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By Gilly Shaeffer, posted by Deb Shaw

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Cynthia Jackson, posted by Deb Shaw

From the New York Times article post: Hardwicke's woolly bat, flying into a pitcher plant, Nepenthes hemsleyana, where it roosts. The plant attracts the bats to feed on their guano. It does not eat the bats. Photo credit: Ch'ien C.

From the New York Times article post: Hardwicke’s woolly bat, flying into a pitcher plant, Nepenthes hemsleyana, where it roosts. The plant attracts the bats to feed on their guano. It does not eat the bats. Photo credit: Ch’ien C.

BAGSC member Cynthia Jackson forwarded a link to a New York Times article, Plants that are Predators, posted online September 14, 2015.

The article highlights numerous carnivorous plants, including the Nepenthe pictured here.

During the “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” Symposium, Mieko Ishikawa gave a workshop on painting Nepenthes, and also discussed them in her lunchtime keynote about painting the plants of Borneo. She showed photographs of one Nepenthe that serves as a toilet for a rodent.

More stories and photos about the “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” Symposium will be posted soon.

Thank you Cynthia for the link!

by Alyse Ochniak and Deb Shaw

Please join us for a brief BAGSC Quarterly meeting and a much deserved Celebration(!!), on Saturday, September 12, 2015 as “Weird, Wild & Wonderful: The New York Botanical Garden Second Triennial Exhibition” goes off across the country to the Frost Museum in Florida to coincide with the 2015 ASBA Annual Meeting and Conference.

The meeting will be at Diane’s home and will include workshop announcements and programs for next year! An email blast will be sent out to all BAGSC members with directions. Coffee and tea is at 9:30 am, and the meeting starts at 10:00 am sharp. Please email Diane to RSVP and let her know what you will bring for potluck.

Please bring any artwork you created (or started) at the Weird, Wild & Wonderful Symposium, along with other drawings and paintings you are working on to share as we celebrate a milestone event.

Calling all “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” Stories and Photos

We want to post stories, reviews of lectures and workshops, and photos (of course) from the Weird, Wild & Wonderful Symposium and the BAGSC adjunct exhibition on the BAGSC Blog. Send your stories and images to Deb Shaw, and a BAGSC Blog committee will edit and post them. Be sure to include caption information for your photos, who took the photo (for copyright) and names of the people or plants in the photo if you know them.

Want to learn how to be a BAGSC Blogger? Contact Deb and have your own byline.

You can see images from the WWW Symposium on ASBA’s site under “RECAP“.

Hope to see you at the BAGSC meeting!

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

Invitation to BAGSC adjunct exhibition.

Invitation to BAGSC adjunct exhibition.

In conjunction with “Weird, Wild, and Wonderful” The New York Botanical Garden Second Triennial Exhibition, the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC) will present a supplemental exhibition from August 1–9, in the Brody Botanical Center’s Banta Hall at The Huntington, featuring free public demonstrations, lectures about botanical art, and specimens of botanical curiosities. The BAGSC adjunct exhibition features 72 artworks by 37 members.

An exhibition of Botanical Oddities…
illustrations by the
Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California
in The Frances Lasker Brody Botanical Center
At The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens

August 1–9, 2015 (closed Tuesday)
10:30 am – 4:30 pm

We will have a reception for BAGSC members, our guests, and Huntington VIPs and staff at:
10:00 am this Saturday, August 1, 2015
before The Huntington opens to the public.

The “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” New York Triennial exhibition also will be open the entire time the BAGSC exhibition is up, August 1 – 9, except on Tuesday, when The Huntington is closed.
Weird, Wild & Wonderful exhibition dates:
June 13 – August 23
Exhibition open to the public weekends only and each day August 1–9
Additional exhibition information: asba-art.org/exhibitions/weird-wild-wonderful
Exhibition information and hours posted at huntington.org

Artists in the BAGSC exhibition include:
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.

Download the full invitation here: bagscExhibitionInviteF

by Beth Stone

It’s pre-dawn on Friday and we’ve loaded our sleepy selves into The Huntington van with Jim Folsom at the wheel. We’re off to see the flowers, the wonderful flowers of the LA Flower Mart!

