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Why is the White House white?
What do bugs have to do with color?
What’s the difference between pigments and dyes?

These questions are answered in The Brilliant History of Color in Art, a new book by journalist Victoria Finlay.

Published by the J. Paul Getty Museum, this new book is accompanied by a collection of activities, handouts and lesson plans teachers can use in their classrooms.

Handouts about the following topics are available:

  • Discussion questions for the Brilliant History of Color in Art
  • An online quiz
  • Elements of Art (line, shape, forms, space, color, texture)
  • How to Make Paint (using pigments, instant coffee, Kool-aid or chalk).
  • Principles of Design
  • Watercolor Techniques

Also available are seven lesson plans for K-12 students and two virtual self-guided tours to help teachers prepare for their visit to the Getty Museum or the Getty Villa. These items are available in the Education section on the website of the J.Paul Getty Museum.

Learn more about this fascinating topic. Watch this short YouTube video.

The Brilliant History of Color in Art is available at The Getty Store or from your local independent bookstore.


Related

Ecoliteracy Curriculum Emphasizes Plant Restoration, Natural Dyes



ArtPlantae is an affiliate of IndieBound and a supporter of independent bookstores. It receives a small portion of each online purchase made through IndieBound. Thank you for your show of support for independent bookstores and ArtPlantae. Proceeds benefit the InterpretPlants program.

In 2012 artist and educator Estelle DeRidder was awarded an education grant to create identification cards about the flora of the Madrona Marsh Preserve in Torrance, CA. Her project is now complete and the exhibition featuring Estelle’s original paintings has traveled from the marsh to inland California.

The Flora of the Madrona Marsh will feature the original paintings created for the project. The exhibition will be on view at the La Crescenta Public Library January 24 – February 28, 2015.

When the exhibition opens tomorrow, Estelle will present a PowerPoint presentation about the botanical illustration process. You are invited to learn about botanical illustration and how Estelle completed her botanical study at Madrona Marsh.

The opening of The Flora of the Madrona Marsh will be held Saturday, January 24, 2015 from 2-4 PM. The La Crescenta Public Library is located at 2809 Foothill Blvd, La Crescenta, CA 91214 (map).


Discover the Madrona Marsh Preserve

The United State Botanic Gardens will host a special lecture series about botanic gardens and how they have contributed to our knowledge of plants.

Alain Touwaide, Scientific Director of the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions, and Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institute, will explore four gardens and discuss their contributions to botanical history. A brief overview of this lecture series follows. Please click on the links to read details about each lecture.

Attendance is free. Pre-registration required.

Clockwise from above left: Assemblage, watercolor and pencil on Kelmscott vellum by Kate Nessler, 2014, 30.5 × 22", © 2014 Kate Nessler, All rights reserved; Bird Nest Series No.1, colored pencil on paper by David Morrison, 2014, 13 × 19", © 2014 David Morrison, All rights reserved; Woven Trees, archival ink-jet print from 2.25 film negative by Sue Abramson, 2014, 24 × 24", © 2014 Sue Abramson, All rights reserved; Epilogue, watercolor on Cowley’s veiny calfskin vellum by Wendy Brockman, 2014, 27 × 23", © 2014 Wendy Brockman, All rights reserved.

Clockwise from above left: Assemblage, watercolor and pencil on Kelmscott vellum by Kate Nessler, 2014, 30.5 × 22″, © 2014 Kate Nessler, All rights reserved; Bird Nest Series No.1, colored pencil on paper by David Morrison, 2014, 13 × 19″, © 2014 David Morrison, All rights reserved; Woven Trees, archival ink-jet print from 2.25 film negative by Sue Abramson, 2014, 24 × 24″, © 2014 Sue Abramson, All rights reserved; Epilogue, watercolor on Cowley’s veiny calfskin vellum by Wendy Brockman, 2014, 27 × 23″, © 2014 Wendy Brockman, All rights reserved.

