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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 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.
http://www.bowers.org

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.

by Deb Shaw

Damselfly, Carnation, Firebug, Caterpillar, Carnelian Cherry, and Centipede; Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 - 1600), and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575); Vienna, Austria; 1561 - 1562; illumination added 1591 - 1596; Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment; Leaf: 16.6 x 12.4 cm (6 9/16 x 4 7/8 in.); Ms. 20, fol. 68. Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program.

Damselfly, Carnation, Firebug, Caterpillar, Carnelian Cherry, and Centipede; Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 – 1600), and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575); Vienna, Austria; 1561 – 1562; illumination added 1591 – 1596; Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment; Leaf: 16.6 x 12.4 cm (6 9/16 x 4 7/8 in.); Ms. 20, fol. 68. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

The Getty has a treasure in its collections, prized by botanical artists all over the world: the Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta by Georg Bocskay and Joris Hoefnagel. Commissioned in 1560 by the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I, Georg Bocskay, court scribe, displayed his astonishing calligraphy skills in this small book. Thirty years after he completed the volume, Joris Hoefnagel, the court illuminator to Ferdinand’s successor, the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II,  painted incredible portraits of flowers, insects, snails, seeds, frogs, snakes and more in the spaces on each page.

ASBA member Denise Walser-Kolar was inspired by Hoefnagel’s work after seeing the modern reproduction, Nature Illuminated: Flora and Fauna from the Court of Emperor Rudolf II in a bookstore. She is working on a 25-painting series, Hoefnagel-Inspired. To see more of her work, visit the article in the Getty Iris, the online magazine by the Getty. To order your own copy of Nature Illuminated, visit the Getty Store.

Hoefnagel-Inspired #4 2014, Denise Walser-Kolar. Watercolor and gouache on calfskin vellum, 4 x 6 in. Courtesy of and © Denise Walser-Kolar.

Hoefnagel-Inspired #4 2014, Denise Walser-Kolar. Watercolor and gouache on calfskin vellum, 4 x 6 in. Courtesy of and © Denise Walser-Kolar.

by Gilly Shaeffer, posted by Deb Shaw

Asuka Hishiki demonstrating during the "Weird, Wild & Wonderful" Symposium at The Huntington, July 2015. Photo by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2015.

Asuka Hishiki demonstrating during the “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” Symposium at The Huntington, July 2015. Photo by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2015.

During the recent “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” Symposium at The Huntington, I watched Asuka Hishiki as she demonstrated how she would paint a segment of an heirloom tomato skin. Here are my impressions of the way she went about developing this small sample of the tomato skin with paint.

  • Asuka says every time she approaches her subject it is new for her.
  • Asuka starts sketches on tracing paper.
  • She uses a wood pencil in a pencil holder which she sharpens with a box cutter.
  • She goes over her pencil lines with a lighter color paint or yellow ochre.  So she will have thin lines in watercolor for her drawing.
  • At this point she erases any pencil lines.
  • She covers the entire form with a Chinese white wash. (The Chinese white that she likes is the Holbein brand.)  She says one should stay very light when applying the first layer of this white paint. This Chinese white wash acts as a protection for the paper. Much of it gets taken off during the removal of the masking fluid (to be mentioned later).
  • Asuka will add more Chinese white paint on the places where she wants the paint to bleed to create  soft color transitions. She also mentions the importance of keeping  harmony in the colors used as the form develops.
Asuka Hishiki masking fluid technique. Photo by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2015.

Asuka Hishiki masking fluid technique. Photo by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2015.

  • She mixes three colors together in a small amount to be used to develop the form using the dry brush technique. She uses Interlon brand brush #3/0 for her dry brush work.
  • In preparing to use masking fluid to prevent certain areas of the paper from getting painted, she would prime the brush to be used with liquid soap. The soap helps to keep the masking fluid brush in good shape for future use. This brush is used exclusively for masking fluid.
  • She will use the masking fluid to hold the places that she does not want to get painted—in this case the place where a leaf would be (which looks like a skinny wiggly line in the photos), where the highlights would be and where imperfections would be found on the tomato skin.
Asuka Hishiki masking fluid technique. Photo by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2015.

