Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

See inside!

See inside!

Scientific illustrator
Anita Walsmit Sachs is passionate about plants. A respected illustrator and teacher, Anita has dedicated the past 25 years to educating people about plants through botanical art.

Prior to 1990, Anita studied fashion design in The Hague, worked as a costume designer and created oil paintings of small objects (mostly shells, mother-of-pearl and glass). Then one day she followed the advice of a horticulturist at the Hortus Botanicus Leiden and visited the National Herbarium of the University of Leiden. There she met with illustrator Jan Van Os who was the director of the Herbarium’s studio. Van Os became Anita’s mentor and when he retired, Anita became the studio’s director.

As years passed, Anita helped set up the Dutch Society of Botanical Artists and received international recognition for her work. She has earned two gold medals from the Royal Horticultural Society in England and a Silver-Gilt medal from the Royal Horticultural Society in Scotland. She was awarded the Margaret Flockton Award, 2e price by the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, received the Certificate of Merit and the Margaret Granger Silver Bowl Memorial Award from the Society of Botanical Artists in London, and received the Award for Excellence in Scientific Botanical Art by the American Society of Botanical Artists. Anita receives invitations to teach abroad and has taught in the US, Indonesia, Norway and Belgium. Anita’s work is in the collection of the Teylers Museum in The Netherlands, the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon University, the New York State Museum, the Highrove Florilegium of the Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation and several private collections. Now retired, Anita volunteers at Museum NATURALIS (formerly the National Herbarium of the University of Leiden) and illustrates the plants and flowers of southeast Asia.

The author of several scientific publications, course books, magazine articles, and journal articles, Anita’s most recent publication is the book, Anita Walsmit Sachs: Observation with Pen and Brush. In her new book, Anita discusses the history of botanical illustration and shares how she prepares a botanical painting. Anita’s detailed scientific illustrations, oil paintings and watercolor paintings are featured prominently throughout the book and show her scientific and artistic approach to introducing plants to new audiences. Botanical artists and followers of botanical art will enjoy learning about the life and work of this dedicated illustrator.

ArtPlantae is pleased to introduce new audiences to the drawings and paintings of Anita Walsmit Sachs. Written in both Dutch and English, Anita’s book is now available at ArtPlantae’s online store. View sample pages from Anita’s new book and other distinguished resources about plants and botanical art here.


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By Best Botanical

There are only 2 spaces left in Margaret Best’s April/May 2016 workshop in Spain. Non-artist friends, partners or spouses are also welcome.

The workshop accommodation is a beautifully restored 16th century house in an aromatic garden surrounded by 3000 acres of olive and orange groves. As for all of Margaret’s previous painting trips, this workshop/tour is capably managed on the ground by Kiloran McRae for the Quench Travel Group of Toronto.

Five glorious days of painting will be spent in a spectacular setting high in Sierra Moreno Mountains, just north of Seville in the heart of Andalucía with options to tour the historic sites of Seville and Barcelona. As always, Quench’s remarkable local connections will make for an unforgettable, cultural immersion. Tapas, flamenco dancing, sherry bodegas, historical gardens …

Many of the already registered participants have been on 3 or more of Margaret’s destination workshops. Their enthusiasm for these unique painting opportunities speaks to the quality of their previous experiences. Botanical artist and ASBA member Jan Clouse and her husband Charles of Santa Barbara have this to say about their previous trips with Margaret and Kiloran:

Margaret knows how much Jan appreciates her guidance and mentoring, but the sustained exposure to her teaching skills provided by these trips is inestimable. We both admire Kiloran’s skills as well. Where do we start? Guide? Translator? Chaperone? Student of Medieval history? Plant identifier? She does it all at breakneck speed — in two, sometimes three, languages. Can’t praise her too highly either.

The food was as always, rave-worthy … impressive botanical gardens, the welcoming horticulturists, and historical sites as well… Altogether we had terrific experiences as botanical painter, guitarist, and tourists.

For details about this unique painting opportunity and a chance to explore some remarkable art and sites of historical significance in Spain, visit
Exclusively Quench online.

Previous Margaret Best/Quench workshop destinations include:

  • Tuscany, Italy
  • Marrakech, Atlas Mountains, Morocco
  • Newfoundland, Canada
  • Cotswold’s, England
  • Puglia, Italy


Margaret Best discusses color in botanical art, provides tips for informal educators

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By Bonnie S. Driggers
Past President, Botanical Artists for Education & the Environment

Due to a last-minute cancellation, we have an opening for Anne-Marie Evans’ Botanical Watercolor Class. This two-week class will concentrate first on gaining intimate familiarity with the plant, sketching it from many different aspects while striving for botanical accuracy. Then, students will practice various arrangements using the individual sketches to make an effective composition. Finally, they will proceed to paint application, using Anne-Marie’s six-step method. If you are interested, please contact me for details.

Date: September 21 – 25 and September 28 – October 2, 2015
Daily: Monday – Friday, 10 am – 3 pm
Cost: $1,100
Location: Columbia Baptist Church, Room 100, 103 W. Columbia St, Falls Church, VA 22046

Bring a lunch. Coffee and tea will be provided.