Elements
Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation
Pittsburgh, PA
March 19 – June 30, 2015

The Hunt Instutute invites you to view Elements!

The exhibition Elements features drawings and watercolors of bird nests with a focus on the natural and man-made materials incorporated into these architectural structures. Photographs of forest understory will transport the viewer between the landscape and the ephemeral artifacts that signify the remains of a cycle of building, incubating, nesting and fledging. The featured artists are Sue Abramson, Wendy Brockman, David Morrison and Kate Nessler. The creators of these drawings and watercolors of bird nests and photographs of transitional landscapes are inspired by the relationship of the nest to time, place, music and architecture. Each artist has imbued the structures and the materials used and the locations and environments where built with their individual insight and perspective. Also included in the exhibition is a selection of birds, nests and eggs on loan from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Pittsburgh artist Sue Abramson’s photographs of the Frick Park woodlands are a response to the raw materials in nests and the extraordinary visual chaos of these habitats. Minnesota artist Wendy Brockman’s watercolors of nests, eggs, feathers and plant materials are rich with nuance and complexity and speak of time and place. Indiana artist David Morrison’s colored pencil drawings are an exploration of the issues of existence, regeneration and obsessiveness through his examination of the layers of natural and found objects that compose the architectural structures of nests. Arkansas artist Kate Nessler’s watercolors are expressive of symphonic movements, and they reflect the intrinsically creative and practical use of disparate materials that are woven to create a space of strength and balance that are essential for survival.


Opening reception

The opening reception on 19 March (5–7 pm) is open to the public. Beginning at 5:30 pm each of the four artists will introduce their work in the Elements exhibition. This is an opportunity to meet all the artists.


Talk one-on-one with the artists

On Friday, 20 March, 10 am–noon and 1–4 pm, visit the gallery at any time during the designated hours and talk one-on-one with three of the artists. Abramson, Brockman and Nessler will be available to discuss their concepts and process and will display their materials, and Brockman also will demonstrate her painting technique. This event is free and open to the public.


Open House 2015

Our annual Open House on Sunday, 28 June (1:00–4:30 pm) will include the talk “Nest structures of North American birds and the materials used in their creation” (1:30–2:30 pm) by Patrick McShea, program officer and educator, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and tours of the Elements exhibition and the reading room (2:30–4:00 pm). This event is free and open to the public.


Cabinet of curiosities

The Cabinet of curiosities in the Hunt Institute lobby will display bird illustrations from the Library’s rich collection of natural history and art books, including Mark Catesby’s (1683–1749) exquisite folio, The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (London, the author, 1731), and works by microscopist Marcello Malpighi (1628–1694), natural historian the Comte de Buffon (1707–1788) and the artist George Brookshaw (1751–1823).


Hours

The exhibition will be on display on the 5th floor of the Hunt Library building at Carnegie Mellon University and will be open to the public free of charge. Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 am–noon and 1–5 pm; Sunday, 1–4 pm (except 3–5 April, 3 May and 24–25 May). Because our hours of operation are occasionally subject to change, please call or email before your visit to confirm. For further information, contact the Hunt Institute at 412-268-2434.



About the Institute

The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, a research division of Carnegie Mellon University, specializes in the history of botany and all aspects of plant science and serves the international scientific community through research and documentation. To this end, the Institute acquires and maintains authoritative collections of books, plant images, manuscripts, portraits and data files, and provides publications and other modes of information service. The Institute meets the reference needs of botanists, biologists, historians, conservationists, librarians, bibliographers and the public at large, especially those concerned with any aspect of the North American flora.

Drawing with Alison Day The Lewisham Arthouse in London will offer another ten-week workshop with Alison Day. This workshop begins in early February.


Lewisham Arthouse, London

www.lewishamarthouse.co.uk
The Lewisham Arthouse once served as the central library of Deptford. Designed by architect Sir Alfred Brumwell Thomas (1868-1948) and funded by Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), this former library is now a public gallery and studio space for professional artists. Artist studios are open to the public once per year. Exhibitions in the gallery are open to the public year-round, free of charge. Botanical illustration classes are taught by Alison Day.