Asuka Hishiki masking fluid technique. Photo by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2015.

  • Asuka stipples on the masking fluid with a very skinny brush on the section that she has begun to paint.
  • She uses tissue to blot any extra paint from her paper.
  • Then she adds a second layer of  masking fluid. So, this layer of masking fluid dots will have more tone than the first layer of dots that she applied that prevent any paint from getting through to the paper.
  • She always makes sure that the paint and the masking fluid that she has applied are absolutely dry before proceeding.
  • She says that you can lift paint more easily when you have first applied a Chinese white wash to the paper.
  • She applies a layer of Yellow Ochre wash.
  • She continues to develop the form through her dry brush technique. At this point the masking fluid remains on the painted area.
Asuka Hishiki masking fluid technique. Photo by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2015.

Asuka Hishiki masking fluid technique. Photo by Gilly Shaeffer, © 2015.

  • Asuka uses Winsor Newton Series 7 brushes, #5 and #3 for the colored washes.
  • She adds a third layer of masking fluid dots.
  • With WN Series 7 #5 brush, she puts a colored wash on the section that she had previously dry brushed. This makes any lines from dry brushing disappear.
  • Now she lifts the masking fluid dots. When she does this she is also lifting the Chinese white paint that was applied to the paper at the very start.  The white of the paper now shows through in the places that had masking fluid on them.
  • She decides that she wants to apply another layer (this would be the fourth layer) of masking fluid dots. This will make the dots appear lighter and less visible than the layers applied earlier.
  • Next more dry brushing with a deeper color paint. Some stippling is used. Then some more wet strokes (colored washes) to further the development of the form.
  • When she removes the fourth layer of masking fluid, it is easy to see the section of the heirloom tomato skin developing on the paper with its highlights, its shiny smooth skin, its roundness, its imperfections and its rich colors of orange, red, and purple.

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 Janice Sharp and Bonnie Born Ash, posted by Deb Shaw

People's Choice first place award went to Estelle DeRidder’s, Fuller’s Teasel, Dipsacus fullonum, colored pencil on paper, © 2015 Estelle DeRidder, all rights reserved.

People’s Choice first place award went to Estelle DeRidder’s, Fuller’s Teasel, Dipsacus fullonum, colored pencil on paper, © 2015 Estelle DeRidder, all rights reserved.

During the opening reception for the adjunct exhibition by the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC), friends, family and the public were able to vote for their personal favorites. The votes are in and the ribbons have been hung for the last three days of the show, Friday, 7 August – Sunday, 9 August.

People's Choice second place award went to Lori Vreeke's, Field Pumpkin, Cucurbita pepo var.  ovifera, colored pencil on paper, © 2015 Lori Vreeke, all rights reserved.

People’s Choice second place award went to Lori Vreeke’s, Field Pumpkin, Cucurbita pepo var. ovifera, colored pencil on paper, © 2015 Lori Vreeke, all rights reserved.

First prize went to Estelle DeRidder’s Fuller’s Teasel with 16 votes. Second prize went to Lori Vreeke’s Field Pumpkin with 12 votes and third prize to Asuka Hishika’s Black Daikon Radish with 11 votes.

There were a surprisingly large number of votes cast (191) and the votes were distributed throughout all the artworks in the show. It is clear that there are many different themes and media that appeal to different viewers, but everyone agrees that the chosen works are fabulous!

People's Choice third place award went to Asuka Hishiki's, Black Daikon Radish (Kuromaru Daikon), Raphanus sativus, watercolor on paper, © 2015 Asuka Hishiki, all rights reserved.

People’s Choice third place award went to Asuka Hishiki’s, Black Daikon Radish (Kuromaru Daikon), Raphanus sativus, watercolor on paper, © 2015 Asuka Hishiki, all rights reserved.

by Deb Shaw

Close on the heels of the “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” Symposium at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC), opened their supplemental exhibition of botanical oddities, in the Brody Botanical Center’s Banta Hall at The Huntington.

