Archive for the ‘natural science illustration’ Category

Naturalist and artist, Mark Catesby, created the first illustrated record of the plants and animals of North America. His field notes and observations are recorded in The Natural History of Carolina, Florida & the Bahama Islands. Only fifty facsimile copies exist. To mark the 300th anniversary of Catesby’s arrival to the New World, 20 sets of his landmark text have been published and bound by Addison Publications, the publisher who also published Prince Charles’
Highgrove Florilegium.

Learn more about the special limited edition of The Natural History of Carolina, Florida & the Bahama Islands.

Will you be visiting Richmond, VA this month?

Fifteen images from the first facsimile edition of Catesby’s Birds, Beasts, Fishes, Serpents, Insects & Plants (1712-1726) are now on view in the library at
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, VA. Normally stored in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle, these remarkable works about the natural history of North America will be on view through June 1, 2014.

Birds, Beasts, Fishes, Serpents, Insects & Plants (1712-1726)

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
April 24 – June 1, 2014
Hours & Directions

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Download flyer, Share it with SciArt Friends

Download flyer, Share with SciArt friends

Don’t miss these summertime learning opportunities. Here is what’s new at Classes Near You > Massachusetts:

ART+BIO Collaborative

The ART+BIO Collaborative in Cambridge, MA fosters the integration of science, nature, and art through novel collaborations, research, and education. They design innovative art+science curriculum and turn public spaces into interactive learning environments.

    ISLAND LIFE: Tropical Field Studies of Art+Nature in Puerto Rico
    June 7-14, 2014
    Embark on an artistic exploration of the diverse tropical wildlife of Puerto Rico, including rainforest, mountain, beach and coastal environments.
    Registration Deadline: May 19, 2014
    View Details/Register

    DESERT LIFE: Field Studies of Art+Nature in the Southwest

    August 9-16, 2014
    Discover the unique beauty of the desert in this one-of-a-kind artistic journey through white sand dunes, black lava rock, underground caverns, and mountain landscapes of West Texas and New Mexico.
    Registration Deadline: July 21, 2014
    View Details/Register

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New at Classes Near You > Oregon!

Christine Elder

Christine Elder is a naturalist, environmental educator and biological illustrator living in Bend, Oregon. Ms. Elder’s formal education includes a graduate certificate in Scientific Illustration from the University of California and Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biology from California State University. She has developed a variety of nature sketching workshops for both adults and youth that she teaches throughout the year at Arts Central in Bend, Oregon. For information on current classes contact Christine Elder directly or visit the Arts Central Oregon website. Upcoming classes include:

Christine was the featured guest during National Environmental Education Week 2010. Learn More

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2014_PRIMER-ASPEN_flier-2 Here is what’s new at
Classes Near You > Colorado!

Marjorie Leggitt
Leggitt Design & Illustration

View Marjorie’s Gallery at Science-Art.com
Marjorie is a scientific illustrator who creates illustrations for clients in the fields of botany, zoology, medicine, and education. Her artwork also appears on the seed packets Botanical Interests seed company. You can learn more about the work Marjorie and other illustrators do for Botanical Interests in an interview with Andrew Keys at RadioGarden, a series produced by Horticulture Magazine.

    The Plein-Air Watercolor Primer

    March 22 & 23, 2014
    DC Art Press, Denver
    Instructors: Marjorie Leggitt and Leon Loughridge
    Time: 9am – 3:30pm
    Price: $360.00 (includes custom traveling watercolor kit, gourmet lunch)

    This  new workshop qualifies as a pre-requisite for the September POSTCARDS FROM…Aspen multi-day workshop. Priority is given to those registrants who also place a deposit for the Postcards from Aspen workshop.

    This 2-day weekend workshop introduces all the basics to plein air watercolor painting and, starting this year, is the pre-requisite for the fabulous 4-day POSTCARDS FROM…Aspen watercolor workshop in September. Leon and Marjorie explore everything you need to know for painting outdoors -– working with a limited outdoor palette, building color washes and color builds, developing essential core abstractions, using values and temperatures to create “mini” space-filled compositions.

    Back to Basics: Drawing with Confidence

    April 14-17, 2014
    VOC in Washington Park, Denver
    Instructors: Marjorie Leggitt and Susan Rubin
    Time: 9am – 2:30pm 
    Price: $414.00  
    This fun four-day workshop returns to the drawing basics of Line, Shading, Perspective, and Composition to bolster your drawing skills and boost your confidence. Revisit the principles of light, form, and depth to flesh out compositions both big and small. Practice linear and aerial perspective to accurately portray physical and atmospheric depth. Develop composition strategies to create dynamic artwork. Instruction, exercises, practice, and individual guidance will assure that in just four days you’ll solidify those shaky skills and draw anything better and faster every time.