    Drawing from Plant Life
    Begins February 9, 2015 (ten weeks)
    1:00 – 2:30 PM

    This introductory course aims to provide an opportunity to explore the art and science of botanical illustration. Students will have the opportunity to explore both drawing and painting plants while learning a range of graphic techniques used to represent plant material. Some basic theory is taught and, where relevant, historical and contemporary practice is referenced.

    This course is taught by a practicing artist who has a background in the science of botany and the practice of fine art.

    Students are asked to bring their own ideas and specimens to the course as well as drawing plants. Basic materials are provided, together with reference literature, students must provide their own sketch book pencils and colours.

    All are welcome, no experience needed. This is a small class and provides and supportive and relaxed environment in which to draw.

    Places are limited so booking is required. Cost: £95/90 concessions

    For enrollment details and booking, contact Alison at the Lewisham Arthouse.

    Transport : BR/Overground New Cross/New Cross Gate.
    Bus 136, 21, 436, 321.
    Disabled access

This information can also be found at Classes Near You > England.

Learn More

Learn More

Over the years we have learned about artist-in-residence programs through specific announcements and directly from special guests such as
Ruth Ava Lyons. Today I am happy to help spread the news about a brand new residency program created specifically for botanical artists.

If you recall, the Denver Botanic Garden’s School of Botanical Art & Illustration launched a Kickstarter campaign in the Fall to raise money for a residency program allowing three artists to become involved in daily life at the Garden. Thanks to the generosity and support of many backers, this residency program launched last week.

The new program offers three six-week residency opportunities. Residencies are open to all illustrators/artists who have completed a certificate program in scientific illustration, botanical art and illustration, nature illustration or equivalent. Artists working in all media, including three-dimensional applications, will be considered.

The call for artists and the application form are available on the blog of the Denver Botanic Garden’s School of Botanical Art and Illustration.

Applications are due March 16, 2015.


View Call for Artist

Deborah Kopka of DK Designs in Ohio will travel to the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, PA this year to teach two classes as a Visiting Artist in the botanical illustration program.

Here is the latest from the Classes Near You sections for Ohio and Pennsylvania:


Deborah Kopka, DK Designs

www.dkdesigns.org
Botanical illustrator, Deborah Kopka is the principal artist at DK Designs. Deborah licenses her artwork, creates illustrations for publishers, and teaches botanical art classes through her design studio. Visit her website to read the latest issue of her newsletter, Botanically Speaking.

    Watercolor I: Underpainting Method for Botanical
    Watercolor Painting

    April 10-12, 2015
    10:00 AM – 4:30 PM

    Students will learn how to create photorealistic botanical portraits in watercolor by underpainting an initial value study that will be overlaid with surface washes of color. The techniques of wet-into-wet and gradated washes will be emphasized. Class assignments are designed to improve students’ abilities to see tonal values and work successfully in watercolor. The botanical subject for the first assignment will be provided.
    Cost: $230 members; $265 nonmembers

    This is a core course in the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate program.

    Prerequisites: Botanical Drawing I and II
    Level: Intermediate to Advanced

    Register online or call Sarah at 412.441.4442, ext. 3925


    Watercolor II: Mixed Media

    July 10, 11, and 12, 2015
    9:30 AM to 4:00 PM

    Students will learn how to work beyond the traditional watercolor botanical portrait and enhance photorealistic effects by combining pen and ink, pastel, graphite, and colored pencil with watercolor. Class assignments are designed to help students explore ways to render details, texture, and volume with combinations of media. The botanical subject for the first assignment will be provided. Cost: $230 members; $265 nonmembers

    This is a core course in the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate program.
    Prerequisites: Botanical Drawing I and II, Watercolor I
    Level: Intermediate to Advanced

    Register online or call Sarah at 412.441.4442, ext. 3925

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