Susan Minton, horticulturalist, retired professor and member of the Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators, will give a gallery talk at Drawn to the Details, the botanical art exhibition at Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens. Susan will explore some of the fascinating characteristics of plants that inspire both artists and horticulturalists.

Here is a sneak peek at Susan’s presentation Captivating Colors, Fabulous Forms:

A common thread that binds gardeners and botanical artists is a fascination with plants: how they look, how they grow, what makes each species unique. For all of us, but perhaps especially for artists, it is often easy to be so entranced with their colors and shapes and textures, that we forget how amazing they are from a botanist’s perspective. Scientists are continually uncovering new and wondrous details about how plants function, what purposes their particular (and often peculiar!) characteristics serve, and the many ways they interact with their environment.

Plants have inspired artists and gardeners for centuries. Learning about them will enhance your work and enrich your experience, both in the studio and in the garden.

You are invited to attend this special presentation.

Captivating Colors, Fabulous Forms

Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens
October 12, 2014
2-4 PM

Get Directions


In 2012 California artist and educator Estelle De Ridder was awarded an education grant from the American Society of Botanical Artists to create plant identification cards about the plants at the Madrona Marsh Preserve
in Torrance, CA. This project is now complete and will be presented in conjunction with an exhibition of Estelle’s original paintings.

The Madrona Marsh Preserve, in collaboration with the American Society of Botanical Artists, invites you to The Flora of the Madrona Marsh, an exhibition of botanical art by Estelle DeRidder, November 18, 2014 – January 9, 2015.
An opening reception will be held on Sunday, December 7, 2014 from 2-5 pm.

During the month of December, visitors to Madrona Marsh will have three opportunities to meet Estelle and to learn about the role botanical illustration plays in our understanding of plants.

Residents of inland southern California will have the opportunity to view this exhibition when it travels to the La Crescenta Public Library in La Crescenta, CA (January 24 – February 28, 2015).

Visit the Madrona Marsh Preserve

Lightbulbs. Cereal. Sandwiches.

This is what some kindergarten students cited as factors necessary for plant growth.

This and other interesting insights into what young students think about plants are revealed in Understanding Early Elementary Children’s Conceptual Knowledge of Plant Structure and Function through Drawings by Janice L. Anderson, Jane P. Ellis and Alan M. Jones.

Anderson et al. (2014) chose to investigate the conceptual knowledge of plants of K-1 students because, at this age, children are busily constructing explanations about what they see. The authors chose to analyze students’ drawings of plants for three reasons: 1) drawings enable young children to express what they cannot articulate verbally, 2) drawings offer insight into what children think, and
3) drawings offer insight into children’s stage of development with respect to conceptual thinking (Anderson et al., 2014).

The research team investigated student knowledge of plant structure and function specifically. They did this by creating a three-stage investigation. The data-collecting tools they used were a Draw-A-Plant instrument (based on the Draw-A-Scientist instrument), a plant survey, and interviews (Anderson et al., 2014). Study participants were K-1 students (n=182) from an elementary school in the southeastern United States.

Anderson et al. (2014) explain their research methods in detail, including how they coded student drawings. You can read about these methods in their paper. Today I provide only general insight into their findings.

Anderson et al. (2014) observed that:

  • Young students have some basic understanding of plant structure and function.
  • Young students have misconceptions about plants.
  • Some teachers spend more time discussing plants with students than others.
  • Some students learn about plants outside of the classroom.
  • Flowers and flowering plants are drawn most often.
  • Young students can identify the simple needs of plants.
  • Young students often exclude soil from their drawings.
  • Students sometimes demonstrate more plant knowledge in conversation than through drawing.
  • There is a lack of advanced conceptual knowledge about plant structure and function in young students.
  • Student interviews help researchers interpret their findings.
  • Students drawings provide insight into students’ life experiences.
  • There is a need to involve students in more inquiry-based activities about plant structure and function.

The paper by Anderson et al. (2014) is available for free through an Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License. Click on the link below to download a PDF copy of the article that includes supplementary materials used in this project.

Literature Cited

Anderson, Janice L. and Jane P. Ellis, Alan M. Jones. 2014. Understanding Early Elementary Children’s Conceptual Knowledge of Plant Structure and Function through Drawings. CBE – Life Sciences Education. 13(3): 375-386. Retrieved from http://www.lifescied.org/content/13/3/375.full.pdf+html?with-ds=yes

By Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators

The public is invited to Drawn to the Details (October 3-26, 2014) the Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators (PSBI) exhibition at Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens. Admission to both the exhibition and the gardens is free. Gallery hours are 9 am – 4 pm. psbi_flyer_DrawnToDetails

Viewers of the exhibit will be “drawn to the details” in each of the paintings. The carefully executed work appeals to all ages. In the last PSBI exhibition at Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens, the comments of visitors ranged from “The detail is amazing“ and “Incredible detail! [It] shows that in nature, beauty exists” to “I loved seeing the root system as well as flowers. Just beautiful!”

The artwork has been executed by the over 75 members of PSBI, a Philadelphia organization. Its purpose is “to educate, to celebrate the artistic development of our members, to provide an opportunity to exhibit together, and to bring Botanical Illustration to the attention of many audiences.”