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Peonies, Clematis and Lilies oh my!

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We could while away the hours, conversing with the flowers…

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and it’s back to The Huntington with The Wizard!

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by Beth Stone

photographs by Gayle Uyehara

An enthusiastic group of artists enjoyed three days with Elaine Searle for her class entitled “Liquid Shine…Sculpting Form with Light and Color”. This was one of two Weird, Wild & Wonderful pre-symposium classes held at The Huntington this week. Gilly Shaeffer searched everywhere until finally her artist’s eye found beautiful Italian peppers for our studies. The class explored the differences between Sheen, Shine and Liquid Shine learning a host of indispensable techniques and tips.

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Elaine Searle (back of room) made good use of the projection system in The Engemann Applied Tech Lab for demonstrations. Even Jim Folsom stepped in to help by printing personal photographic pepper portraits (see sample in foreground).

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Terri Monroe thoughtfully applying finishing touches to her pepper.

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The class joins in a group status check mid way through the third and final day.

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Elaine Searle (far left) treated the class to an overview of just a few samples of her beautiful artwork.

by Beth Stone

There are two georgeous Bat Flower (Tacca chantrieri) paintings featured in the Weird, Wild & Wonderful exhibition currently on display at The Huntington. The hauntingly beautiful flowers can measure up to 12″ across with “whiskers” up to 30″ long. Did I ever expect to see these jungle flowers in Southern California? Certainly not, but I must have forgotten I was in such a magical place! A whole row of plants appeared in The Huntington’s Banta Hall this morning!

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Bring on the dramatic theater lighting and just watch how this villainess poses for the camera!

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by Beth Stone
The LA Times dubbed the weather WEIRD, while plant lovers call it WONDERFUL!!

Symposium week is finally here! There are two great workshops underway — Mieko Ishikawa and Elaine Searle, and attendees are getting a preview as the Banta Hall displays are being assembled.

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by Beth Stone

The call for entries has been sent (see email from Deb Shaw dated 5/5/15) for BAGSC ‘s very own adjunct exhibition to “Weird, Wild & Wonderful: The New York Botanical Garden Second Triennial Exhibition, Botanical Illustrations of Remarkable Plants” coming to The Huntington’s Brody Botanical Center.

BAGSC members of all experience levels are encouraged to enter at least one artwork (limit is 3 artworks per member). To date we have a list of nearly 50 subjects from 25 artists, we’re expecting many more.

Botanical oddities and curiosities could be those found locally, in natural surroundings or a botanical garden. If you’re looking for more inspiration, Dick Rauh, PhD offered ideas to artists on potentially pertinent plants:  http://asba-art.org/article/weird-wild-and-wonderful-suggested-subjects. We’d like to include as many different species as possible.

So…what visually unusual, bizarre, beautiful (or not) subject have you chosen?

We have an important deadline, here’s how you can help:

Please email the complete botanical name of your choices ASAP but no later than Wednesday, May 27, 2015 to Beth Stone. Don’t worry, this does not obligate you to submit those works.

The cut-off date is when we will submit our “list of plant subjects” as best we know it to The Huntington so they can start planning on signage, related plants from the Garden, microscopes and more, linking our artworks to The Huntington’s vast plant collection in creative, and no doubt “wonderful”, ways.

 

by Beth Stone and Deb Shaw

Solanum lycopersicum, Heirloom Tomato, Watercolor on paper, © Asuka Hishiki

Solanum lycopersicum, Heirloom Tomato, Watercolor on paper, © Asuka Hishiki

BAGSC will be holding an adjunct exhibition to “Weird, Wild & Wonderful: The New York Botanical Garden Second Triennial Exhibition, Botanical Illustrations of Remarkable Plants” in Banta Hall at The Huntington’s Brody Botanical Center.

The theme of this exhibition will focus on botanical specimens of plants compatible with the theme of the New York exhibition, “Weird, Wild & Wonderful.” Curated by the ASBA and originally opening in New York in 2014, “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” will open June 13 and continue through August 23 in The Huntington’s Brody Botanical Center, Flori-Legium Room, San Marino, California. The exhibition will be open to the public Saturdays and Sundays during the summer, plus additional times during workshops and the Symposium. The exhibition also will be open to the public August 1 – 9 along with the BAGSC “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” adjunct exhibition.

