TheFruitsWeEat It’s summertime!
Cherries, nectarines, peaches and apricots are in season and now available at local supermarkets and farmers markets.

Celebrate the fresh fruits of the season with the new book by author and illustrator Gail Gibbons. In this book, Gibbons introduces readers to fruit, how it grows, how fruit are harvested and how fruit arrives at the grocery store. Gibbons also touches upon the nutritious qualities of fruit and includes USDA recommendations for healthful eating.
Written for children ages 4-8, The Fruits We Eat is a balanced blend of themes related to botany, horticulture, gardening, and urban agriculture. Gibbons’ colorful illustrations and landscape scenes introduce readers to:

  • Trees
  • Plants, bushes and vines
  • The morphology of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, pineapples, watermelon, grapes, apples, pears, cherries, peaches, lemons, and oranges
  • How pineapple plants, banana plants, and grapes grow
  • How fruit is harvested
  • How fruit travels from industrial farms to the grocery store

Gibbons also introduces readers to botanical terminology, as well as nutritional resources in the United States and Canada and includes Web addresses for further study.

If you are a long-time subscriber to ArtPlantae, you may remember reading about other books by Gail Gibbons at the former ArtPlantae Books, namely From Seed to Plant and Apples.
The Fruits We Eat is a colorful and informative introduction to the trees, bushes and vines producing some of our favorite fruit. It is also a nice introduction to the farm-to-store journey our food takes to the local grocer.

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ArtPlantae is an affiliate of IndieBound and a supporter of independent bookstores. A small amount of each online purchase at IndieBound supports ArtPlantae’s InterpretPlants program.

Curcubita ficifolia © Kimiko Kambe-Gang. All rights reserved.

Curcubita ficifolia © Kimiko Kambe-Gang. All rights reserved.

The Chelsea Physic Garden will celebrate the 20th anniversary of their Florilegium Society with a special exhibition.

London’s Secret Garden: Plant Portraits from Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society will be on view August 4-26, 2015 and will feature works from some of today’s finest botanical artists. Open each day from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., entrance to the exhibition is free with paid admission to the Garden.

The Florilegium Society was formed in 1995 with the explicit purpose of documenting the plant collections in the Chelsea Physic Garden. Founded in 1673, the Chelsea Physic Garden is the oldest garden in London.

Many of the works of art in the exhibition are included in the Society’s new book, Botanical Illustration from Chelsea Physic Garden, written by Andrew Brown with contributions from Christopher Bailes, Phillip Cribb and Anne-Marie Evans. The publisher Antique Collectors Club provides the following sample pages for viewing:

This new book can be purchased online from independent bookstores ($75 US) and from the publisher directly.

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ArtPlantae is an affiliate of IndieBound and a supporter of independent bookstores. A small portion of each online purchase through IndieBound supports ArtPlantae’s InterpretPlants program.

New at Classes Near You > Southern California!

Gilly Shaeffer


Gilly Shaeffer is an award-winning artist and a graduate of Anne-Marie Evans’ certificate program in botanical art. A member of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA), Gilly served as president of the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, a chapter of the ASBA, from 1999-2005. Her work has been in juried exhibitions across the United States and is in the permanent collection at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon University.

    Drawing Basics
    Thursdays, July 2-23, 2015
    Four meetings
    10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

    Learn the fundamentals of botanical illustration with Gilly at her Los Angeles studio. Students will practice exercises and techniques that will improve observational skills. This is a great opportunity for beginning and intermediate artists to perfect their drawing skills. Students will also learn how to prepare watercolor paintings of botanical subjects.

    Cost: $160

To register, please contact Gilly.

View Symposium schedule

View Symposium schedule

Interested in learning more about the history of botany and botanical art?

A fantastic learning opportunity is coming to Southern California this summer that you don’t want to miss.

The eccentric beauty of the plant kingdom will be celebrated in a traveling exhibition of contemporary botanical illustrations and will be on view
June 13–Aug. 23, 2015 (Saturdays and Sundays only), at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. “Weird, Wild & Wonderful: The New York Botanical Garden Second Triennial Exhibition” is curated by the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA). The juried show includes 47 works, selected from a field of nearly 240 submissions, created by ASBA artists from Australia, Canada, India, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The show will be on view in the Flora-Legium of the Brody Botanical Center and is included with general admission to The Huntington.

