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Posts Tagged ‘Anita Walsmit Sachs’

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Hortus botanicus Leiden

www.hortusleiden.nl
Founded in 1590, the Hortus botanics Leiden is the oldest botanic garden in the Netherlands. Included in its historic collection are plants from Asia, Europe and South Africa. Research on plant species continues to this day and the Garden plays an important role in the cultivation and preservation of endangered species.

    Summer Botanical Art Workshop with Anita Walsmit Sachs
    April 11-15, 2016
    Create accurate sketches and record the development of plants or individual structures in black & white or color. The course itinerary follows:

    • Day 1 – Introductions, garden tour, afternoon focus on pencil drawing
    • Day 2 – Learn about materials used by botanical illustrators, receive instruction about paint, color mixing and composition.
    • Day 3 – Transfer drawings to watercolor paper, begin painting
    • Day 4 & 5 – Continue painting, daily discussion, individual attention.

    Cost: €395,00
    Includes morning coffee, brasserie lunch and afternoon drinks. Information about payment and lodging will be provided upon registration. A small optional assignment will be assigned before the workshop begins.

    To register, contact Anita.


About Anita Walsmit Sachs

www.anitawalsmitsachs.nl
Anita Walsmit Sachs is the former director of the art department and former scientific illustrator at the National Herbarium in the Netherlands at the University of Leiden. She is an award-winning artist who has received two gold medals from the Royal Horticultural Society and whose work is included in the Highgrove Florilegium, a historic collection featuring selected plants growing at HRH The Prince of Wales’ home at Highgrove in Gloucestershire. In 2006, Anita and some of her students formed the Dutch Society of Botanical Artists.

Anita was the featured guest in January 2013. Read an interview with Anita and her conversation with ArtPlantae readers here.


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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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Determined to do their part to combat “plant blindness”, the Hortus botanicus Leiden in the Netherlands created a unique program that addresses this pesky issue on a multigenerational level.

The Garden’s multigenerational project began in Summer 2014. Centered around an exhibition of prehistoric plants, Oerplanten Atelier (Prehistoric Plants Workshop) consisted of workshops about drawing, photography, etching and monotype.

Hanneke Jelles, the Garden’s Director of Education, discussed this project at a recent international congress on education in botanic gardens. She explained that while addressing “plant blindness” was one of their motivations, it was not the Garden’s only motivation. The multigenerational format was conceived partly out of the Garden’s need to connect with the 20-somethings in Leiden who were not visiting the botanic garden.

To reach out to this group, the Garden hit the streets running. Hanneke explained the Garden marketed heavily to college students (art students specifically) and encouraged students to bring a grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc. with them to the workshop. She explained the Garden also reached out to members of Leiden’s older population and paired them with young adults.

Their planning and hard work paid off. Soon after the program was launched, the Garden’s classrooms and public spaces filled with conversations between young and old. Leiden’s experienced residents shared their recollections of plants and told stories, while younger residents learned how plants were grown and used. All the while the generations bonded, learned new things about each other, and everyone discovered new things about plants and the arts. Making their success even sweeter, the Garden saw a change in the 20-something crowd. It turns out botanical gardens aren’t such a bad place after all.

The Oerplanten Atelier project generated a lot of interest in plants and botanical illustration. So much so, that Hortus botanics Leiden is launching a course in technical drawing this fall, free for college students. This course will be taught by scientific illustrator and botanical artist, Esmeé Winkel.

Hanneke explains:

In a series of six days, a group of 2/3 students and 1/3 other interested people will learn about different aspects of drawing. For the college students the course is free of charge. The aim is not to make beautiful pictures, but to make clear pictures, that demonstrate what the students have seen in the subject they are drawing. Drawing is used as a method to concentrate on an object, to look at it very intensely, and to report what is discovered. Topics to be covered are: pollinators and plants (line), making field notes (quick and complete), leaves and cups (hair structures), fruits (volume), seeds (pen and ink, dissecting microscope), tropical plants (details). People can choose to attend all the days, or choose the days and subjects that suit them best.

We expect that the mix of university students and other people will give a good atmosphere, as it did during the ‘oerplanten atelier’ (prehistoric plants atelier) last year. We also feel that offering workshops in scientific drawing meets a need of our visitors.

Hortus botanicus Leiden also offers many public programs about plants and botanical art by Anita Walsmit Sachs. While most of these programs are in Dutch, some are in English. Anita’s upcoming classes include a five-day summer workshop (July 27-31, 2015) and a four-day winter workshop (November 3-6, 2015). Visit Anita’s website for more information (or view English version).


Learn more about Hortus botanicus Leiden



Oerplanten Atelier Slideshow

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Photos courtesy Hortus botanicus Leiden.

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hortusAtelier_AnitaWalsmitSachs_Page_2Experience the history of botanical art at the Hortus Botanicus Leiden and help celebrate its 425th birthday!

Founded by the University of Leiden in 1590, many famous scientists have links to this garden. For example, botanist Carolus Clusius (1526-1609) who introduced the tulip to the Netherlands, botanist Herman Boerhaave (1668-1738) and Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778). Albert Einstein (1879-1955) also has links to the garden.

Now you can make this historic garden part of your story too!

In April 2015, scientific illustrator Anita Walsmit Sachs will teach a five-day workshop in botanical drawing and painting in cooperation with Hortus Botanicus Leiden. Here is an overview of this springtime workshop:

  • April 12 – Introductions, garden tour, drawing in graphite.
  • April 13 – Instruction about paper, paint, color and composition.
  • April 14 – Transition from pencil drawing to painting in watercolor.
  • April 15 – Continued instruction in painting botanical subjects.
  • April 16 – Continued instruction in painting botanical subjects.
  • Cost: €375,00 includes morning coffee, brasserie lunch and afternoon drinks

Learn more about this workshop and the award-winning work of Anita Walsmit Sachs. Click on the image above to download a color flyer.

This information has also been added to Classes Near You > Netherlands.

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Anita Walsmit Sachs, her students and a colleague formed the Dutch Society of Botanical Artists. Why was this organization formed? Anita explains…

I became aware of the societies in England and America and was really shocked that in a country like mine, the Netherlands with its long history of flower painting and where there are so many breeders and flowers and where plants cost almost nothing, there was not such a society…

Learn more about the Society’s publications and their exhibition in a castle!

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When drawing in pen and ink, what gets inked first?

Anita describes how she inks a botanical plate:

After tracing the habit of the plant and drawing all the details asked for by the scientist, I gather all the items and arrange them in my format of 24 cm x 36 cm, taking much care with the composition. Because I do not work with a computer and everything is done by hand, I try to avoid overlaps. This is because later on, after the drawing has been scanned, some elements of the drawing may be re-used in another format…

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Imagine that you are out in the field somewhere, discover a plant you just have to draw, but only have minutes to record information about the plant. What do you record?

I presented this scenario to Anita Walsmit Sachs.

She replied:

When you are in the field and meet an interesting plant, you can do one of two things — forget about it or try to describe the plant with words being as detailed as possible…

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