    POSTCARDS FROM…Aspen, Colorado

    September 10-14, 2014
    The Aspen Meadows Resort (home of the Aspen Institute)
    Instructors: Marjorie Leggitt and Leon Loughridge
    Price: $1360.00 ($395.00 single supplement)

    Includes: 4 nights lodging, instruction, workshop booklet, watercolor sketch books, gourmet breakfasts and lunches, 24-hour health club, outdoor pool and hot tub, tennis court access and equipment, complimentary bicycle rental, full business center access, 24-hour shuttle service to and from downtown Aspen and the Aspen Airport.

    Please note: This workshop has a pre-requisite of the Plein-Air Watercolor Primer (March 22 & 23) or a previous Leggitt/Loughridge POSTCARDS FROM.. workshop.

    This 4-day plein air watercolor workshop is a perfect follow-up to the Plein Air Watercolor Primer workshop and previous Leggitt/Loughridge Postcards From… workshops. Starting at a more advanced level, students delve into the challenging aspects of CVCT. From value sketches and temperature schematics to capturing light throughout the day, students learn how to use “schematics” for problem-solving, to improve time management, and to develop larger and more complex watercolors. Each day presents enticing landscape exercises, composition opportunities, personal instruction and guidance.

    Back to Basics: Drawing with Confidence
    September 16-19, 2014 
    VOC in Washington Park, Denver
    Instructors: Marjorie Leggitt and Susan Rubin
    Time: 9am-2:30pm   
    Price: $414.00

    This fun four-day workshop returns to the drawing basics of Line, Shading, Perspective, and Composition to bolster your drawing skills and boost your confidence. Revisit the principles of light, form, and depth to flesh out compositions both big and small. Practice linear and aerial perspective to accurately portray physical and atmospheric depth. Develop composition strategies to create dynamic artwork. Instruction, exercises, practice, and individual guidance will assure that in just four days you’ll solidify those shaky skills and draw anything better and faster every time.

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By Bianca Ana Chavez

Orquideafilia Mural. @ Bianaca Ana Chavez, all rights reserved

Orquideafilia Mural. @ Bianaca Ana Chavez, all rights reserved

March will find me back in the magical highland town of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Chiapas has the highest diversity of orchids in Mexico, many of which can be seen in the botanical garden El Jardin de Epifitas. The garden is directed by biologist Juan Castillo Hernandez, an incredible lover of art and nature. In addition to the botanical garden, Juan or ‘profe’ as everyone calls him, has a corner plant shop in the center of town. It is to these walls that stretch above cobblestone streets that I will return to complete the Orquidefilia mural and resume a life dedicated to the perpetuation of art, nature and culture.

Through some bit of wisdom or fluke, I first found myself working with Juan at the Orquideafilia plant store a few years ago. In my downtime I would sketch and paint the plants in the shop. Somehow these drawings eventually ended up wrapping around the block. But I left the mural unfinished. While drawing, the old haunting idea of studying botanical illustration would come back to me. I had played with the idea of studying botany in college but shied away from it for a fear of math and the hard sciences. I had long since discovered botanical art, and wanted to explore it more deeply.

So I moved to Seattle to pursue a certificate in Natural Science Illustration (NSI) at the University of Washington. With a lifelong love of plants and the arts, taking the NSI program was a stubborn declaration of my commitment. Through the NSI program I had the chance to work with many inspiring illustrators, botanists, and plant lovers. The program solidified my desire to pursue the arts and that I wanted to do this in a way that brought attention to the earth and our connection to it.

Returning to work again at Orquideafilia, we want to expand the plant store to include a tea shop and space for art and nature-related events and workshops. Juan approaches the work he does with a strong sense of collaboration. It is largely through his encouragement of my crazy ideas that I will offer weekly workshops in botanical illustration at the shop.

Student drawing orchid using a reference photo. @ Bianaca Ana Chavez

Biology student draws orchid using a reference photo. @ Bianaca Ana Chavez, all rights reserved

The workshops will be offered by donation to the community and no one will be turned away for lack of funds. The idea is to create a space where plants and art supplies are provided so that all people have to do is come with an open mind ready to explore and share their techniques with each other. Really, I am still pretty green to all of this — I am learning along with everyone else. The beauty is that we can grow together.

The name Orquideafilia came from combining the two words orchid (orquidea) and the Greek -philia, or filia. A love for orchids. This is what we have.

To support both the mural project and the development of a space for art, nature and culture, I created a one-month only pop-up online art store and donation page on my website. My goal is to raise $3,000 to cover the cost of travel, the art supplies to complete a large-scale mural, and the administrative cost of programming community events and workshops for one year.

To buy original artwork or donate to the project, please click on the following link – http://www.biancaanachavez.com/shop.

For more information about workshops and events, you can contact me directly through my website at www.biancaanachavez.com.

Also See

Bianca and fellow graduates of the Natural Science Illustration program at the University of Washington participate in Endless Forms Most Beautiful at the
Burke Museum in Seattle, WA.

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See the new page for Classes Near You > New Zealand!

Rebecca Brown-Thompson

Rebecca Brown-Thompson is a botanical artist from Oregon and New Zealand who works with paper, paint, felt and beads.