BAGSC artists are invited to seek visually unusual plants and create works of art that celebrate the bizarre, yet beautiful flora of the world. Botanical oddities and curiosities could be those found locally, in natural surroundings or a botanical garden. Dick Rauh, PhD offered ideas to artists on potentially pertinent plants: http://asba-art.org/article/weird-wild-and-wonderful-suggested-subjects.

The “Call for Entries” packet will be sent out via email blast to members soon. Members will be able to enter up to three works. It is our hope to include at least one art work from each and every BAGSC member. So whether you are an experienced exhibitor or you have not yet entered a show, please read the call for entries when you receive it and get to work on your entry now! Framing will be “artists’ choice.”

Some deadlines to mark on your calendar:

  • ASAP: We will be coordinating with BAGSC artists and The Huntington to include as many different species as possible. Please let us know what you have, are painting, or are considering painting. Please email the complete botanical name of your choices ASAP to Beth Stone. Don’t worry, this does not obligate you to submit those works.
  • Wednesday, May 27, 2015: This date is the absolute deadline for getting your list emailed to Beth Stone of what you have, are painting, or are considering painting. We will submit our “list of plant subjects” as best we know it to The Huntington so they can start planning on signage, related plants from the Garden, microscopes and more to go with our exhibition.
  • Wednesday, July 1, 2015: July 1 is the deadline for digital submissions, entry fee and complete entry forms.

Questions about the exhibition? Contact Bonnie Born Ash or Beth Stone.

 

Need some Weird, Wild & Wonderful inspiration?

Kathy Musial, The Huntington’s curator of living collections, and Huntington horticultural staff will give BAGSC members a private tour of the greenhouses and gardens to talk about their own favorite weird, wild and wonderful plants. This is a great opportunity to get ideas and ask a botanist questions about plants you are painting.

May 8, 2015
10 am; The tour begins at 10 am sharp, so please plan to arrive earlier so you are ready. The tour will leave whether or not you are there.
The Huntington

You must RSVP with Beth Stone to attend. The Huntington will have stickers for us, so there will be no entry fee. The new café is open at The Huntington if you would like to purchase lunch after the plant tour. Details about where, when to meet up and more will be sent out later. You are welcome to spend the day at The Huntington.

 

Happy painting!

by Deb Shaw

It’s going to be a busy year for BAGSC! Keep your eyes on this BAGSC News Blog and your emails for calendars and updates, as they start coming in at a fast pace.

Here is the BAGSC General Quarterly Meeting schedule for the year:

  • Saturday, February 21: Deb’s place, 9:30 am for coffee, tea and greetings, with the meeting starting promptly at 10 am. This meeting will combine a BAGSC General Meeting with the next BAGSC Volunteer Meeting as the program following the General Meeting. The General Meeting will include important information about upcoming classes, workshops, exhibitions and the Symposium. Please RSVP to Deb with your potluck choice, and bring your ongoing work to share with the group.The Weird, Wild & Wonderful Volunteer Meeting will include committee packets, information, deadlines, forms and letters so we can roll up our sleeves and dig in. It also will include a quick Basecamp presentation to learn how we’ll manage the information for the Symposium, so if you would like to bring your laptop or iPad, feel free (but not required!). If you cannot make this meeting, but still want to volunteer, please let Tania Marien know so we can add you to our lists.
  • Sunday, April 26
  • Saturday, September 12
  • Saturday, December 5, BAGSC Holiday Party (and very short meeting)

An email blast will be sent out before each meeting with locations, directions and more information.

The schedule for BAGSC Weird, Wild & Wonderful Volunteer Meetings will be:

  • Sunday, March 22
  • Saturday, April 18
  • Sunday, May 31
  • Saturday, June 20: the final pre-Symposium meeting
  • Saturday, July 18: send out last-minute announcements via email before Symposium week begins!!
  • Week of July 27: Work with BAGSC Exhibition committee
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