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Archive for the ‘botanical art’ Category

Each year The Linnean Society of London issues the Jill Smythies Award to a botanical artist for outstanding illustrations.

The Jill Smythies Award is awarded to “a botanical artist in recognition of excellence in published illustrations, such as drawings or paintings, in aid of plant identification, with the emphasis on botanical accuracy and the accurate portrayal of diagnostic characteristics.” The work submitted for consideration must be “excellent botanical art (drawing or painting) that is ‘an aid to identification and a portrayal of diagnostic characteristics.’”

I am thrilled to announce that
Niki Simpson is one of two recipients of the 2018 Jill Smythies Award and that she received this award for her digital botanical illustrations.

If you are a longtime reader of this blog, you may remember Niki’s story. Already an award-winning botanical artist, Niki began developing a technique combining digital photography and traditional botanical art back in 2003. Aware of the argument that traditional illustrations are thought to be more informative than photographs, she investigated ways to increase the amount of information presented in digital illustrations. Her dedication and outside-the-box thinking resulted in digital illustrations that have introduced new audiences to botanical art and have changed the way people view and think about plants.

Niki and botanist Peter G. Barnes first wrote about this new approach to botanical illustration in Photography and contemporary botanical illustration, an article published in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine in 2008. In this article, they discuss photography’s “evolving role in botanical illustration” and present digital composite illustrations as “a natural development of the composite watercolour or line illustrations that are familiar to all botanists” (Simpson & Barnes, 2008).

It has been fascinating to watch photography’s role in botanical art evolve, and it is exciting to see Niki Simpson’s contributions recognized by the world’s oldest active biological society.

Over the past 15 years, Niki’s digital botanical illustrations have been on view in numerous exhibitions and have appeared in four books, including the magnificent Nuphar lutea: Botanical images for the digital documentation of a taxon published in May 2016.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has also recognized Niki’s work. Between 1989 and 2008, the RHS awarded Niki medals for both her traditional watercolor paintings and digital botanical illustrations.

Learn more about Niki Simpson’s award-winning digital composite illustrations on her website Visual Botany.

View all 2018 medal winners on The Linnean Society’s blog, including
Juliet Williamson, illustrator of The Kew Plant Glossary: An Illustrated Dictionary of Plant Identification Terms who also received the 2018 Jill Smythies Award for her contributions to botany and botanical art.

Congratulations to Niki and Juliet and thank you for teaching us all so much.


Literature Cited

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



Also See

Lady Finger Bananas, watercolor. © 2018 Sally Jacobs, all rights reserved

Sunday’s at the
Farmers Market

tag Gallery
Los Angeles, CA
April 17 – May 12, 2018

Contemporary botanical artist, Sally Jacobs, continues her exploration of Los Angeles’ farmers market in Sundays at the Farmers Market.

A watercolor artist and foodie, Sally visits the farmers market weekly to select specimens that inspire creativity in both her studio and her kitchen.

Sally’s paintings have been on exhibit in juried shows in New York and San Francisco, and at museums in New York, Minneapolis, and Phoenix. She was an award-winner at the Brand 37 Works on Paper exhibition at the Brand Library and Art Gallery and is one of the artists featured in Today’s Botanical Artists, a book about botanical artists in North America.

Meet Sally at the opening reception on Saturday, April 21, 2018 (5-8 pm). Learn from Sally during her Artists’ Talk scheduled for Saturday, April 28 from 3-4 pm.

Interested in trying botanical art yourself? Sally will teach you How to Draw a Leaf on Saturday, May 5 from 1-3 pm. Contact Sally to reserve your place in class. Class size is limited.

Visit the tag Gallery at 5458 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm. (View Map)



Related

Read a review of Today’s Botanical Artists and learn from the artists featured in this book (begin here).

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Plant Prints & Earth Paintings
Tina Scopa
An Tobar
Isle of Mull, Scotland
March 3-30, 2018

This past summer we learned about edaphic plant art when we spoke with Scottish artist Tina Scopa. Working spontaneously with plants and soil, Tina gets plants to “draw” themselves in prints, photography, and ceramic work. Her current exhibition titled, Plant Prints & Earth Paintings, represents four years of exploring plants and soil. Images from this show are below.

During our conversation with Tina, we also learned she was working on her fine art degree at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design at the University of Dundee. I am happy to share that Tina has almost completed her studies and is working on her degree show.

While we wait for her degree show, we can learn more about Tina’s practice and about what motivates her to create edaphic plant art by reading her paper about environmental art (also called land art or ecological art).

In a living understanding of nature, Tina asks the question:

    Can a contemporary art practice reconnect society to the “rhythms, sights, sounds, and scents of the natural world”?

To answer this question, Tina researched experiential knowledge and experiential understanding through art. If you have an interest in learning how art might be used in environmental education, you will enjoy Tina’s paper.

The exhibition Plant Prints & Earth Paintings is now on view at An Tobar on the Isle of Mull. Click on the first image to begin a tour of the exhibition.

All photos are courtesy of Tina Scopa.