To that end, PSBI provides free art classes for Philadelphia public school children as well as sponsoring many exhibits of botanical art, including one at the Philadelphia Flower Show. This is the second year that PSBI has exhibited at Jenkins.

Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens prides itself on providing “a tranquil, natural setting in a densely populated residential and commercial area.” It has over a mile of paved walkways that meander through native woodlands with labeled trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. It is indeed an oasis in a busy world and an inspiration to botanical artists.

For more information, contact Sarah Maxwell at the PSBI (267-639-6053) or Janet Bauman at Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens (610-647-8870 ext. 152). 

Picturing Science

The infographics we all enjoyed last week from Compound Interest are wonderful examples of how science concepts and processes can be presented visually.

If you would like to introduce infographics into your classroom or program, you will want to read Using Infographics in the Science Classroom by chemistry teacher Rosemary Davidson.

Davidson (2014) explains how she guides students through the creation of infographics in her environmental chemistry class. She shares the spec sheet she and her students use to evaluate their work, explains how the creation of infographics develops science literacy skills, and provides 22 Web and print resources that will help educators create infographics in their own programs.

Rosemary Davidson’s article can be purchased online at the NSTA store for 99¢.

Literature Cited

Davidson, Rosemary. 2014. Using Infographics in the Science Classroom. The Science Teacher. 81(3): 34-39

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17th Annual International
American Society of Botanical Artists
at The Horticultural Society of New York
September 17 – November 26, 2014

The 17th Annual International Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Botanical Art opens today at the Horticultural Society of New York. This annual exhibition has become New York’s premier showcase of contemporary botanical art.

An opening reception will be held this evening from 6-8 pm. A “Last Look” reception with featured artists and jurors will be held on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 from 6-8 pm.

This year forty-two works by artists from the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Israel, Japan, and the United Kingdom are featured in the exhibition. A full-color catalog containing these works and an introduction by ASBA Founder Diane Bouchier is now available at ArtPlantae ($20, plus shipping).

Participating artists are:

ASBA Catalogs at ArtPlantae

ASBA catalogs at ArtPlantae

  • milly acharya, New York
  • Rosalind Allchin, Canada
  • Irene Blecher, Israel
  • Insil Choi, Rhode Island
  • Carrie Di Costanzo, New Jersey
  • Rosemary Donnelly, Australia
  • Jean Emmons, Washington
  • Margaret Farr, Virginia
  • Ingrid Finnan, New York
  • Kathleen Folino, Massachusetts
  • Monika deVries Gohlke, New York
  • Agathe Haevermans, France
  • Asuka Hishiki, Japan
  • Wendy Hollender, New York
  • Rose Marie James, New York
  • Haruyo Kawashima, Japan
  • Joan Keesey, California
  • Karen Kluglein, New York
  • Patraicia Luppino, New York
  • Dorothy McCauley, Massachusetts
  • Joan McGann, Arizona
  • Robert McNeill, United Kingdom
  • Carrie Megan, Massachusetts
  • Derek Norman, Illinois
  • Tomoko Ogawa, Japan
  • John Pastoriza-Piñol, Australia
  • Annie Patterson, France
  • Kelly Radding, Connecticut
  • Lynne Railsback, Wisconsin
  • Lesley Randall, California
  • Dick Rauh, Connecticut
  • Gillian Rice, Arizona
  • Betsy Rogers-Knox, Connecticut
  • Susan Sapanara, New Jersey
  • Margaret Hammes Saylor, Pennsylvania
  • Constance Scanlon, Minnesota
  • Deborah B. Shaw, California
  • Denish Walser-Kolar, Minnesota
  • Carol Woodin, New York

Three botanical art classes will be taught during the exhibition. Click on the links below to learn about each one-day workshop.

Note to International Readers
It is recommended that international customers purchase this catalog at ArtPlantae’s store on 11 Main. The shops at 11 Main accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover, and Diners Club International from domestic and international shoppers.

Packages sent to Canada are mailed via First-Class Mail International. Packages sent to Europe, Asia and other locations are sent via USPS Priority International.

Visit ArtPlantae on 11 Main


“The Art of Botanical Drawing” by Agathe Haevermans

Paint the Flora of Puglia

Click to view itinerary at Quench Travel.

Click to view itinerary at Quench Travel.

Travel to Puglia, Italy!

Award-winning botanical artist Margaret Best will teach in southern Italy next Spring. Join Margaret to spend eight luxurious days exploring the “heel” of Italy’s boot.

Travel highlights include visits to botanical gardens, local markets and historic UNESCO villages. Traveling artists will also participate in a cooking class and will have exclusive use of a large garden studio overlooking the Adriatic Sea.

Travel dates are April 12-20, 2015. Starting costs are €3555 per person. Actual cost varies, depending upon the accommodations selected. Register before October 10, 2014 and receive a discount of €125. Here is a currency converter to help you plan.

Reserve your spot in the garden studio at Masseria Montenapoleone today!

Contact Quench Travel



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