    Field Sketching and Drawing Workshop
    Saturday and Sunday, March 22 – 23, 2014
    9 AM – 5 PM

    Participants will learn introductory drawing techniques and will apply these techniques to field sketching. They will also learn how to accurately record what they see whether is it for journalling, a science study, or just for fun. This workshop at the Lake Hawea Community Centre at Lake Hawea, Central Otago in New Zealand.

    For more information and to register, contact Rebecca
    by March 1, 2014.

    Visit Rebecca’s website to learn more about her and to view her online gallery, including sample pages of her book Rebellious Beads in which she demonstrates how to create natural history-themed beadwork.

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TheGoldenAgeOfBotanicalArt Drawing

These are some of the techniques botanists and artists use to document plants. Each executed with a keen eye for observation and a steady hand. What we know about plants today would not be possible if it weren’t for the botanists, explorers, doctors, artists and observers who came before us. Many centuries before us.

A new book about the contributions made by these passionate educators was finally released in the United States. The stories of these brave, creative and hard-working souls are shared in The Golden Age of Botanical Art, a wonderful history book by Martyn Rix that is sure to be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in natural history art.

This book is filled with fascinating history and stories about famous and not-so-famous people, many of whom I learned about for the first time. Rix cross-references people, places and events throughout his book and while this helps readers form a big picture of history, it makes summarizing a challenge.
Allow me to give you a quick tour of each section.

    The Origins of Botanical Art
    Learn why botanical illustrations were created. Also learn about ancient herbals, flower painting during the Renaissance, Leonardo di Vinci, Albrecht Durer, woodcuts, the Turkish Empire, English herbals and why the paintings of Jacopo Ligozzi (1547-1626) were better than anyone who came before him.

    Seventeenth-Century Florilegia

    Learn about the plants brought to Europe by travelers and naturalists and how the work of botanical illustrators contributed to the development of botany.

    North American Plants

    Learn about the introduction of North American plants into English gardens and learn about the work of artists and botanists such as John Tradescant the Younger, Mark Catesby, John and William Bartram, Andre & Francois Michaux, Georg Dionysius Ehret and Carl Linnaeus.

    Travelers to the Levant

    European interest in Asia and the Ottoman Empire is the focus of this section. Botanists and painters receiving special attention are Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, Claude Aubriet, John Sibthorp, and Maria Sibylla Merian.

    The Exploration of Russia & Japan

    Learn about botanical expeditions into Russia and Japan. View images from Flora Rossica, Flora Japonica and learn about a collection of paintings on vellum started by botanist and naturalist, Gaston d’Orleans.

    Botany Bay & Beyond

    Learn about expeditions into Australia, the work of artists Sydney Parkinson and Ferdinand Bauer and the scientific contributions of Sir Joseph Banks.

    The Golden Age in England

    Learn how the Royal Gardens at Kew began and view beautiful plant studies such as the study of Pinus larix by Ferdinand Bauer and the graceful Galeandra devoniana, an orchid by Miss Sarah Anne Drake who was John Lindley’s chief artist.

    South American Adventures

    Expeditions into Spain and the amazing collections of work produced from these expeditions are the focus of this section.

    The Golden Age in France

    Learn about Gerard van Spaendonck (Pierre-Joseph Redouté’s teacher), Redouté and Empress Josephine in this section.

    Botanical and Horticultural Illustrated Journals

    Learn about the history surrounding illustrated journals such as Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, The Botanical Register and others.

    Early Chinese Plant Drawings

    Learn about the type of botanical art created in China before the Europeans arrived.

    The Company School in India

    Learn about the work of Indian artists, English artists and the publications produced during the time when the East India Company controlled trade in the East Indies.

    A New Era at Kew

    More history about Kew and how this world-famous garden was established.

    Victorian Travelers

    An introduction to the botanical contributions made by artists Janet Hutton, Lt. General John Eyre, Charlotte Lugard, Charlotte Williams, Marianne North and Henry John Elwes.

    Bringing China to Europe

    This section is about the introduction of Chinese plants into European gardens.

    The Flowers of War and Beyond

    Rix discusses the history of botanical illustration during World War II. Learn what botanist Geoffrey Herklots did while in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp and what Marianne North’s great nephew did after retiring as an Admiral from the Navy in 1960. Artists Margaret Mee, Barbara Everhard, Graham Stuart Thomas, Rory McEwen and Raymond Booth are also mentioned.

Rix closes his book discussing the work of contemporary botanical artists and by bringing attention to those making key contributions to the current renaissance of botanical art, namely instructor Anne Marie Evans and, of course, botanist and art collector Shirley Sherwood.

In the introduction to his book, Rix thinks aloud and wonders if what we are observing now in the world of botanical art is a new golden age. He explains that the period between 1750-1850 was considered a golden age because the demand for scientific information collided with the enthusiasm of wealthy patrons and with the availability of skilled artists capable of documenting new discoveries.

Today he wonders if the need to preserve disappearing habitat, combined with an abundance of botanical artists and the technological means to create botanical works faster and at a lower cost will create a new golden age even though there is a growing shortage of botanists.

What do you think?


Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” to Become Illuminated Manuscript

ArtPlantae is an IndieBound affiliate

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