Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Canna ‘Phaison”, Amaryllis ‘Candy Cane’, Onoclea sensibilis “Sterile Rebirth”. All images © 2014 Carol Ashton-Hergenhan

Canna ‘Phaison”, Amaryllis ‘Candy Cane’, Onoclea sensibilis “Sterile Rebirth”. All images © 2014 Carol Ashton-Hergenhan

Carol Ashton-Hergenhan
reveals the beauty of plant life cycles in
Florescence, Senescence and Regeneration: The Work of Carol Ashton-Hergenhan.

This exhibition will be on view at Twenty-Two Gallery in Philadelphia from
June 12 – July 2, 2015.

Twenty-Two Gallery states:

This show continues (Carol’s) exploration of the cycle of plants from Florescence when the plant attracts pollinators to continue its species, through Senescence as the aging plant struggles to continue its own existence in preparation for a future generation, to Regeneration, when the species starts anew and the cycle begins again.

Carol is an artist and Master Gardener with a passion for plants. Her work has been featured in numerous botanical art exhibitions. Her painting of Allium sphaerocephalon (Hairy Drumstick Allium) is currently touring the country in Weird, Wild & Wonderful, a traveling exhibition curated by the American Society of Botanical Artists. In 2014, her paintings of Viburnum dentatum (Southern Arrowwood) and Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweetgum) were published in the book, American Botanical Paintings: Native Plants of the Mid Atlantic written by Botanical Artists for Education & the Environment.

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The popular Contra Costa Master Gardener Great Tomato Plant Sale expands to two locations this year. If you’ve been inspired by the heirloom tomato by
Asuka Hishiki on the cover of the “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” catalog, here is your chance to find something weird, wild and wonderful for your own garden.

This year the Great Tomato Plant Sale will feature 58 proven varieties of heirloom plants. Contra Costa Master Gardeners propagate their plants using only seeds from open-pollinated varieties that breed true. Start your shopping now by downloading the list of tomato varieties and the list of pepper varieties to be sold at this year’s sale.

You have two opportunities to look for goodies this year. The first opportunity occurs on Saturday, April 4 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at “Our Garden”, the Contra Costa Master Gardeners’ demonstration garden in Walnut Creek, CA (map). The second opportunity occurs the following weekend on April 11. On this date you can visit the sale at “Our Garden” from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. or shop for heirloom plants at AdamsCrest Urban Farm in Richmond from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (map). The sale in Richmond will feature tomatoes better suited for cooler climates. Both plants sales are family-friendly educational events.

Bring your own boxes or wagon. Cash or check only, please.

Celebrate Spring!
Look for that weird, wild and wonderful plant too tempting to ignore.

Visit The Great Tomato Plant Sale

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SMorrish_NaturesDetailsMontage_ArtPlantae Over the centuries, the county of Dorset has motivated not only naturalists and scientists but provided the creative inspiration for artists, writers, and poets with its rich tapestry of colours, sounds and sights woven into an ancient landscape. Some artists have used inspiration from the array of wild flower meadows, ancient woodland and iconic views across west Dorset, while others such as Sarah Morrish (Assoc. SBA SFP) find her inspiration in nature’s details. 

Sarah has a background in conservation and education, yet spends most of her time now illustrating the natural world in watercolour and pencil. She has embarked on a special project in partnership with The Kingcombe Centre to produce a series of paintings illustrating the twigs and buds of Kingcombe’s iconic ancient hedgerow trees and shrubs. After a residential visit in winter/early spring, Sarah will produce eight paintings of eight species incorporating several twigs together with associated lichens, leaves and fruit, which she hopes will be exhibited at the Royal Horticultural Society in 2016. 

Sarah said, “Since coming to Kingcombe from the late 1990’s, I have always been fascinated by the hedgerows there and have in the past included many elements of them in my artwork.” 

Sarah began her project in February 2015 and will return regularly to Kingcombe through late winter and spring to continue her work.