“Botanical artists have traditionally depicted conventionally beautiful flora,” said Robert Hori, gardens cultural curator and program director at The Huntington. “This exhibition is meant to showcase nature’s oddities—plants of charismatic quirkiness that have a bizarre beauty all their own.”

In conjunction with the exhibition, The Huntington will co-host a symposium
July 23–26, 2015, offering a broad view of all that is weird, wild, and wonderful in the plant kingdom. The symposium is presented in partnership with the ASBA and the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC, the local ASBA chapter). Learn about plants, explore the history of botany, take a botanical art class and learn about photography too. You can view the complete schedule on the Symposium website.

In addition to an exciting selection of classes, there will be special keynote presentations by botanists, artists and historians. The schedule of Symposium keynote lectures is as follows:

    Thursday, July 23, 7 p.m. (Opening night dinner)
    Do You ‘See’ Plants? Using Art and Technology to Teach Science
    Jodie Holt, professor of plant physiology at the University of California, Riverside, and botanical consultant for James Cameron’s science fiction film, “Avatar.”

    Friday, July 24, 12:30 p.m.
    Painting the Wonder Plants of Borneo
    Mieko Ishikawa, botanical artist.

    Friday, July 24, 7 p.m.
    The Art of Orchids
    Phillip Cribb, deputy keeper of the Herbarium and curator of the Orchid Herbarium at the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew. This keynote is generously underwritten by Orchid Digest.

    Saturday, July 25, 12:30 p.m.
    The Beauty of Ancient Plant Representations:
    Weird or Wonderful?

    Alain Touwaide of the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions.

    Saturday, July 25, 7 p.m.
    From Field to Print: Botanical Art and Photography for Conifers Around the World and the Dendrological Atlas
    Zsolt Debreczy and István Rácz of the International Dendrological Research Institute, co-authors.

An adjunct exhibition of approximately 60 works by local BAGSC members will be on view in the Brody Botanical Center Aug. 1–9. This supplemental show will extend the theme of weird and wonderful plants through educational outreach activities for children and families, demonstrations in different media, informal workshops, displays of botanical curiosities, and “Find Me in the Garden” links between the exhibitions and the botanical collections. During the week of this display, both exhibitions will be open to visitors daily (Wednesday through Monday) during public hours.

Summer school has never ever been this exciting!

Register Today

iStock_ColorfulPalette copyDear Readers,

A fellow reader has asked an interesting question.

Increasingly dissatisfied with the wet-in-wet watercolor technique taught in traditional botanical art classes, this reader was wondering if there are any botanical artists who use dry-brush as their predominant technique.

Well aware that botanical artists often use dry-brush to put finishing details into their wet-n-washy paintings, this reader is asking for your help:

Can you recommend any botanical artists, working in watercolor, whose primary technique is dry brush applied in stippling, hatching, or both?

Let’s Chat

If you know of botanical artists or scientific illustrators who work in this way, please respond in the Comment box below. Thank you for your help!

Click image to view  get a gallery guide.

Click image to view gallery guide on the website of the Association of Medical Illustrators.

Medicine Illuminated, the latest exhibition at the Lloyd Library and Museum, provides a rare look into a hidden part of the collections at the Lloyd. Rare texts about medical history and how medicine has been illustrated are now on view through July 31, 2015.

Rare texts on display date from 1546 and feature the work of Hippocrates and Galen and offer an overview of four centuries of medical developments and improvements. The art for Medicine Illuminated comes from the Lloyd’s Vesalius Trust Collection of Art in the Service of Science. This collection features works from notable 20th and 21st-century illustrators.

About the Lloyd Library and Museum

The Lloyd Library and Museum, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, is a local and regional cultural treasure, which began in the 19th century as a research library for Lloyd Brothers Pharmacists, Inc., one of the leading pharmaceutical companies of the period.  Our mission is to collect and maintain a library of botanical, medical, pharmaceutical, and scientific books and periodicals, and works of allied sciences that serve the scientific research community, as well as constituents of the public, through library services and programming that bring science, art, and history to life.  For more information, visit the Lloyd website at www.lloydlibrary.org.

In 2011 botanists and botanical illustrators collaborated to create Botany & Art: Their Roles in Conservation, a special issue for the publication Smithsonian in the Classroom. While designed for school use, the usefulness of this issue extends far beyond the formal K-12 classroom. The information contained within this issue can also be used by informal science educators and parents leading their family on a summertime road trip.

This week we reach into the archives of the teaching and learning column. If keeping a nature journal is part of your summer plans, take a few moments to download the resources featured in this article.


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