It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Happy Holidays!

(transparent acrylics by Nance Minnick)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bartram exhibit now displayed at UC Berkeley, CA

From the exhibit: Panicum virgatum by Susan Curnutte

"Following in the Bartram's Footsteps" exhibit features 44 original artwork in the style of John Bartram and is now on display at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden's through February 2015.  
You can find out about the exhibit details by clicking here. You can watch an excellent video about the exhibit by clicking here.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Botanical Illustration 2014 scholarship recipients

(Stones (2012), colored pencil by Elizabeth Lafemina)

Each year the School of Botanical Illustration awards scholarships for new students who are 15 years or older and planning to enroll in any of the required classes  in Denver Botanic Gardens School of Botanical Art and Illustration. In 2013 we have five recipients:

1. Elizabeth Lafemina is already enrolled in the courses at SBAI since the past summer. She likes to learn how to render a subject accurately; and to master technically to capture the true identity and structure of plant while depicting its beauty. Her desire is to help the illustration field to grow through pioneering new opportunities, illustrating extinct or rare species or educating others.

(Polyporales (2014), watercolor by Stephanie Oliver)

2. Stephanie Oliver has been taking our botanical illustration classes already and would like to use her skills to do scientific illustrations for museums and scientific papers involving extinct and extant plant species, as well as create public awareness of the many plants and bird species that we may lose in the future as our planet changes.

 (Magnolia, watercolor by Laurel Sprenger)
3. Laurel Sprenger will start in our school in 2015. Her background is in botany and she would like to develop her observation and drawing skills and apply that into her greeting card business and illustrating children's books.  

(Swallowtail, pen and ink with watercolor by Sage Stowell)
4.  Sage Stowell  has a degree in environmental studies and is planning to start our courses in 2015. Her goal is to illustrate field guides and textbooks, and pursue a graduate degree in botany.

(Stain glass painting by Julie Talty)
5. Julie Talty will enroll in our courses in 2015. She is a practicing artist and has been painting, sculpting, welding and drawing. She has also been practicing performing arts. With her own words she needs to improve in the range of values, perspective, composition.

Congratulations to all of you and welcome to the School of Botanical Art and Illustration! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014


This 32-page illustrated story about re-introducing wolverines to Colorado has just been published in a limited first edition. It is packed with information about these fast moving animals while telling the story of Gulo M1. You can get your copy by contacting the author.
Susanne Stutzman is an illustrator, wilderness advocate, and supporter of wolverine re-introduction in Colorado. She graduated from our School last year (2013).

Monday, December 8, 2014

Winter/Spring 2015 courses open for registration

(Mary McCauley, colored pencil)
Our Winter/Spring 2015 classes will open for registration tomorrow, December 9th, 9 a.m. If you misplaced your new catalog, you can download and print a new one by clicking here.
The on-line registration site can be reached here, please note that the winter and spring courses appear now as sold out, they will go off-line between 00:00 a.m. and 08:59.99 a.m. on tomorrow, December 9th  and on 09.00 a.m. they are all on-line again and ready for the registrations.
Good luck with the registration and remember that our courses typically sell out very fast - 

Friday, December 5, 2014

El Charco del Ingenio in San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico

Our School has partnered with El Charco del Ingenio in San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico since 2009 and we have offered botanical illustration classes there 3 - 4 times/year. Our collaboration will continue and in 2015 we have planned to offer three 5-day-long workshops: one in March, one in July and the last one for the year in December.
Laurence Pierson was the teacher for our most recent workshop that ended today. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Plant Select

(Echium amoenum - Red feathers by Marj Hopkins)

Plant Select® is a well-established, unique collaborative venture between Denver Botanic Gardens, Colorado State University and Green Industries of Colorado. Its main aim is to identify and distribute the best plants for gardens from the High Plains to the intermountain regions. The first publication, “Durable Plants for the Garden,” published in 2009, featured 75 plants with beautiful illustrations to accompany the text and photographs. Since then, many new plants have been included in the Plant Select® program. The second publication is in planning and we have participated this time too and will provide some illustrations of the new plants. Please see more of them by clicking here

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The New Sylva

When John Evelyn's Sylva was published in 1664 it was the world's first comprehensive study of trees. It was published by the Royal Society and didn't include any illustrations because it was understood that everybody at that time knew how the common trees looked like.
Siverologist Gabriel Hemery and artist Sarah Simblet have recently published an inspirational contemporary version called The New Sylva. It offers a deep and enriching  understanding of our forests and orchards. Its over 200 absolutely exquisite ink drawings include not only trees and details of them but also landscapes and the fauna connected to these plants. Please click here to listen to the interview with Sarah Simblet in which she tells about her work with the book.
The New Sylva is warmly recommended both for the text and for the magnificent illustrations.

(Redwoods, page 92; and Picea, page 60 both by Sarah Simblet)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Looking into 2015!!!

Our Winter/Spring 2015 catalog is published. You can view, print and save it into your computer by clicking the image above,  in the right hand column, or clicking here. We offer over 90 courses during during the first six months of 2015. We have the pleasure to host two overseas visiting instructors: Lucy Smith from U.K. and Damolar Lal Gurjar from India.
Registrations starts on December 9th, 9 a.m. either per phone (720-865-3580), on-line or in person.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Drafting with Tradition

The history of movable and pop-up construction begins within the walls of a medieval monastery and the Benedictine monk Matthew Paris (1200 – 1259) is said to have applied the first wheel for educational purposes.  From 16th century onward pop-up books became rabidly more popular along the advances in printing. The visually complex structures often related to medicine, mathematics and technology were superb teaching tools making learning more effective, interactive and memorable.
More about pop-ups and their history, please click here.
Last weekend an enthusiastic group of 12 students engineered 12 different structures (vegetables and critters) under Shawn Sheehy's instruction and guidance.  This was already the third time Shawn was visiting our school and this time the topic was vegetables and critters. To see a few more images from our workshop, please click here.