To receive updates about the project, follow Sarah’s blog, Art & the Hedgerow.

Sarah also teaches botanical illustration courses at the Kingcombe Centre in Dorset and has two planned for this year. Her class A Brush with Nature – Illustrating Spring Flowers will be held May 5-8 and A Brush with Nature – Illustrating the Natural World will occur August 5-7, 2015. Why not come along and gain experience and a valuable insight into the work of a Botanical & Natural History Artist? You will not be disappointed.

If detailed illustration is not for you, Sarah will also be leading lino-print workshops at the Centre throughout the year.

For information about art workshops at Kingcombe, see Arts/Creative Workshops.

Sarah will also teach courses in her home county of Hampshire. New for 2015 is the Nature’s Details Summer School. This takes place on a private country estate in the South Downs National Park and consists of three courses, Botanical Drawing & Painting, Illustrating Butterflies & Moths and Drawing & Painting Birds. Each course can be attended as a 1 or 2-day option and includes watercolour paper, subjects and a cream tea!

For more information, visit Nature’s Details Summer School.

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Scientific illustrator Gretchen Kai Halpert will begin two new sessions of the Scientific Illustration Distance Learning Program she created. She introduced her new program to readers earlier this year.

Here is what’s new at Classes Near You > New York:

Gretchen Kai Halpert

Gretchen Kai Halpert is the owner and the instructor of a new online program in scientific illustration. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Gretchen has many years of experience working as a scientific illustrator and teaching programs about natural science illustration.

    Scientific Illustration Distance Learning Program
    Two new Sessions (I and II) begin April 15 and 14, respectively.

    Session I includes basic drawing skills that are the background to any and all illustration. We cover lighting, scientific conventions, proportion, perspective and value, working from life and from We a variety of natural history objects. This class is appropriate for both beginners and intermediate students. Advanced students should talk with me before enrolling. Students work with graphite, with an introduction to crow quill and ink at week 9.

    Session II advances to more complex drawings, using crow quill and ink, and scratchboard.

    Contact Gretchen at ghalpert@stny.rr.com for more information Contact Gretchen Halpert for information.

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Helen Allen is coming to Wellesley!

Helen is the Principal and Diploma Course Director at the Chelsea School of Botanical Art in England. She will visit the Wellesley College Botanic Gardens this summer to teach three courses for artists of all experience levels.

Save these dates on your calendar:

    Let’s Get Started
    Does the white expanse of a beautiful clean sheet of paper fill you with dread? About this one day course Helen Allen says, “I love to draw, compose and prepare my paper carefully before contemplating adding paint. I will demonstrate throughout the day the methods of careful preparation with no fuss, therefore no stress. Move from observations into drawings on tracing paper to composition and transfer of the drawing to watercolor paper.” While this course is for all artists, Helen also adds, “If you are taking either of the following painting workshops with me this should help you get ahead of the game.” (CBA: non-credit)

Monday, June 22, 2015
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
BAC 15 150X
WCBG Friends Members $135 / Non-Members $170

Dare to Be Different! … and achieve the perfect flower portrait composition

Work through the logical stages of a flower portrait to create the best composition and drawing which should then be a JOY to paint. With Helen Allen as your guide, begin with a review of the drawings you have brought in and a discussion of various ways of recomposing the elements to reach a stunning layout – including how to use aerial perspective effectively. Work on quick tonal drawings to evaluate your composition’s balance of line, form and color. Color notes and checks are essential to really know your combinations work and you won’t be left with MUD! Helen’s demos of techniques and how to maximize the drama in your painting help you to finish the painting with confidence.

Please note: In preparation for this course please bring with you drawings on tracing paper (vellum style) of your chosen plants and the plant you are depicting. We shall be working on a small composition with the constraints of a margin. The finished size should fit into a 12” square small works frame, with or without a mat.