The reception for the BAGSC adjunct exhibition was packed with family, friends, colleagues and the public. Weird, Wild & Wonderful Second New York Botanical Garden Triennial Exhibition was also open for viewing and enthusiastically received. Photo © Gayle Uyehara, 2015.

The reception for the BAGSC adjunct exhibition was packed with family, friends, colleagues and the public. Weird, Wild & Wonderful Second New York Botanical Garden Triennial Exhibition was also open for viewing and enthusiastically received. Photo © Gayle Uyehara, 2015.

The opening reception on Saturday, 1 August was well-attended and great fun. BAGSC members have been rotating shifts, providing botanical art demonstrations and talking with the public all week, including:

  • Bonnie Born Ash
  • Cristina Baltayian, colored pencil
  • Nancy Beckham, colored pencil
  • Melanie Campbell-Carter, colored pencil and watercolor
  • Jan Clouse
  • Diane Daly, watercolor
  • Estelle DeRidder
  • Kate Gaman
  • Cynthia Jackson
  • Susan Jackson
  • Clara Josephs, watercolor
  • Suzanne Kuuskmae
  • Tania Marien
  • Patricia Mark
  • Terri Munroe, graphite and watercolor
  • Kathy Morgan, watercolor
  • Marilyn Parrino
  • Lesley Randall
  • Gilly Shaeffer, watercolor
  • Mitsuko Schultz, watercolor
  • Janice Sharp, metal point and colored pencil
  • Deborah Shaw, graphite on vellum
  • Beth Stone
  • Leslie Walker
  • Jude Wiesenfeld

The BAGSC adjunct exhibition features 72 artworks by 37 members, including: Bonnie Born Ash, Cristina Baltayian, Nancy Beckham, Melanie Campbell-Carter, Jan Clouse, Diane Daly, Estelle DeRidder, Nancy Grubb, Asuka Hishiki, Cynthia Jackson, Susan Jackson, Clara Josephs, Joan Keesey, Suzanne Kuuskmae, Teri Kuwahara, Patricia Mark, Lee McCaffree, Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, Kathy Morgan, Terri Munroe, Alyse Ochniak, Marilyn Parrino, Dolores Pope, Kathlyn  Powell, Lesley Randall, Veronica Raymond, Robyn Reilman, Norma Sarkin, Mitsuko Schultz, Gilly Shaeffer, Janice Sharp, Deborah Shaw, Beth Stone, Gayle Uyehara, Lori Vreeke, Leslie Walker, Jude Wiesenfeld.

An exhibition of Botanical Oddities, illustrations by the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California will continue each day through Sunday, August 9, 2015, 10:30 am – 4:30 pm in The Frances Lasker Brody Botanical Center at The Huntington.

The Weird, Wild & Wonderful: The New York Botanical Garden Second Triennial Exhibition exhibition also will be open each day, Friday – Sunday, August 7 – 9, plus will continue to be open on weekends only until August 23.

Exhibition information and hours posted at huntington.org

Join us before the BAGSC paintings are whisked away!

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 Akiko Enokido and Deb Shaw

Akiko Enokido, Camellia japonica 'Kingyoba tsubaki', common name, Goldfish Camellia. Watercolor on vellum, © 2014, all rights reserved.

Akiko Enokido, Camellia japonica ‘Kingyoba tsubaki’, common name, Goldfish Camellia. Watercolor on vellum, © 2014, all rights reserved.

In addition to previous postings about BAGSC members’ acceptances, BAGSC member Akiko Enokido was also accepted into the 18th Annual International Show of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) at The Horticultural Society of New York.

Akiko sent this information about her painting:

The camellia cultivation started in 17th century in Japan. Goldfish Camellia is one of the old species. Most of the flowers are single layer, pink or white. But the foliage is appropriate to its name, and you can see the tip of the foliage split into three to five segments, which looks like a fishtail.

The leaves are unusually shaped and each leaf is different, showing different expressions and movement. These are really odd but lovely, even when they’re not in bloom. I picked one of the enchanting branch with leaves that looked like many fishes swimming and jumping.

Congratulations to Akiko and to all BAGSC members in the exhibition!

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