honest with you, I have no background nor knowledge of the science of botany, so I may have no idea what I am talking about. There are just so many things in this one painting to gaze at, to be amazed by, to learn, and questions to pose and think about.

“Good artists copy; great artists steal.” This is a famous quote by Picasso. I simply wish he also told us how to steal it.

The Flora Japonica exhibition is open from 17 September 2016 to 5 March 2017, 10 am to 5:30 pm in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, London, UK. Price is included with entry to the Gardens.

This exhibition includes about one hundred Japanese wild, native, endemic plants, portrayed by 36 of the most eminent contemporary Japanese botanical artists. The exhibition also features historic drawings and paintings by some of Japan’s most revered botanists and artists such as Dr. Tomitaro Makino (1863-1957), Sessai Hattori and Chikusai Kato (Edo period artists 1603-1868).

Additionally, works from Kew’s Illustration and Economic Botany collections also are on display, including an early Japanese botanical illustration, Honzō Zufu by Kanen Iwasaki (1786–1842), an illustrated encyclopaedia of medicinal plants from 1828, and Japanese wood panels by Chikusai Kato (1878), which are made from the wood and framed with the bark of the trees that they depict.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is located at: Kew, Richmond TW9 3AB, United Kingdom, +44 20 8332 5655.

Find information about Flora Japonica on Kew’s website.
Two press releases about the exhibition can be found here, and here.

Purchase the Flora Japonica catalogue.

Read the DAIWA Foundation article about the exhibition.

Read about the Flora Japonica exhibition on Asuka’s website and view Asuka’s artworks and exhibitions.

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!

by Teri Kuwahara, posted by Deb Shaw

Sue Kuuskmae, photo by Melanie Campbell-Carter, © 2016.

Sue Kuuskmae, photo by Melanie Campbell-Carter, © 2016.

BAGSC members Suzanne Kuuskmae and Teri Kuwahara have botanical paintings in the 2016 Annual Juried Show of the South Bay Watercolor Society. A reception was held on May 15. BAGSC members Melanie Campbell-Carter and Nancy Grubb drove to Torrance to lend their support.

South Bay Watercolor Society includes all water media. The 2016 show was juried by Williellyn McFarland, former President of the National Watercolor Society and Signature Member of Watercolor West.

Sue Kuuskmae has two of her beautiful works, “Magnolia Tree” and “Red Lanterns” in the show.

Teri Kuwahara with her prize-winning painting of a French Breakfast Radish, photo by Alvin Takamori, © 2016.

Teri Kuwahara with her prize-winning painting of a French Breakfast Radish, photo by Alvin Takamori, © 2016.

Vegetables grown in the Torrance Memorial Medical Center Learning Garden were the subjects for both of Teri Kuwahara’s paintings: “Purple Pole Bean” and “(French Breakfast) Radish” which received an Honorable Mention Ribbon and cash prize.

The show continues through June 24 at South Bay Lexus located at 24777 Crenshaw Boulevard in Torrance. Their gallery showroom is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and closed on Sundays.

Teri Kuwahara pictured with SBWS Chairman Etty Andreani. Photo by Alvin Takamori, © 2016.

Teri Kuwahara pictured with SBWS Chairman Etty Andreani. Photo by Alvin Takamori, © 2016.

by Gilly Shaeffer, posted by Deb Shaw

California Poppy, watercolor by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2016, all rights reserved.

California Poppy, watercolor by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Gilly Shaeffer recently had two paintings accepted for the exhibit at the United States Botanic Gardens, Washington, D.C.: her paintings of Toyon Berries and California Poppies. These plants can be found at the Channel Islands National Park in California.

Entitled “Celebrating Flora of the U.S. National Parks,” this exhibition is in collaboration with the National Park Service, celebrating their 100th anniversary, and will showcase the diversity of the plant life throughout the U.S. National Parks.

The exhibit will be open from February through October, 2016.

Congratulations Gilly! A great way to start the New Year!

Toyon Berries, watercolor by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Toyon Berries, watercolor by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2016, all rights reserved.

by Suzanne Kuuskmae, posted by Deb Shaw

Red Lilies, watercolor on paper, © 2015, Suzanne Kuuskmae, all rights reserved.