Register Today


Botanical Artists for Education & the Environment

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Adkins Arboretum brings attention to the art of nature in their ongoing series celebrating regional artists and their exploration of natural themes.

The Arboretum is currently hosting an exhibition of work by Rebecca Clark whose work in Finite and Alive: New Drawings focuses on the wildlife of Chesapeake Bay.

The Arboretum explains that Clark’s drawings of oysters, animals and birds are drawn absent of any background. Their isolation on white paper emphasizes the rich textures and forms of their shells, fur or feathers and the pure sense of aliveness of each one. It also isolates them from the rest of nature. They go on to explain that by “surrounding these creatures with empty space, Clark creates an underlying tension. The creatures she depicts are imperiled, cut off from the environments that created and sustained them. In doing this, she intimates not only the effects of pollution, habitat loss and climate change on individual species but, even more significantly, the loss of human consciousness of our intimate connections with the delicate balance of life on earth.”

An artist all her life, Clark credits Leslie Exton of the botanical illustration program at Corcoran College of Art with helping her learn to draw. She says that Exton “taught us very particular techniques and it opened up a whole new world for me.”

Meet Rebecca Clark this weekend at the artist reception on Saturday,
August 15 from 3-5 pm.

New at “Exhibitions to Visit”

Clark’s exhibition is only one of four exhibitions to be held at Adkins Arboretum. The following events have been posted to the Exhibitions to Visit page:

    Finite and Alive: New Drawings
    Rebecca Clark
    Visitor’s Center Gallery
    Adkins Arboretum
    Ridgely, MD
    August 4 – October 2, 2015

    Unnatural Nature
    Outdoor sculpture by Howard and Mary McCoy
    Visitor’s Center Gallery
    Adkins Arboretum
    Ridgely, MD
    June 1 – September 30, 2015

    Leaf Impressions
    Dominie Nash
    Visitor’s Center Gallery
    Adkins Arboretum
    Ridgely, MD
    October 6 – November 27, 2015
    Reception October 24, 3-5 p.m.

    The Art of Nature
    Adkins Arboretum Botanical Art Students
    Visitor’s Center Gallery
    Adkins Arboretum
    Ridgely, MD
    December 1, 2015 – January 29, 2016
    Reception December 5, 3-5 p.m.

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Here is the latest update from Alison Day at Classes Near You > England:

Lewisham Arthouse, London

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
    September 21 – November 30, 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. The 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. Basic materials are provided, together with reference literature, students must provide their own sketch book, pencils and colors.

    All are welcome, no experience needed. This is a small class taught in a supportive and relaxed environment. Places are limited so booking is required.

    £95/90 concessions
    View Details/Register

    The Lewisham Arthouse, 140 Lewisham Way, New Cross, SE14 6PD
    Transport : BR/Overground New Cross/New Cross Gate
    Bus 136, 21, 436, 321
    Disabled access

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Click to download invitation

Click to download invitation

The Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California celebrates plant diversity this week in “Botanical Oddities”, an adjunct exhibition of botanical art shown in conjunction with the southern California showing of Weird, Wild & Wonderful: The New York Botanical Garden Second Triennial Exhibition, Botanical Illustrations of Remarkable Plants, a traveling exhibition curated by the American Society of Botanical Artists. Both exhibitions are now on view at the Frances Lasker Brody Botanical Center at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, CA.

Exhibition hours are as follows:

    Botanical Oddities
    Banta Hall
    August 1-9, 2015 (closed August 4)
    10:30 am – 4:30 pm

    Weird, Wild & Wonderful: The New York Botanical Garden Second Triennial Exhibition, Botanical Illustrations of Remarkable Plants

    Flora-Legium Room
    June 13 – August 23, 2015
    Open Saturday & Sunday only
    10:30 – 4:30 pm

Visit The Huntington


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Welcome The Trustees of Reservations to Classes Near You > Massachusetts!

The Trustees of Reservations

The Trustees preserve properties of scenic, historic and ecological value in Massachusetts and manage almost 25,000 acres for public use and enjoyment. A botanical drawing class and a nature poetry class begin this week. What a wonderful way to blend botany, botanical art and poetry.

    Botanical Drawing in Colored Pencil
    Rutland Washington
    Rutland’s Haven Community Gardens
    Thursdays, August 6, 13, 20, 27
    9:30 – 11:30 am
    Basics of color theory and application and fundamentals of botanical illustration are the focus of this course. Learn to mix and blend colors while drawing flowers and fruit at Rutland’s Haven Community Gardens.

    Cost: $35 members, $45 non-members (per session)
    View Details/Register

    Poetry Writing & Performance

    Rutland Washington
    Rutland’s Haven Community Gardens
    Wednesdays, August 5, 12, 19, 26
    6-8 pm
    Write and draw in your journals! Learn about the broad genre of Nature Poetry and focus on writing and the art of poetry performance. In this class, voice, form and image are considered. Some writing experience recommended.

    Cost: $140 members, $180 non-members (for 4-session course)
    View Details/Register

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