Tuesday, June 23 – Thursday, June 25, 2015
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
BAC 15 150/BAC 15 250
WCBG Friends Members $395 / Non-Members $495

Arthur Harry Church: the Man, the Magnification & the Magic

Arthur Harry Church was an English artist and science teacher who made botanical plates showing enlarged sections of flowers to illustrate floral mechanisms. His use of floral diagrams was integral to his work. Study his methods and finished work with Helen Allen as your guide. Although there will be an opportunity to draw using a microscope, Helen will also have some pre-drawn examples that you may like to trace onto watercolor paper. Precision in drawing is key to this exacting and exciting way of creating an interesting piece that is botanically accurate and aesthetically pleasing. (CBA: half elective) Plan your piece within the constraints of a 12” square small works frame, with or without a mat. Your color work will involve working with watercolor in a flat way but showing detail.

Saturday, June 27 – Sunday, June 28, 2015
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
BAC 15 151i
WCBG Friends Members $265 / Non-Members $330

To register for a class, contact wcbgfriends@wellesley.edu or call (781) 283-3094

This information has been added to Classes Near You > Massachusetts.


Hellen Allen discusses traditional and contemporary approaches to botanical art

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Now at Classes Near You > Georgia!

Glynn Visual Arts, St. Simons Island

Established in 1953, Glynn Visual Arts offers classes for artists of all ages, in all media. Its mission is to promote creative expression within the Glynn Art community.

    Watercolor Botanicals
    April 18 & 19, 2015
    Saturday 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

    Join Hillary Parker for an exciting and informative 2-day workshop exploring the foundations of botanical watercolors. Whether you are a novice looking to get started or an experienced artist looking for a unique and different approach, this fun and innovative course uses the abundant resources of plant life here on the Golden Isles for endless inspiration. Students are challenged to strengthen and reinforce their keen observation and drawing skills as they focus on developing and refining painting techniques that include washes, glazes, textures, and fine line detail work.

    Cost: $200 members, $225 nonmembers

    View Details/Register

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“Niki Simpson is an artist who has been awarded many medals from the Royal Horticultural Society (four for photography and four for watercolor). In 2003, she developed a technique to create composite botanical illustrations. Simpson’s digital composite images challenge the current thinking about botanical painting’s superiority over photography. Her objective is to present ‘new possibilities for the future of botanical illustration’ (Simpson & Barnes, 2008).”

This is how I introduced Niki Simpson as the Feature Artist in July 2011. Since then Niki has continued to develop her digital botanical illustration technique and has successfully made significant contributions to the future of botanical illustration. You can read about her progress and how she creates digital illustrations on her new website Visual Botany.

Supporting Botanical Science

I felt that the possibilities of digital plant illustration for scientific work needed to be explored if botanical illustration was going to support botanical science in the future. And so, my digitally created composite botanical images are very much based on my watercolour paintings and my botanical pencil and watercolour studies.

— Niki Simpson

Launched in December 2014, Visual Botany is an exciting place to visit and a resource you will want to bookmark whether you are a botanical artist, a teacher or a dedicated gardener.

When first arriving at Visual Botany, you will discover a slideshow of images introducing you to Niki’s educational illustrations. Explore a little deeper and you will learn how Niki’s digital botanical illustrations are based on her traditional (and award-winning) botanical art. You will learn how to read the digital illustrations in her gallery and learn how Niki has used technology to introduce new audiences to plants. In the online gallery, you will find botanical plates similar in appearance to traditional botanical plates. You will also find an exciting habitat illustration of Lathraea clandestina (Purple toothwort). This single image demonstrates the palpable connection between plants, Earth and people Niki’s digital illustration technique is capable of creating.

I encourage you to visit Visual Botany and to share it with students and colleagues.

Literature Cited

    Simpson, Niki and Peter G. Barnes. 2008. Photography and contemporary botanical illustration. Curtis’s Botanical Magazine. 25(3): 258-280.
    (View or buy online)

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