Red Lilies, watercolor on paper, © 2015, Suzanne Kuuskmae, all rights reserved.

Currently I have two botanical paintings out and about. One got into the Palos Verdes Art Center Show and is called “Red Lilies” and the other is in the Torrance Museum South Bay Focus Show and is called: “Camellias Next Door.” I think because no one around here is doing that kind of art, it attracts quite a bit of attention. I also sold two botanical this past few months: “Purple Iris,” and “Morning Glories.”

We are going to have a few openings in the gallery portion of our Destination: Art co-op so it might be that some other botanical artists might be interested in joining us?  The cost is $60 a month for a 6 foot space.

Camillia #3, watercolor on paper, © 2015, Suzanne Kuuskmae, all rights reserved.

Camellia #3, watercolor on paper, © 2015, Suzanne Kuuskmae, all rights reserved.

Our co-op did a Holiday Tree for the Torrance Memorial Hospital which took us all of October and November to put together as we hand-made all the ornaments. One group of ornaments was small 8 x 6 canvases on which we painted some of the old masters but with a Christmas touch, such as: Mona Lisa with a Santa’s hat. They turned out really well as one of our imaginative artists built frames for each one, and then we painted and put ribbon around each. He also cut out Christmas trees that we painted and decorated with shiny gems; a very labor intensive undertaking. Our tree sold right away at the Festival so we were able to make quite a nice sum for the Hospital plus make a name for our art group.

by Deb Shaw

Image Credit: Detail, Sebastian Lopez de Arteaga, St. Michael and the Bull, c. 1650. Denver Art Museum Collection: Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer, 1994.27.

Image Credit: Detail, Sebastian Lopez de Arteaga, St. Michael and the Bull, c. 1650. Denver Art Museum Collection: Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer, 1994.27.

BAGSC member Deborah Shaw will be teaching a two-part introductory workshop at Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13, 2015, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, “What’s Cool (and Warm) about Red: Color Mixing in Watercolor.”

Taught in conjunction with the exhibition “The Red that Colored the World,” this consecutive two-day workshop will use the flowers and fruits of the season as the basis for learning to mix a full spectrum of reds, both warm and cool. Delve into warm, fiery reds the first day, and cool, velvety reds the next. Explore transparency, undercolor painting and palette mixing. Suitable for beginners to advanced artists.

Location: John M. Lee Court in Bowers Museum
Price: Member $24 | General $30 | Students $20 with valid I.D.
Materials provided with a $15.00 materials fee payable to the instructor the day of class, and/or feel free to bring your own favorite materials.

Proceeds benefit Bowers Museum Education Programs. Tickets are non-refundable, may be purchased online or onsite. Questions? Contact Bowers by email or by calling 714.567.3677.

The exhibition, “The Red that Colored the World,” traces the history of cochineal and the seductive visual nature of red. It explores the quest for the perfect, vibrant red, which culminated in the Aztec marketplace of 16th-century Mexico, where Spanish explorers first encountered the American cochineal bug. More than 100 objects, which have all been tested to ensure they contain cochineal, come from all over the globe, and include textiles, sculpture, paintings, manuscripts, decorative arts, clothing and more. The exhibition was organized by the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, and made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and circulating through GuestCurator Traveling Exhibitions. Articles about the exhibition can be found on the Bowers Museum site, including coverage by the PBS NewsHour.

Bowers Museum is located at: 2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, California 92706, 714.567.3600.

Deborah Shaw has a degree in fine art from Pomona College, The Claremont Colleges, where she also studied botany and native California flora. Ms. Shaw is an active member of the American Society of Botanical Artists, the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, and the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, and has taught art and botanical art at numerous venues, including The Getty, Virginia Robinson Gardens and Bowers Museum.

Deborah’s work has been displayed in juried and non-juried exhibitions, and is in private collections. Her work is in the permanent collection at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon University and other institutions. She has received numerous awards for art, illustration, design, product design and advertising. Her preferred media include graphite, watercolor, colored pencil, scratchboard, Illustrator and Photoshop.

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