Related

Kick-off the spring season with this class by Botanical Dimensions:

© Donna Torres, Brugmansia sanguinea

Botanical Illustration
The Art of Seeing, Drawing and Painting Plants

A 2-day workshop with artists Donna Torres and Kathleen Harrison
Occidental Center for the Arts
Botanical Dimensions
Occidental, CA
March 3-4, 2018
10 AM – 4 PM

This 2-day weekend workshop will focus on the accurate representation of plants in graphite and watercolor. Kathleen Harrison will lead the first day of drawing. We will introduce how to see the form of a plant, review tools and materials, and will each make a graphite drawing of a plant. Donna Torres will teach the second day, teaching specific watercolor techniques used in botanical art, color theory and special techniques to bring life into your plant illustration. You may register for the entire weekend, or choose one of the days, as space allows.

View additional information and registration options on the class website.



About Botanical Dimensions

Founded in 1985 by Kathleen Harrison and Terence McKenna, Botanical Dimensions collects and protects plants of ethnographic-medical significance and their lore, educates people about plants and mushrooms, and preserves ecosystems and traditions of ecological knowledge. Learn more at www.botanicaldimensions.org

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Ann S. Hoffenberg, Paperbark Maple (2017), Acer griseum, Rutgers Gardens, New Brunswick, New Jersey. Watercolor on paper, 9 x 13 inches. © Ann S. Hoffenberg. Courtesy of the American Society of Botanical Artists and the New York Botanical Garden.



Save the date!

The third triennial exhibition by the New York Botanical Garden and the American Society of Botanical Artists is coming to Southern California.

Out of the Woods: Celebrating Trees in Public Gardens, will be at
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens from May 19 through August 27, 2018. This exhibition will be on view in the Flora-Legium Gallery at the Brody Botanical Center.

This juried exhibition includes 43 artworks in watercolor, oil, graphite, colored pencil, and ink, depicting everything from seedpods to bark to an entire forest floor.

“Out of the Woods” highlights the role public gardens and arboreta play in engaging visitors with trees and their ecological and utilitarian roles. It also underscores the conservation, research, and scholarship occurring at these public institutions.
 
“By bringing these subjects to life through their work, this extraordinary group of botanical artists creates new pathways for communicating the beauty and value of plants to contemporary life,” said James Folsom, the Telleen/Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens at The Huntington. “I can’t think of a more critical time than now to be hosting this show and talking about this topic.”

A catalog will accompany the exhibition. It will be available for purchase at the Huntington Store.

Drop-in family activities about botanical art will be offered in the Brody Botanical Center every Saturday and Sunday throughout the exhibition. Family activities will be led by members of the Botanical Artists’ Guild of Southern California (BAGSC) from noon to 4 p.m.

Also on view in the Brody Botanical Center will be Amazing Trees, a BAGSC adjunct exhibition featuring the work of local contemporary botanical artists.


About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution serving scholars and the general public. It is located at 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino, CA (map).



Related

This exhibition will travel to St. Charles, MO then Tucson, AZ and then to Chaska, MN after its stop at The Huntington. Learn more at Exhibitions to Visit.

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By The Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators


The Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators (PSBI) is presenting a unique fine art exhibit at the 2018 Philadelphia International Flower Show, March 3-11. This exhibit includes a gallery of botanical art and artists’ demonstrations. Botanical art combines science and artistic interpretation to create pleasing, accurate depictions of plants and flowers.

The theme this year is Wet Feet: Plants That Live in a Watery World. Plants that have “wet feet” live in or along places like bogs, lakes, rivers, streams, estuaries, swamps and marshes around the world. Look for the artist’s signage with their artwork that identifies the plant and its habitat, and why the artist chose it.

The PSBI artists have been demonstrating the techniques of botanical art at the Philadelphia Flower Show since 1998, one year after PSBI was formed. Their demonstrations are part of the PSBI mission to educate the public on the intricacies of botanical art. It is an art form that is a tradition particularly in the Philadelphia area: in the 18th Century John and William Bartram founded and illustrated North America’s first botanical garden.

The PSBI is the local non-profit professional organization for botanical art. It sponsors art classes for youth, and its members teach botanical art in multiple venues.

For more information, visit the PSBI website or contact Amy Stewart.

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No. 11, Rhubarb, Ruibarbo blanco, Cedros [Jatropha podagrica Hooker, Euphorbiaceae], watercolor on paper by Charles Dorat (?1806–ca.1870), 30 × 23.5 cm, HI Art accession no. 5683.11.

Dr. Charles Dorat and His Unrealized Central American Medicinal Flora
Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation
Pittsburgh, PA
April 2 – June 29, 2018

Charles Dorat (?1806-ca.1870) was a European physician and naturalist who lived in El Salvador and traveled in Honduras between 1850 and 1870. Acquainted with Central American medical professionals, government officials and companies interested in material medica, it is thought Dorat was hired by companies because of his knowledge of mining and economic plants.

While in Central America, Dorat pursued interests in nature and art, and by 1860 had painted 150 watercolors of useful plants. These paintings were supposed to be published as a flora of Central America, but Dorat appears to have died around 1870.

Learn more about Dr. Charles Dorat at Dr. Charles Dorat and His Unrealized Central American Medicinal Flora.



About The Hunt 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.

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